April 9, 2009 Cooking might be a chore or a pleasure, depending on your culinary proficiency. But what's out of your hands is how much room you have to prepare your culinary feast. If there's barely elbow room to stir your pots and pans, then this funky looking roll-up stove-top from Italian designer Maurizio Maiorana - called the Cooka – might be just the extra hand you need. The design resembles a yellow table mat and is made from a non-toxic, liquid silicone rubber that can be rolled up and easily stored once you've finished cooking with it.

The plates sport an electric coil for heating, nothing unusual there. Where the Cooka design differs from your common-or-garden stove-top, however, is with its adoption of silver to conduct heat. Essentially, the silver lets the hot plates heat and cool rapidly. Tiny holes around the plates expel hot air, keeping the loss of heat to a minimum. The plates encased in the silicone rubber can withstand a range of temperatures – as low as -60 degrees Celsius and up to 280 degrees Celsius.

The Cooka is yet to be commercially produced, but we can imagine all sorts of situations where it can be useful: stamp-sized kitchens, buffets needing to be kept warm in the centre of the table (as long as the hungry hordes don’t trip on the power cord), holiday cook-ups and having that additional hot plate when the extended family invites themselves to dinner.

Anne Hanrahan

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