Today’s introduction to the Thermomix was a feast of delights and possibilities. With the expertise of local consultant Sonya Foley, the whizz-bang machine that proports to “do it all” demonstrated its value and versatility as we not only put it through its paces but made special requests!

The Thermomix is a French-made kitchen appliance that combines the functions of at least half a dozen other appliances. It’s very popular in Europe and was introduced to Australia about ten years ago. Sold only through personal consultants, we asked our local rep Sonya to come and show us what the hype is all about.

Thermomix components, September 2011
The main cooking dish of the Thermomix is tall and cylindrical and is braced by two sides of the machine. The machine comes with a plastic basket that sits on top of the cooking pot to steam other food while the main meal is being prepared.

In order to demonstrate a range of features, Sonya took us through six menu items, preparing each one from scratch: sorbet, garlic and herb dip, bread dough, beetroot salad, risotto and custard. She brought most of the ingredients — fruit, vegetables, rice, raw sugar and wheat (instead of flour). We veered from the standard menu plan to experiment with a vegetable smoothie, lentil flour and egg-free custard.

Sonya demostrating the Thermomix, September 2011
Sonya is a warm and lovely person who is passionate about the Thermomix. She happily answered all our questions and let us experiment with new things in the machine — grating cheese and making flour from lentils!

It was fascinating to be able to look into the Thermomix at each step of the meal preparation. We were amazed to see how finely it grinds the wheat into flour and the raw sugar into powdered sugar. Garlic and onions are chopped finely without turning to mush. Everything is prepared and cooked so much quicker than using conventional methods. It certainly seems that there would be less washing-up with a Thermomix that does the dicing and the cooking!

When each meal was finished, Sonya shared around little bowls of the food for us all to taste. The girls loved the sorbet — even on a chilly day like today — and I especially appreciated the beetroot juice.

Risotto and the Thermomix, September 2011
David and my favourite item on the sampler menu is this very tasty risotto. It is very easily made — the ingredients are simply poured into the cooking pot — as the machine does all the chopping and stirring!

Calista, 3yo, September 2011
Our girls enjoyed tasting the Thermomix's delights too!

Between cooking items, Sonya simply rinsed the Thermomix’s cooking bowl in our make-shift kitchen area. (She didn’t seem put off by using a tap and hose at the door to our shed!)

David and I can see the great benefits of having a Thermomix in the kitchen. I can also fully understand why people who own one rave about them! The $2000 price-tag can seem steep unless it’s brought into perspective with the savings one can recoup by buying whole-foods instead of pre-processed goods.

Our verdict? We love it, and I wish we had one today. However, we have one more whizz-bang product to properly assess before we make a purchasing decision, so we’ll hold off for a little longer (and I’ll try to stay neutral).