A passion for food + fashion

Posts Tagged ‘KITCHEN’

Kitchen Makeover

In Design, Fashion on June 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm

My friend Kim Friday, who is a senior fashion editor at Women’s Wear Daily, is also a fierce cook. So when I noticed kitchen demo photos going up on her Facebook page a couple months ago, I couldn’t wait to see the finished results. She started with this.

Kim Friday’s Kitchen: Pre-Makeover

Poor little Lola (pictured above) needed a more stylish space for her kibble, so Kim took her editor’s eye and created a super chic kitchen in a 30-square-foot space. Here it is, ready for its closeup! The paint colors all have lovely names like the Martha Stewart Popcorn on the walls or the Farrow & Ball Elephant’s Breathe on the cabinets. The space seems so much bigger thanks to sleek cabinets, integrated appliances (like a Fisher & Paykel dishwasher drawer) and other clever space savers. She gives us the skinny, below…

The Reveal: Kim Friday’s Kitchen

What were some of the design challenges in designing the space?
First and foremost its size—30 square feet, welcome to New York City!—and L-shape. I used finger pulls for hardware, a garage door to conceal the microwave, an integrated dishwashing drawer that blends right into the cabinets, and painted pegboard (in honor of Julia Child) the same color as the wall so the pots and pans look like they are floating. Everything has its place.

A pegboard is painted the same color as the wall so pots appear to be floating.

My building was also a challenge as it was constructed in 1931, which meant all kinds of soffits that concealed plumbing or electrical that couldn’t be moved. My kitchen designer, Sally Humphreys, had her work cut out for her.
Did your experience as a fashion editor come into play?
I think for me the new kitchen had to tick three boxes that were equally important—maximize space, be super functional and look great. I approached it much like I would a shoot starting with tear sheets and images of kitchens I liked, paint chips, appliances and accessories that spoke to me. When I couldn’t find specific things I wanted I improvised, which is very much a stylist’s trick. My spice rack is in fact a picture shelf from West Elm, and I made my own kitchen mat with fabric, spray adhesive and polyurethane.

Metal Picture Ledge via westelm.com

Kim’s spice shelf

What is the first you cooked in your new kitchen?
I planned on doing a simple salad with sweet grape tomatoes that my vegetable guy on Madison/72nd squirrels away for me, drizzled with the J. Leblanc hazelnut oil I got on my birthday trip to Paris, and a cheese soufflé, served with a gorgeous bottle of ’98 Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame that I’ve been saving for the occasion. Plans changed when it was finally finished on the weekend True Blood premiered it’s new season. I always host True Blood Sunday with friends so instead the first meal ended up being an ode to Louisiana with a crazy good seafood gumbo with cornbread muffins and a mixed berry crumble for dessert.
What five things will we always find in your pantry/fridge?
1. Intelligentsia coffee, I live for their El Gallo organic breakfast blend
2. Couscous – I like Savion’s Homestyle Plain Passover version that’s made with Matzo
3. Some sort of fish, lately a lot of local wild flounder and sea scallops
4. Assorted vegetables. In the winter root vegetables and kale, in the summer I love all sorts of tomatoes, beets, spinach and sweet corn
5. Stoli Vodka & Rose’s Lime Juice for gimlets
What five things will we always find in your wardrobe?
1. T by Alexander Wang v-neck tee shirts
2. Slouchy Tse Cashmere sweaters
3. Rick Owens or vintage Ghost wide-leg pants or pull-on midi skirts
4. Statement Accessories – lately it’s this massive black leather bangle by Honest Joe, a gorgeous wood and horn ring my pals at Sticks & Stones in Portland gave me and my engraved neon Original Satchel Company bag.
5. Ann Demuelemeester boots in winter, Christian Louboutin sandals in the summer.
What is your advice for designing a space that looks good and gets the job done?
Make a list of what you use regularly and what are the biggest challenges when you are cooking, then start ripping out tear sheets from magazines and printing pics from websites and blogs. You’ll see a trend fairly quickly of what you gravitate towards.
From left: Fretwork bracket in doorway salvaged from the porch of Kim’s childhood home. Umbra floating shelves hold her favorite cookbooks.

Vintage Linen Bread Bags

In Design, Food on January 8, 2011 at 10:13 am

I’d read about these Swedish bread bags on Momfilter‘s facebook page a while back—and, off topic—for those of us still mourning the loss of Cookie mag, how excited are we for Momfilter’s launch this year? The online Scandinavian design shop Huset sells these gorgeous Farmor bread bags made from vintage cotton linen tea towels that are sewn and embroidered by a little old lady in Sweden, or so I’m told. Unlike paper bags, which harden bread, or plastic, which renders it soggy, bread stays fresh longer in cotton linen. And seeing is believing. It really, really works. Days later the above boule of Homeboy multigrain bread that I picked up at Black Cat Bakery was still fresh after storage in this chic little bag. When ordering mine online, I mentioned in the comments section that our kitchen colorway was brown and gray with copper and pale blue accents. The bag looks like it was tailor-made to live in our kitchen. Each bag is unique so let the good people at Huset surprise you! Or, if you’re feeling crafty, why not make your own out of a favorite tea towel?

