There isn’t a better marriage in existence than fine wine and fine food (okay, maybe I exaggerate…ice cold beer and fishing are also a match made in heaven in my opinion). If you are a wine enthusiast or connoisseur, odds are you agree. In my experience traversing the wonderful world of wine, I find that many lovers of the beverage also love to cook–and cook like pros. It’s one thing to go out to a fancy restaurant and enjoy gourmet food, and don’t get me wrong, I love to do that, but it’s another thing entirely to prepare a meal at home that could actually be served in a great restaurant. The sense of satisfaction of serving your friends or family a dish that was meticulously created–from the amalgamation of the ingredients to the adornment of the garnish–is just plain awesome. Making your own fine fare is made much easier with excellent equipment. I remember the pièce de résistance in my mother’s (and her mother’s) kitchen was always the KitchenAid® stand mixer with all the bells and whistles. While this piece of equipment is still a fabulous addition to a culinary arsenal, I’ve found another exceptional product that I don’t know how I lived without all these years–the Vita-Mix Professional Series 500 Blender.

Vita-Mix: The Brand

Established in 1921, the Vita-Mix brand has racked up a solid reputation for quality, dependability and durability with those in the culinary know. They are used commercially by professionals and in homes by cooking enthusiasts alike. What I find really impressive is that every one of their machines is built at their headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, even though they are sold in over 75 countries. Equally, if not even more, impressive is that the Culinary Institute of America has endorsed and partnered with Vita-Mix on their Professional Series of products–it’s actually called the CIA Professional Series by Vita-Mix. If “The World’s Premier Culinary College” is prepared to lend their name to a line of products, you know they have to be good–the institution isn’t one those dime-a-dozen trade schools advertising via reality-type commercials geared toward kids searching for something to get them off the couch. It’s the real deal.

The Vita-Mix Blender: Why to Buy

I’ve found that the Vita-Mix Professional Series 500 Blender can do anything a food processor can do, and at the same time “crush” their competitor’s at doing what traditional blenders do…like a blender on steroids. I find its strong points to be puréeing soups and sauces, crushing ice, grinding your own spices or coffee beans (excellent feature for people who like grinding their own beans…also for recipes that include coffee, like a succulent Kona-crusted steak…yum!), juicing, emulsifying homemade salad dressing (I hate when poorly emulsified dressings separate and leave loads of oil on the lettuce), making excellent smoothies…and even better, frozen drinks (I live near Margaritaville, so this is an important feature to me!). It also can prepare dough. What’s great is that even though it can do all of these things and many more, it is remarkably simple to use. Another plus is that the container is made of BAPA-free Eastman Tritan copolyester–it’s more durable, lighter and safer than a heavy glass container. I could go on and on about its outstanding features and quality engineering, but in the interest of brevity, I’ll just say I am a huge fan…

Are There Any Cons?

In my opinion, the only thing that could be perceived as a little negative about the Vita-Mix Professional Series 500 Blender is its cost. You’re going to pay more for it than you would a run-of-the-mill blender and I’ll be up front about that. But, if you truly are passionate about cooking and have the budget, I’d say it’s definitely something to consider. If you do consider it, note that there’s a 7-year parts and performance warranty on the machine, which is pretty incredible. If they’re willing to offer that kind of warranty, you know they know the integrity of the machine and our willing to place that bet. Additionally, if you cook a great deal, you’d probably go through at least a couple of blenders over the years–add up replacements and do the math…it might work out to be the same. Lastly, the Vita-Mix Series 500 blender comes with a gourmet recipe book and a cooking class on DVD featuring celebrity chef Michael Symon–cool little extras.

Cheers…and Bon Appétit!

By Papa

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