My GE Advantium Experience

I am horrible at keeping secrets.  And yet there has been a happy little nugget of news that I’ve been sitting on for a while.  No, not THAT kind of news.  Geez.  Remember earlier this year when I shared with you the first rate experience I had down in Louisville as a guest of GE at their Experience Center?  Mais non?  Well then clicky here.

I came home from that trip thinking that in our next house, whenever that may happen, it would be nice to incorporate the Advantium technology into the kitchen.  And then life kept rolling along and took my mind off of the serious case of Advantium envy that came home with me from the great state of Kentucky.  Now fast forward a few months.  Out of the blue, the folks at GE reached out to me wanting to know if I would be interested in helping them tell the Advantium story.

Would I want to receive an Advantium of my very own to use and then talk about it here on the blog?  That was like asking me “does butter taste good?”.

I had someone ask if it felt like I was selling out by agreeing to collaborate with GE on this project.  And I thought it was a legitimate question.  My answer was “no”, and here’s why…I already use GE appliances.  I am already one of their consumers.  Heck, if it weren’t for GE and their 18 inch dishwasher, The Mistah and I would still be in handwashing hell in our ridiculously small kitchen.  When I had the choice of what brand appliances I would purchase for our kitchen, I chose GE.

Another reason I didn’t feel like this was a case of selling out is because GE is not dictating the content of my posts.  They are providing me with the product but I am not being told what to say about my experience with it.  If you’ve followed my kitchen adventures for a while, you know that I talk about failures as much as I do successes.  Frankly, the Advantium is going to challenge me as I learn to harness the power of Speed Cooking and Convection.  I expect that there’s going to be bumps in the road…and I won’t gloss over them and pretend that they don’t exist.  But I also expect that this tool is going to help me do more when it comes to cooking.

I’m not sidestepping the fact that companies are in business to promote and sell their products.  That’s what businesses do.  And as customers, it is up to each of us to make the best, most informed decision of how to spend our consumer dollars.  So by hearing me talk about being able to roast a chicken for a Tuesday night meal instead of reheating leftovers from the weekend, you may decide that this product is right for you.  Or you might decide that it’s not.  I’m not here to tell you that your life will magically become picture perfect because you can cook, bake, microwave, and warm in a single appliance.

What I am here to do is share my real experiences of using the Advantium product.  I have an opportunity to be part of the conversation.  Is it flattering to have a company single me out and say “we like what you’re doing, what you represent, and we’d like to have you help tell our story”?  Absolutely.  It is hugely validating.  But it is also a responsibility that I take very seriously.  That’s why I chose to publicly state my reasons for deciding to partner with GE on this project instead of merely including a disclaimer on each Advantium post stating that I have been provided with the product but that the opinions expressed are my own.

Am I beyond excited to have this opportunity? Am I looking forward to the adventure that is about to unfold in my kitchen?  Again, that’s like asking me “does butter taste good?”.

My GEMomsperience Experience

I’ll ask you to forgive me but I’m about to tell this story out of sequence.  See, my trip to Louisville started with a whole separate adventure involving a bloggy friend, cucumber spread, and rain.  But in the interest of being somewhat timely, I need to talk about the second part of the trip first.

Actually, I need to preface all of this by saying that when it comes to winning things, my track record sucks.  Giveaways, raffle tickets, lottery scratch offs….I never win.  But like the Maryland Lottery once said, you gotta play to win.  So from time to time I take a chance and hope that Lady Luck smiles upon me.

Most recently this took the form of me entering a contest on the LoveFeast Table blog.   {Tangent}  Do you know the LoveFeast ladies?  Maybe not in real life, but online?  You should.  Kristin and Chris Ann personify what it means to let your passions guide your life and being open to going where that journey takes you.  Take a moment and click on the link over in that there sidebar under B’more Bloggers.  {End Tangent} Anyhow, Love Feast had been invited to participate in GEMomsperience and the folks at GE were letting them bring one of their readers along.  So despite not really understanding what GEMomsperience was, I entered the competition to be their guest at the event.  And guess what?  I freaking won.

Color me giddy.

