I’ve spent a thoroughly enjoyable summer travelling all over England in the AGA Total Control van. I’ve loved waking up early in whichever room I am staying at the time, watching the sun rise across the fields which I drove past the day before, the thousands of miles stretching into the distance. I think about the patchwork of counties, towns and villages through which I travelled and replay the stories shared by customers during the previous week, the enthused accounts of how much they love their AGA. These good people may have entirely different backgrounds yet the one thing they share is how their cooker fits perfectly into their family life. I love seeing the excitement which washes over others when they tell me that they are having an AGA installed in their home. I particularly love helping with the buying process – they always swither over choosing the colour, but then there are eleven gorgeous shades to choose from.
After each event I have attended I have subsequently held demonstrations in the local AGA shop. Many customers attend to not only find out more about the AGA Total Control but also to see it in action. I can easily explain what makes AGA products so appealing but nothing rivals firsthand experience of using them. At each of these demonstrations I cook twenty dishes in an hour and a half, and it is always humbling to see the look of awe light up in a customer’s eyes at the sheer amount of food the AGA Total Control can hold. It is just like a classic AGA except that it heats up quickly after turning on, and can be fully programmable to suit the needs of any family.
Truly, this AGA is flexible enough to be perfect for any season, even when those seasons appear to be out of alignment. As I write, it’s October but a record-breaking 29 degrees! As I walked through Clapham Common a few evenings ago I noticed how the leaves laying on the ground were painted in autumnal colours. Even the squirrels were confused. The new AGA, in contrast, is much more reliable and can be easily controlled to provide for the unpredictable weather we experience in the UK.
One of the most personally memorable days this summer was when I attended the Chatsworth Country Show. It was the first time the Red Arrows flew after the tragic accent which befell their team, and as they wowed the crowds with their aerobatics I was cooking live with the AGA Total Control. It was a privilege and a pleasure to represent AGA at such an event. Elsewhere, I cooked onstage at the Leamington Food Festival with none other than Rusty Lee, undoubtedly the original television chef in the UK. It was definitely one of the most enjoyable days I have ever had at work. Whilst I explained how to make the most of local produce I tried my hardest to keep a straight face as Rusty’s infectious laugh boomed behind me. Finally, I met more AGA owners at food festivals in Battersea, Oxford and Nantwich – the latter is situated less than an hour from where AGA cookers are made.
Each time I demonstrate the benefits of working with AGA I cook a huge dinner with breakfast, quiche, pizza, steak and a roast. However, it’s always the puddings which pull the customers back for seconds – and occasionally, thirds. The old line about the proof of the pudding… well, I’m now the very proud owner of an AGA Total Control. I bought one for my Mum which was installed back on the family farm in Northern Ireland. I flew home to watch it being fitted, where I was amazed at the anticipation both Mum and I felt as the Total Control arrived. That was nothing compared to the emotion which engulfed us as we switched it on for the first time to cook our dinner. There are many reasons to recommend this Great British Cooker, such as the fact that they are handcrafted in Shropshire in the same foundry which birthed the Industrial Revolution or the moistness and flavour which imbues AGA cooked food. More than that, it’s the sensation of waking up in the morning in a house which has an AGA cooker in its kitchen. It truly is the heart of any home. I wish I could bottle this feeling, this heat and comfort which cannot be mimicked by a radiator or any other device, and place it in my AGA Total Control van to share with customers. If they could experience this, if they could have this insight into how an AGA complements any household, then they would see why these products are so uniquely special.
I hope to see you at one of our AGA demonstrations soon.