Kitchen Tour: Patricia's One-Stop Kitchen

Patricia was a pioneer in the kitchen appliance world. In 1986, while renovating her kitchen in the townhouse in which she and her husband raised their child, Patricia longed for a commercial grade cooking range.

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At the time, what she sought did not exist. If she were to put a professional range in her home, New York building regulations would require her to add six inches of insulation on all sides. At the time, there was a man in Mississippi addressing a similar need expressed by his wife. He decided to build what didn't exist on the market, but got little encouragement from others. Investors told him 'microwaving was the future,' and that no one would want a big industrial style range in their kitchen. Patricia bought his first prototype and the rest is history, as they say. Or a very successful business. Or both. And Patricia became, as she likes to refer to herself, "the patron saint of Viking."

Patricia and her husband left that townhouse three years ago to move into this apartment which did not come with a kitchen. Patricia loved the idea of building a kitchen from scratch. She knew who she'd be calling, but didn't realize that Viking would be able to provide not only all her appliances but her cabinets as well! Patricia is a seriously loyal brand shopper.

Patricia didn't leave the world's first Viking prototype cooking range behind. For the company's 20th anniversary, Patricia was asked if she'd mind trading in her range for a brand new replacement. It was an easy decision for Patricia and the company now has an original prototype on display in their museum!

Raised in a big Italian family, Patricia grew up around great food. She loves to cook, and loves to entertain. So, luckily, her beautiful kitchen is in constant use.

Patricia's Kitchn Survey Results:

What's your cooking style? My heritage is Italian, so whether I make a traditional recipe or something I made up myself, the style is the same: great ingredients and simple preparation.

What inspires your kitchen? My kitchen is beautiful but also very functional. I cook. A lot. Daily for my husband and myself. But often for dinner parties or even big celebrations of say, forty people. And sometimes I cook with friends. Because of this, I really love how comfortably my kitchen functions as a real work space.

What is your favorite kitchen tool or element? No contest: It's my Viking Range, with all its lovely BTU's. When we've had a busy day and come home hungry and tired, I can make us some pasta with whatever is in the fridge or the larder in no time flat. With an ordinary stove, it takes forever for the pasta water to boil!

Best cooking advice or tip you ever received: I got that advice from my grandfather, who was an immigrant from Naples. I remember shopping for vegetables with him when I was a very little girl and his showing me how to judge whether the asparagus were really fresh. He said, "If you are going to put it inside your body, you want it to be only the best you can find and afford." I still live by that axiom.

Biggest challenge in your kitchen: Thinking of things all four of my grandchildren will want to eat. Their tastes sometimes are at odds.

Biggest indulgence: That changes from time to time. Right now, it's white truffle oil to drizzle over my wild mushroom risotto.

Dream tool or splurge: My dream came true when we bought this loft that had no kitchen. I got to make my kitchen everything I had dreamed of. What a thrill for an enthusiastic cook.

What are you cooking this week? Yesterday: roast pork and broccoli rapi
Tonight: Fillet of flounder poached in tomatoes, olives, and capers and a nice big salad.Tomorrow: Who knows. We shop for our dinner on a daily basis. Fortunately, we live in an area where that is efficient for us.

What cookbook has inspired you the most? You are going to laugh at the dichotomy of this, but my favorites are: The Betty Crocker Cookbook and Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.

What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen? Oh, wow. A couple come to mind. One was the party to celebrate the launch of my first novel--Poached salmon, corn and bean salad, insalata caprese, a big green salad, and a brownie sheet cake frosted with a scene from the book.

And the other was a dinner party that included a former food writer for the New York Times (nervous-making in the extreme: Risotto with zucchini flowers, Marcella Hazan's Veal and Sausage all'uccelletto, haricots verts, and strawberry rhubarb pie alla mode.

Resources:
I am thrilled with my all Viking kitchen, including St. Charles Cabinets. The floor is the beautiful terra cotta tile that was here when we bought the apartment, with its great patina. The counter tops are Zodiaq, and backsplash tiles from Country Floors. Yum!

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(Images: Jill Slater)

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