The Unusual Ones Get Names

The Unusual Ones Get Names

This is Flossie (she’s pink like candy floss), but nobody calls her that more than once. To all the folks at the diner she’s “Flo”.

Flossie is an example of an extremely rare specimen: the Accolade 400. This is a tilt-head that KitchenAid made for a little while in the early 2000s, and then discontinued. (Do you have friends at KitchenAid? I have Many Questions about the production history of this machine.)

The motor and drivetrain are the same as the modern “Pro” series machines: unitary motor made by Ankarsrum, electronic speed control, non-serviceable planetary, brass “sacrificial” gear, compact enclosed gear train. This is good, so that if anything breaks it can be serviced with modern parts. It also means that the Accolade can do pretty much anything the Pro series can, within the limits of its bowl size.

One interesting feature about this machine is that the tilt lock can lock the head down *or* up. So you can raise the head to do stuff like remove the beater or scrape it down, and not worry that the head will slam down while you’re doing it.

The not-so-good: none of the model-unique parts are available anymore. The lower gear case, the tilt lock mechanism, and all of the color parts are NLA. (That’s especially unfortunate in the case of the planetary, which is the modern pressed-together design and it will probably fail some day.)

This machine also uses a unique bowl, which has a unique base that is not compatible with the other screw-mount bowls, has straighter sides than the standard bowl, and which is (you guessed it) No Longer Available. So if you get your hands on an Accolade and don’t have a bowl for it, good luck.

Fun fact about the bowl: it’s not a simple matter of adapting the base to fit the standard twist-on bowl, and KitchenAid clearly went out of their way to make this anything but a simple matter of switching bowl mount plates. In particular, the hole patterns on the different mount plates don’t line up; and the bowl base on the standard bowl is smaller than the Accolade bowl.

KA did this because the Accolade planetary has a larger radius than the standard one — it’s the same planetary as the Pro series — so even though the Accolade uses the same accessories as the standard tilt-head, the beater would slam into the sides of the standard bowl in use. The Accolade bowl accommodates this by having straighter sides than the standard bowl (which itself tapers in more toward the bottom). So, even if you could make an adapter for the bowl base, you still wouldn’t be able to use a K45/Artisan bowl with the Accolade.

Flossie had a bit of a hard road getting here. She was listed on eBay as “EUC” (Excellent Used Condition), and arrived anything but, due to poor packing. The hinge cover over the accessory drive was twisted, the tilt lock lever was bent, the accessory hub thumb screw was cracked, she picked up a small dent on her rump, and there were scuffs and scrapes everywhere. Fortunately, the worst of it was repairable and most of the scuffs buffed out.

Hi, Flo.

The Pink Satin is a *really* nice finish. It’s hard to see in this photo, but there’s a little sparkle to it which really comes out under bright lights.