Upon entering Doug's kitchen, I immediately thought of Studio 54 and the Palladium: shiny, with the promise and allure of excitement. And yet, it's not an 80's nightclub. It's a place to prepare meals and spend time with family!
I guess one can get used to anything, but I found that working in a space full of reflective surfaces was invigorating. Doug was looking for something a little different and he certainly found it.
By placing the sink and the stove in the center island, Doug enabled the chef to do most of the work with his or her back to the wall, facing towards the natural light of the rear massive windows. The chef is also easily accessible to those huddled or relaxing around the dining room table. Whether it's the kids or dinner guests, being able to interact across the island/counter while cooking is invaluable.
The glam factor may not be for everyone, but if you think you can handle it, it's definitely going to keep on giving!
10 Questions for Doug (and his Kitchen)
What inspires your kitchen and your cooking?
Really good food blogs and cookbooks can be so enticing and inspiring. We use a lot of recipes and tips from "The Family Dinner Book" by Kirstin Uhrenholdt and Laurie David. They have a wonderful cookbook and website which is a favorite and such a great source of information.
What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
My wife does a lot of the cooking. One of her little favorite tools is a spiral vegetable slicer. You can make "spaghetti" from zucchini and other veggies, and the kids love it. Also, an immersion blender, zester for citrus, a salad spinner! There are so many good gadgets.
What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen?
We cooked a Mexican feast with Chicken Tinga on tostadas, whole baked fish, vegetarian enchiladas, home made tomatillo sauce, and of course, great guacamole. The guests could barely walk home after that meal. The Margaritas helped, too.
Biggest challenge in your kitchen?
Keeping little fingerprints off the cabinets.
Biggest indulgence or splurge in the kitchen?
We installed a very powerful kitchen exhaust fan over the stove so that we can sear meat and fry fish without smelling up the whole house. Definitely worth it.
Is there anything you hope to add or improve in your kitchen?
We have a few planters outside the kitchen windows with fresh herbs; it would be great to expand that into some lettuces and tomatoes in the summer seasons. It would be lovely to just reach out and grab some fresh greens for a salad.
How would you describe your cooking style?
We like fresh food without too much fuss. We eat a lot of vegetables, beans, grains and greens. Not so big on fancy sauces and dishes that take a long time to make.
Best cooking advice or tip you ever received:
Practice. You get better with each meal, whether it's a terrible one or an amazing one. Don't be intimidated of a long list of ingredients in a recipe.
What is your favorite cookbook?
That would be hands down The Family Dinner Book, which also has family activities, games and topics of conversation for the dinner table. The recipes are made so that kids can help out with the cooking. We also love Jamie Oliver's books.
We're always looking for real kitchens from real cooks.
Show us your kitchen here!
(Images: Jill Slater)