So what exactly was GEMomsperience?  Unlike that timeshare sales pitch you have to sit through in order to get the free vacation, this was not GE trying to give us a hard sell on their products.  Sure, we got to oooh and aahh over washers, dryers, refrigerators, and induction cook tops.  And maybe we even got to see for ourselves that the Advantium oven will go from zero to well done fillets in 13 minutes flat.  {Tangent}  You really should ask the Googley about Advantium.  It’s the oven equivalent of the swiss army knife…regular oven, convection oven, microwave, and proofing oven.  Unfreaking believable.  {End Tangent} But GE wanted to understand more about our relationship with appliances in real life.

What goes into our decision making when we buy appliances?  What functions are important to us?  What functions would we like to see?  {Tangent}  If a self cleaning microwave ever becomes a commercial reality, you can thank GEMomsperiece.  {End Tangent}.  How do we use the products in our own homes as opposed to how the designers and testers speculate that we will?

It was an opportunity to have a conversation.  To talk with, not to be talked to.

It was also an opportunity to cook with GE’s chefs in their kitchen center.  Chef Brian and Chef Joe made us all feel like pros as they walked us through preparing pan friend chicken breasts, red eye gravy, and micro greens salad.  I have started to stalk their blog waiting for that chicken recipe to go up.  I’m tempted to try and wing it from memory because the results were spectacular.  The red eye gravy recipe came home with me and is demanding that I make it promptly.  Maybe I’ll see if Lady Luck won’t look my way again so soon because BAH needs this dish.  {Tangent} Perhaps if I would have checked this post on the Chefs’ blog BEFORE I arrived in Louisville I might not have had that unfortunate cucumber spread experience. {End Tangent}

I can’t say enough about how well we were treated by GE.  Not just in the tangible things like travel and accommodations.  Yes, it’s nice to be treated like a VIP.  But it’s  nothing compared to the experience of having every person you encounter from the organization genuinely wanting to hear your opinion.  Talk about feeling important.  Big thanks to GE for bringing a diverse group of bloggers together and for giving us an amazing experience.

Now for the disclaimery stuff.  GE covered all of my travel expenses and hotel accommodations.  They provided transportation while in Louisville and basically made me feel like a rock star.  They did not once suggest that I write about my experience.  But I own GE appliances.  I use GE appliances.  So I can speak objectively about my real life experiences with their products. Such as….could someone at GE please tell me why detergent packs refuse to dissolve in my GE dishwasher?  That thing is a godsend to me but it really burns my biscuits to have to run it twice because there’s some kind of fail going on after I close the door.

Next to lastly, a side note to anyone who may at some point have the opportunity to be the guest of a company at an event.  Please do not go around asking for free stuff.  Besides the less than springlike weather during our visit, that was the thing that really gave me chills.  When you’re a guest at someone’s home, you wouldn’t ask them if you can have the silver.   Would you?

Lastly, the folks who made all this happen deserve to be personally thanked.  In a perfect world I would have used that 2.5 hour delay at the airport to write thank you notes to all these people.  But my world in imperfect.  So without further ado, thank you to:

Eddie Martin – Chief Marketing Officer


Ben Cecil – Merchandising Specialist

Susan Gregory – Product Manager, Global Products

Julie Muennich – Senior Marketing Merchandising Specialist

Shawn Stover – Product Manager, Built –in Cooking Products


Casie Banquer – Senior Marketing Merchandising Specialist

Rebecca LaRocque – Training Manager

Monogram Experience Center:

Chef Joe Castro

Chef Brian Logsdon

Entertaining made simple:

Wendy Sommers – Team Leader

Industrial Design:

Marc Hottenroth – Industrial Design Manager


John Nichols – Senior Marketing Merchandising Specialist

Paul Riley – Marketing Manager


Peter Pepe – Product General Manager, Clothes Care

Jennifer Schoenegge – Product Manager, Clothes Care

Raegen VanBogaert – Product Manager


Dawn Riedel – Brand Manager

And special sparkly jazz hands to Megan Robison and Nancy Wolff for all of their time and attention to make this a fantastic trip that I will never forget.