Over time, Sean and his wife adjusted some of the proscribed details for the kitchen. Originally, the kitchen and freezer were below counter and adjacent to the stove. When Daphne got tired of bending down too often, they bought a tall fridge/freezer combo and experimented with where to put it. Eventually, when other spots didn't work out, it ended up in the pantry. Sean said he liked it there for the privacy it afforded (ie. no one sees you drink straight out of the milk container.)
During the shooting of this tour, Sean was preparing some spaghetti carbonara (recipe below) and garlic bread for himself and his six-year old son, Owen. The meal was prepared with aplomb and an impressive array of multi-tasking, in well under an hour. By the time I left, Sean and his son were enjoying their first swirls of pasta. Sean topped off his carbonara with some parsley but the garnish did not interest his son. In fact, Owen said, "I will never eat that!" Someday, he may have to eat those words.
Sean's Response to the Kitchn Survey
What's your cooking style? Fast, as hunger is what brings it on. I do a lot of high heat rangetop crashing together of dinner. Though I'm changing a bit and slowing things down. I used to get pretty excited about exotic flavor, but now I'm fascinated by protein and watching our kids eat vegetables.
What inspires your kitchen? I am a big fan of the kitchens in Pedro Almodovar movies. Bright. Graphic. Cooked-in.
What is your favorite kitchen tool or element? I love having a couch in the kitchen. And a stove in an island. This means company. I love having a big sprayer in the sink. And a garbage disposal. And the major btu output of a commercial stove.
Best cooking advice or tip you ever received: Always be cleaning.
Biggest challenge in your kitchen: Mess.
Biggest indulgence: Commercial meat slicer purchased on ebay.
Dream tool or splurge: Commercial dishwasher—the kind that does a load in 90 seconds.
What are you cooking this week? Carbonara , cauliflower, poached chicken, miso soup, mushroom risotto, maybe pesto.
What cookbook has inspired you the most? I'm not a recipe person usually, but I do like The Return of the Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver
What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen? We've been here for almost 16 years, so there have been a lot of meals. Recent standout was a lamb stew this past winter. Got the meat from 3 corner farms at Union Square Greenmarket and cooked Jamie Oliver's recipe from above-mentioned book — in a 150 year old skillet my grandparents had in their wagon when they went west. The best part, weirdly, was the celeriac….
Recipe for Spaghetti Carbonara
Carbonara for 4. Separate 4 eggs, keeping about 20% of the whites and all the yolks. Grate a bowlful of Parmigiano Reggiano. Cook five strips of bacon, chop them up, and keep 20% of the grease. Cook pasta. Mix all the above and throw back on the heat, adding some olive oil and a few splashes of milk. Stay on the heat till the egg has set however much you like your eggs to set. Definite kid pleaser.
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(Images: Jill Slater)