Niche Modern Binary Pendant Lamp

In Design, Fashion, On Location: Out and About in L.A. on August 18, 2010 at 10:59 am

I received several emails yesterday about the pendant lamp in our kitchen. I love hearing from you, especially when you like something but even when you don’t! So thank you—and please don’t be shy, leave a comment! I have to tell you, this lamp really does it for me. I searched high and low to find just the right light fixture to hang above our kitchen table when we redid our kitchen a couple years ago. The winner was this Niche Modern Binary Pendant Lamp in the most delicious chocolate-colored glass. The company offers a dreamy series of hand-blown pendants with filament bulbs.

The initial inspiration for our kitchen lighting came from one of my most prized belongings, a “Bicycle Street, Paris 1963″ 30 x 30 photograph from Melvin Sokolsky’s “Bubble” series for Harper’s Bazaar.

"Bicycle Street, Paris 1963" by Melvin Sokolsky

I wanted a translucent bubble-shaped shade floating above the table, much in the way that the bubble floats above Paris in this photograph, and I love the double bulbs in Niche’s binary lamp, which lend an organic feel to the fixture. In fact, this bubble in this photograph inspired much of the kitchen design like the round Cherner table that sits beneath it and a Max Bill clock that hangs nearby above the door.

Why my obsession with this photo? Beside the fact that it is GORGEOUS, forty years after the Bubble series was shot, I had the honor of producing a fashion shoot with Mr. Sokolsky at Disney Hall. We were the very first to shoot a fashion story at Disney Hall—before it was even open to the public—and it was a shoot I’ll never forget. One of my besties, Vincent Boucher, was the stylist on that story and we still laugh about how I literally had to take the shirt off my back (I wish I were kidding) to wipe out smudges left by the crew on Disney’s stainless steel exterior. And that was just the tip of that iceberg’s drama. Here’s a shot from that day. I like to think the metal boules are referencing those larger-than-life plexiglass bubbles Sokolsky used in Paris almost half a century ago…

© Melvin Sokolsky 2003

Vintage Heath

In Design on July 29, 2010 at 6:55 pm

This post is so long overdue, it’s embarrassing. Earlier this spring, my in-laws were visiting from the East Coast. For Mother’s Day, my husband picked out a beautiful trio of Heath Ceramics bud vases in a chartreuse, aqua blue and natural for my mother-in-law to go in her “Florida room” at their home in Gulf Stream. We are nuts for Heath over here and based the entire color scheme for our home on my favorite Heath glaze, French Grey. My mother-in-law mentioned a few pieces of Heath she’d picked up several decades ago at a thrift shop that were more in our kitchen’s color scheme than hers. The next week, I opened a package from my mother-in-law containing this vintage pitcher, creamer and sugar set in a long-retired glaze that is heaven. I love the faintly mottled look of it, and the bright turquoise interior. Oh, and that we own a little piece of American history from this beloved Sausalito company.

Sex After Sixty

In Drink, Fashion, Food, Media, Recipes on July 23, 2010 at 11:38 am

Without doubt, what I love best about this blog are the people it has lead me to, total strangers who have become virtual friends. And at the top of that list is a woman I greatly admire, Mary L. Tabor. And so today, it is my great honor to talk with the writer about her seductive new memoir, (Re) Making Love: A Sex After Sixty Story. First, buy the book by clicking HERE. Then, settle in for a delicious conversation with Mary, complete with her recipe for finding lasting love…

FOODINISTA: Your first book, a collection of short stories, is The Woman Who Never Cooked. Who is that woman? How does she differ from you?

MARY: I am hidden inside the fiction and oddly or maybe not so odd, I included three memoir pieces that I don’t identify as such. That’s the first tip-off. In the fiction, I used food and adultery as metaphor for the grief I bore through my mother’s, my father’s and my sister’s illnesses and deaths. I wasn’t sure who I was. I didn’t know when I wrote “The Woman Who Never Cooked,” the title story, that I would become that woman. The story relies on cooking, despite its title, and scrolls through recipes from some of my favorites: The Silver Palate Cookbook, Julia Child’s The Art of French Cooking, The Ramognolis’ Table, Martha Stewart’s Pies and Tarts, Chez Panisse Desserts, Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts, Gourmet’s Best Desserts, Silver Palate Desserts.

I stopped cooking after D. in my memoir left me. Was I prescient? I don’t think so. I do think that cooking and love and family are inextricably entwined.

