Canadians who bought Capital or BlueStar?

La_MauditeMarch 11, 2012

Hi everyone,

I've been following the threads about he Capital Culinarian (CC) and the arguments from the other side (namely and mostly BlueStar (BS) owners) with great interest. But there's nothing like seeing the thing in person, or even better trying it out. I'm not holding my breath for the latter, and here's why.

First of all, most showrooms who have ranges from more commonly available brands (Wolf, Thermador, DCS, Viking, etc) have a few models that are not connected to a gas supply. When we're talking Capital and BlueStar, just having one in a showroom is almost impossible.

I've asked the distributor of Capital in Canada for a list of resellers in the province of Quebec (their database is not up to date on their website). It looks like there are only two resellers in the province. One has a Capital Precision and the other one has a 36" Culinarian on the floor. I went to the second one and will write something about my visit later. As I said, there's nothing like seeing the thing in person. Of course, it was just sitting there, not hooked up to gas so we could not try it out.

As far as BlueStar goes, I found on their website that there's only one reseller in the province. He's considering having a range on the floor, but until they get one (if they do), I'm out of luck. I wrote a email to BlueStar (don't know if they have a distributor in Canada or if they sell directly) to know if the list of reseller was up to date, but didn't get an email back from them.

I was wondering if other canadians bought a Culinarian or a BlueStar. If so, where you able to see or try them first?

I'm a bit worried that the products are not more readily available around here. With all the talking about early service calls after the delivery, I want to make sure the parts won't take weeks to arrive and that I can find someone to do the repairs locally. Have other canadians been in this situation? What has been your experience?

Thanks.

P.S. Is it good etiquette to start another thread for my impressions on the Culinarian and what the salesman wanted me to buy instead?

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cooksnsews

I'm not going to be much use to you..... When I did my kitchen reno 3+ yrs ago, all the chatter here on GW was for the Bluestar and its 22KBTU blast-furnace burners. But my closest dealer apparently, was in Edmonton, and had no website. This was before the Culinarian was even thought of. So, I made the decision to restrict my choices to brands that had local sales and service. I bought a 36" all gas 6-burner DCS, and have been entirely pleased with it. It worked perfectly out-of-the-box, it simmers on ALL burners, and despite what the open burner fanboys try to tell us, its sealed burner deck is trivial to clean.

The only place I've seen a Bluestar in person is at Costco, but I believe they only carry a 4-burner 30" model with lower powered burners. I really like Costco, but I'm not sure I consider them a high end appliance dealer....

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 12:02AM
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aliris19

If you're in Quebec, it could be that zooming down to Trevor's place north of Boston will be closest or easiest or most enlightening. In fact, I just noticed he offered to refund your travel expenses if you wind up buying from him - check out the eurostove website.

I haven't been to the showroom but know your neck of the woods pretty well!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 12:32AM
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La_Maudite

cooksnews: Thanks for your reply. There's something to be said about having local service companies who know your product and have parts on hand. I've been on that road before when I bought an exotic french espresso machine a few years ago. It's now accumulating dust on the kitchen countertop. (I'll get to repairing it once we move in the new house).

That's why I have some concerns about the availability of parts and service from BlueStar and Capital. The seller of BlueStar from Quebec City (just an hour away) assures me that the service is not a problem. On the other and, the seller of the Culinarian I met yesterday (a two hours drive away), and who was trying to steer me away from the CC to a Thermador promotion, said that the parts would be more difficult to get from the distributor of Capital than for the Thermador. I personnally take his opinion with a huge grain of salt, but my concern is exactly that.

Regarding the BlueStar at costco.ca, I'm sure they don't have one at my local store. On top of that, I can't really figure out what is the 48" model. It has no oven window....??? And I'm with you, I wouldn't buy an expensive range from them. I wish the guy from Quebec City had a BlueStar on the floor :-(

I'll have a look at DCS now that you mention it. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 12:35AM
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nellym

Hi La Maudite, I was in the same situation as you last year when I couldn't make up my mind between Blue Star and Capital Culinarian. There's a bit of analysis paralysis with features, pros/cons, peoples' opinions, etc... Prices in Canada (as you may know) is more than in the US so making an error could be quite costly.

