Nigel Slater fans in America, this post might frustrate you! Unfortunately, it's still not possible to watch Mr. Slater's cooking shows in the US. (I don't understand why they're not distributed here, but that's another post.) Ahem. OK, so moving on, we can at least take a little peek at the set of his latest show, Nigel Slater's Simple Cooking, which premiered in the UK last week.
While Nigel Slater's done several cooking shows for British television over the years, Simple Cooking is the third season in a series that focuses on being in the kitchen, usually inspired by his garden or a friend or a shop in London. We visited Mr. Slater's kitchen last year, when an intrepid commenter discovered that it indeed was not his home kitchen. Still, the clean white lines and bare wood elements were much admired.
In this new season, we have a whole new kitchen to explore. I'm assuming that it, too, is a set and again will rely on our reader's intrepidness to confirm this. A few of the elements from the old set have carried over. We have another stunning wall of windows leading to the garden, but this time, they're actually folding doors (see above.) And we still have the "hidden" refrigerator, a wall oven (see below) and butcher block counters.
The most obvious new elements are the rich, dark color palate and the addition of a lot of windows. There is also a great deal of open shelving for storage, a minimally styled island/prep table and a simple chair in the corner (for perusing cookbooks, I imagine!) White is introduced through the floor and ceiling and the large cupboard which is used as a pantry.
The kitchen has some wonderful practicality, such as the wall of cookbooks and the study area which turns the space into more of a cooking studio, a concept I like and desperately covet. The sink, stove, oven, prep area and refrigerator, while not in the classic triangle, seem to have a nice flow. At first the pantry area seemed too far away but I suspect that this has more to do with the use of wide angle lens in the photos above. The shot below shows the kitchen viewed from the outside, the pantry just a few short step from the prep area.
Some will find the open storage impractical and will wonder where he keeps the trash/recycling, and I suspect that the space would get pretty dim on a rainy day. But all-in-all I like the way the crisp, contemporary features work with the rich tones and wood elements to create a modern space that is also warm and inviting. I would not turn away an offer to spend some time here, chopping and slicing and stirring a pot, especially if Mr. Slater happened to be hanging around as well.
(Image: Nigel Slater's Simple Cooking, BBC)