I’m cooking again. I know that’s a good sign.

FOODINISTA: What is the great seduction dish of all time?

MARY: It begins with a joke and ends with a kiss. I read this recently somewhere: “Vacationing in Vermont, someone picked up the local paper to check out the forecast. It read: Today: Sunny, 76. Tonight: Not so sunny, 55.” I laughed and thought of eating lobster at a lobster shack somewhere in Maine. That’s near Vermont, right? Geography is not my long suit. For me, boiled lobster is the ultimate seduction dish. And I’ll never forget watching Darryl Hannah eat one shell and all in a Rom-Com I love: Splash. But I hear she’s a vegetarian so that was a very complicated lobster.

Complicated is good where love is concerned.

If I were going to seduce a man, I would make Pierre Franey’s (the 60-Minute Gourmet whose passing left a hole in my favorite rag The New York Times that Mark Bittman has done a great job of filling) chocolate mousse and his Strawberries Romanoff (strawberries steeped in Grand Marnier, orange peel and topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream).

Dessert first. Then make love and think about food later when you’re starving.

FOODINISTA: Your new memoir (Re)Making Love is about finding love after sixty, but there are rather beautiful truths for women of any age. I particularly loved the chapter about your hair. What can a haircut say about a woman? Does long hair at 24 mean the same thing at 64? Incidentally, after a bad breakup in my 20s, I cut off all my hair and moved to Paris. The short hair played well over there. It did not have the same effect when I moved back to San Francisco.

MARY: I remember when Mia Farrow cut her hair but wasn’t that after she hooked up with Frank Sinatra? I remember Jean Seberg, really cute haircut, in Breathless, but, golly, she did also play Joan of Arc.

I do think the French, despite all the bashing we Americans sometimes get from them, have an esthetic that focuses on beauty and sensuality in a way that we Americans can learn but don’t grow up with: The reason your short hair in Paris was a hit.

I first cut my hair after my second child was born: Went into the bathroom and cut my ponytail off with a scissors. Something was going on with that crazy move—and I don’t think it had to do with my kids—first husband maybe?

I then let it grow and cut it again when a corporate job and raising two kids on my own was my stated reason, but I had also met the man I later married: my second marriage.

In 2002 when I let my hair grow again—what I refer to as the trial of the hair: Have you ever grown out curly hair?—the result gave me a new sense of my sensuality. Long and white, this hair will not see the scissors again.

So, if there’s a difference, it’s not age, it’s Paris.

FOODINISTA: Is La Perla the best revenge?

MARY: Feeling beautiful inside is the best revenge. A good bra on the way there helps like this one from La Perla:

I don’t have this bra but, if I did, I’d dance around the kitchen in it and pretend I was Lady Gaga.

Will he love you when you’re 64? He will, with or without the bra.

FOODINISTA:  In (Re) Making Love there were three kitchens and two husbands. Tell us about your dream kitchen and your dream husband.

MARY: My dream kitchen would have a Wolf range top, two Miele wall ovens, a Subzero fridge and freezer and a stainless steel island with lots of electrical outlets. And the sink would have a window over it.

My dream husband would cook with me in that kitchen and he’d be the man who wrote this description of my memoir: here’s an excerpt of what the man I love actually wrote to help promote the book:

“A series of men appear—all identified as a lower-case first initial—while the upper-case D. weaves out and in, as both he and Mary maneuver through the separation. Along the way are the Internet dates, emails, T.S. Eliot and Nietzsche, romantic comedies and the Grimm Brothers, photographs, recipes, dreams, Obamas, and yes, even the kitchen sink. Her journey moves from her home in Washington, DC to Missouri to Australia and eventually to Paris, a visit that offers a stunning surprise that changes her life.”

Gotta love him, and I do.

FOODINISTA: Please share two recipes for love—one philosophical, one we can cook.

MARY: Philosophical recipe:

Never forget the Laws of Thermodynamics. C.P. Snow provided this shorthand to remember the laws: 1. You cannot win. 2. You cannot break even. 3. You cannot get out of the game.

But if you stay in the game, you can dance even when it seems that the dancers have all gone under the hill.

Now go to the farmers market, buy corn and tomatoes and lots of basil.

Slice the tomatoes, sprinkle with some grated parmesan and asiago cheese, preferably from The Cowgirl Creamery, around the corner from me. Add a chiffonade of basil, salt and pepper. Then make Angel Hair Pasta and Pesto. I refer to this as my McDonald’s meal ’cause to me this is fast food fast and it says summer.

1 or 2 bunches basil (about two cups, leaves only)

1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (or more; I don’t measure; just look)

4 cloves of garlic

the best extra virgin olive oil you can afford

Put the garlic cloves, the basil and the cheese in your food processor. Give it all a whirl while you pour in olive oil until you see green of summer like grass in a field.

