MiNDFOOD Radio: Ben Bayly

Ben Bayly opens his phone and smiles.
His seven-year-old daughter has just 
sent him a picture. She’s drawn it on the
 fridge door.

“Ella is only seven so she’s too young 
to have a phone. But she can come to the fridge 
and send me a text while I’m at work,” he says. Ben is in the kitchen of The Grounds, his new family-friendly restaurant in the Henderson Valley, 
that complements his role as executive chef of Auckland’s upmarket restaurants, The Grove
 and Baduzzi.

But he can keep in touch with wife, Cara, and 
check what’s in the fridge, order the supermarket shopping online and much more, through the
 Samsung Family Hub refrigerator in the centre of
their home – the kitchen.

Back at home, Ben points out how the kitchen used 
to be the centre of family life.

“Back in the day, you would put anything on the fridge door, like reminders, shopping lists, school reports, the kids’ pictures.

“This is the thinking behind the smart home, the connected home – it’s bringing us back to that idea.
 You can do anything, from creating a shopping list to 
the whole YouTube vibe.”

The Family Hub is just what it says – the centre of household connections in the digital age. On the 21.5-inch touch screen in one of its four doors, Ben has posted a photo gallery of their three children’s lives;
 the couple share and update calendars, display the kids’ works of art, and leave notes.

Yes, the 670-litre fridge-freezer does store 
food too. It also efficiently manages groceries, 
letting you manually enter use-by dates to reduce 
food wastage.

Three cameras capture an image every time 
the door closes: Ben can access those images on his smartphone and call into the supermarket on his way home, or Cara can shop online.

And with the kitchen returning to its old-time
 place at the centre of home and family life, the fridge is 
an entertainment portal, too. It streams music through 
its built-in speaker or via wireless speakers throughout
 the house.

The screen can mirror a smart TV and, of course,
 it’s hooked up to the internet for keeping in touch with
 the social media world.

Ben has a couple of favourite programs – “Oven timers can be quite difficult to use. This is much more user friendly” – and the precise beer and wine chiller when friends drop round.

Just one thing: The barbecue isn’t hooked up to the fridge or smart phone. Now there’s an idea!

The Samsung Family Hub is available at Noel Leeming and Harvey Norman, RRP $9999.

Member Login