While visiting Katherine's home, I had the pleasure of witnessing her prepare luscious lemon scones. It was both calming and invigorating. She is a seasoned baker, so the ingredients and prepping proceeded effortlessly. And I can attest to the excellence of the finished product! From what I can tell, Katherine is not easily flustered. Patience is a crucial skill while chipping away at building a new home, one weekend at a time, for three years.
Until the bedrooms upstairs are completed, Katherine and her husband sleep behind a slotted wooden partition in the corner of their nearly perfect kitchen. The kitchen was one of the first rooms tackled in their iterative construction project. It boasts IKEA cabinets, wonderful vintage finds and beautiful natural light by way of generous windows facing the backyard. The kitchen's island countertop is a piece of fitted plywood. Katherine's kids and their friends infused it with personality and appeal during an all day coloring spree. Eventually, however, it and the backsplash will be made of marble.
While the kitchen is part of a larger overhaul, much of the original brownstone aura is preserved. Katherine's casual but thoughtful mix of new and old, practical and whimsical, means that the kitchen can be lived-in and comfortable at the same time as modern and efficient. A rare balance, for sure!
10 Questions for Katherine (and Her Kitchen)
What inspires your kitchen and your cooking?
My Grandmothers are my inspiration. They were amazing southern cooks! They were both really great bakers.
What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
An old pastry tool which I use for cutting butter & Crisco for pie crusts & biscuits.
What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen?
New Mexican Green Chile is my family's favorite meal. I lived in New Mexico for a while and learned to cook New Mexican Green Chile from a Native American. I use to get my chiles from The Kitchen, a great New Mexican produce store in the city, but it closed. Now I get them air-mailed directly from a farm in New Mexico. It is simply divine!
Biggest challenge in your kitchen?
I wish that I had had more room between the cabinets and the island, but space was an issue.
Biggest indulgence or splurge in the kitchen:
The biggest indulgence will be the marble backsplash and island counter that we have yet to buy.
Is there anything you hope to add or improve in your kitchen?
Adding the marble island counter, so pastry making will be even better!
How would you describe your cooking style?
Best cooking advice or tip you ever received:
Keep your butter cold!
What is your favorite cookbook?
Once Upon A Tart by Frank Mentesana and Jerome Audureau.
What are you cooking this week?
I made a Senegalese Stew on Sunday to feed my family a couple times because I have two shoots this week.
• Thermador Stove
• Bosch Refrigerator with blackboard inset
• Integrated Stainless Steel counter — American Circle, 718.388.9637
• Frankle Sink & washboard
• Ikea cabinetry
• Kitchen Tour Archive: Check out past kitchen tours here
We're always looking for real kitchens from real cooks.
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(Images: Jill Slater)