Reading Gastronomica: My Father’s Kitchen, Tel Aviv

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

The beautiful kitchens in our house tours tend to be on their best behavior. Crumbs are cleared. The cookbooks are neatly stacked. All the chairs are pushed in.

Published in the spring issue of Gastronomica, Yossi Gutmann’s photo essay of his father’s Tel Aviv kitchen shows a very different kind of kitchen and tells a different kind of story. We loved it for this very difference.

I was particularly arrested by this image of a crowded counter top.

The wax-splattered menorah in the bottom corner and the thick glasses (probably long forgotten) in the middle ground tell as much of a story as Gutmann’s description of his father’s breakfast: “…one small cucumber, a hard-boiled egg, five tablespoons of low-fat yogurt mixed with cottage cheese.”

We’ve spent time thinking about our kitchens and what they say about us. And we pay tribute to the skills and recipes our parents taught us. But reading this article and looking at the pictures made me think about our parents’ kitchens and what they might say about them.

In my mind, my parents’ kitchen is a sun-splashed table covered entirely with newspapers, letters, books, and hand-written notes. A pair of binoculars to watch the birds and African violets on the window sill. The dishes are always done.

What are your memories of your parents’ kitchens?

For a free download of Guttman’s photo essay, visit

(All images by Yossi Gutmann, 2007)