I delayed my decision until I could see both ranges together in BC where I live. BUT...neither were hooked up to gas so no real world experience prior to purchase. I ended up choosing Culinarian because it had more BTUs and looked more finished and the oven door did not get hot. I didn't worry about possible failure and who would fix it...by all accounts Culinarian is solidly built and as you have seen here, recent issues with the simmer, etc. are discussed and dealt with in some form or another. There will be support - especially in Ontario and Quebec.

If you really want to try out the Culinarian, taking Trevor's offer (Eurostoves) may be the thing to do BUT you have to fly to the US and how do you get the range? I imagine it is difficult to find a "live" range in Canada, be it Blue Star or Culinarian. I have never seen one in BC, outside of cooking demos and the Miele centre.

Using the Culinarian for about 2 months now, I can tell you that it is very powerful. The Kobe hood 600 CFM cannot keep up with it. I need to turn down the heat more often than not because the smoke keeps triggering the smoke alarm. BUT....it is a pleasure to use. Finally, proper wok cooking, fast boil, and sauteed mushrooms! Easy to clean too. Downsides - small oven cavity, must do prep work before cooking even when making multiple dishes, and simmer issues.

Too bad you are not in BC...you could try out my Culinarian. :)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 10:54PM
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La_Maudite

Hi nellym, I could actually drive to Eurostoves. It would be a 6 hours drive. Not that bad.

Glad you like your Culinarian and especially that you say it's easy to clean. The main argument the salesman was giving my wife to push her to the Thermador package was the cleaning which would be a lot easier (according to him). I'll definitely tell her to read your answer :-)

And thank you so much for your invitation, but taking a plane to BC to try a CC would be a little excessive. :-)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 2:04AM
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ratflinger

Buy what you like & not what the salesman is pushing. He's trying to make a buck & not worried about what you think is best. I'm in Texas & bought from Trevor. Trevor has been there to answer questions & gets the factory to ship me upgrades, etc. I wouldn't worry about having a dealer close. Even in larger cities you might not have a BS or CC dealer around (or at least one that really cares)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 10:27PM
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La_Maudite

ratflinger: Thanks for your reply.

You are absolutely right... we're going to go with what we want and not what a particular salesman wants out of his inventory. That said, I'm also glad he challenged us with a different option. It's always destabilising at first (going to see a CC and ending up with a Thermador DF range , DW, hood and fridge/freezer colums on the list!!! LOL), but after reading about the products, I'm still going back to the CC and BS. (The Thermador columns I'm considering though).

I had a backup plan with the Wolf AG if I didn't feel the CC and BS where properly supported in Canada, but if I understand correctly, I'm about to loose that option as Wolf is going to sealed burners on the AG range. So I think a CC or BS is in my future even without being able to try them out first.

Now if I could find someone in Canada as well connected as Trevor and giving support at a distance, that would make things a lot easier.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 10:26AM
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djg1

I don't know that there's a huge amount of risk-taking either way, but if you are within driving distance of Boston -- and you have the time -- then my guess is that you can organize a driving trip that will put you in contact with connected and working versions of the CC, the Bluestar, and likely anything else on your short list. It could make you feel more comfortable with one decision rather than another; and it could be a pleasant trip besides.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 7:35PM
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Why_not_me

La Maudite - what did you decide to get in the end, and are you happy with the sales and service and now, using the range?

We're upgrading, and considering various 48" ranges, Bluestar and CC and Lacanche so far.

If you're near Ottawa and want to play with Bluestars, C A Paradis has a full working kitchen at the back of the shop with usually 2-3 Bluestars you can try out. They've been extremely good to work with so far.

My issue with CC is the same as yours - seems to be rubbish sales and service in Canada. No sense in buying anything in the US unless it's approved for Canada, particularly gas, because if there's an issue, one's insurance company is likely to play hard ball, if at all. :/

We were going to get the wildly inexpensive Costco Bluestar, but I've been told recently they're not made to the same standard; some cheaper/lower-grade parts.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 12:55PM
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