Boil angel hair pasta (the best homemade brand you can find or use DeCecco) ever so briefly. Put the pasta in a beautiful bowl, scrape all the pesto on top, pour a quarter cup or so of the pasta water on top. Toss and serve with corn and tomatoes.

Serve with one of my son’s imported wines: I like S.C. Pannell’s 2007 Sauvignon Blanc or try the best buy ever, my son’s Woop Woop Shiraz.

Don’t forget to tell jokes and kiss while cooking: You will taste both in the pesto. And remember Robert Hass the poet who says in “The Privilege of Being,” “Many are making love. Up above, the angels/ in the unshaken ether and crystal of human longing/ are braiding one another’s hair, which is strawberry blond … .”

The Refrigerator Personality Test

In Food on April 8, 2010 at 10:18 am

“Show me what you store, and I’ll tell you what you are,” wrote Los Angeles Times Food Editor Russ Parsons in a column last year entitled “The Refrigerator Personality Test.” I’ve known Russ for over a decade, and worked with him for at least half that long, but after reading that column learned a little more about this superb human being. Like that Russ is sentimental and hangs onto hot sauce for 20 years. That he is perhaps also fickle in love, which explains the fleeting flirtation with a tube of cast-aside yuzu-koshu pepper paste. I’ve never forgotten the story, and was reminded of it again this morning when I was looking for something as simple as a jar of Dijon mustard (we’re out) and instead found a random of assortment of condiments that included four spicy mustards of varying heat, jars of capers, lemon curd, fig paste, pomegranate syrup, two jars of Nuttzo (god forbid we run out, but seriously, it’s great in a smoothie), almond butter, pistachio and walnut oils, Sriracha, tubes of anchovy and tomato paste and several bottles of apéritifs and rosé in the refrigerator door alone. They are joined by less esoteric tubs of mayonnaise, ketchup, maple syrup, soy sauce, Diet Dr. Pepper and butter.

My refrigerator shelves reinforce that I am far less imaginative than Russ, whose fridge boasts caramelized onions, olives he’s cured, undeveloped rolls of film, Spanish pickled anchovies and Cougar Gold canned cheese. In my own icebox, I find enough dairy to start, well, a dairy: milk, buttermilk, cream, eggs, plain yogurt (sheep and cow), mascarpone, and more cheese than I could ever eat (which is a lie; I will eat it all: parm, goat, feta, blue, pecorino, Swiss, Vermont cheddar, fresh ricotta, cream cheese, shredded pepper Jack; string cheese for Tiny G). There’s more rosé, Madeira, several bottles of Japanese and Belgian beer, a bottle of Henriot, half finished jar of chocolate sauce, a jar of my aunt Margaret’s homemade peach preserves, two kinds of hummus, puréed squash and ground chicken for Tiny G’s lunch, his sippy cup of milk unfinished from this morning, bacon, a ribeye (for Mr Foodinista’s dinner while I’m at book club tonight), radishes, green onions, cured green olives, a bag of flax seeds, half a red pepper, broccoli, asparagus, basil (most other herbs come from the garden but we need to replant basil, which got attacked), cold cuts of roast beef, a couple bottles of mineral water, huge jar of Bubbies bread and butter chips, blood orange juice, tortillas, strawberries, cantaloupe and a bowl leftover cherry tomato and bocconcini with basil salad from last night’s dinner.

Now that I write that all out, it sounds like a LOT. I guess it is a lot. But in reality the depth of our fridge is pretty shallow, which I love. Items are less likely to get lost and go to waste. (Our freezer drawers are another story for another post.) And after cataloging the contents above, I think I’m going to try to cook my way through our condiments. And cheese, of course. Any ideas? And while we’re at it, what’s in your fridge????

Sunday Morning Pancakes

In Food on March 7, 2010 at 12:29 pm

A couple weeks before I found out I was pregnant with Tiny G, we tore the roof off our house and demo-ed the kitchen. We lived without a kitchen during all but the final month of my pregnancy, and all the while we fantasized what life would be like on the other side—of the remodel, of becoming a family. We talked a lot about pancakes, and how we wanted to wake up on Sunday mornings and make them and then walk into town to the farmer’s market. That year, for my husband’s 35th birthday, I splurged on a gorgeous orange terry cloth robe from Hermès with these Sunday mornings in mind. When it came to picking out our range, we went back and forth on whether to get the griddle option or additional burners; in the end the burners won out and we got this awesome Lodge reversible griddle to put on top of the burners.

And then we woke up to reality. With a newborn, the idea of even showering on a Sunday was pure luxury let alone leisurely pancakes and leafing through the New York Times, or god forbid what kind of a havoc a newborn might bestow on a Belgian cotton robe. But I never let go of the fantasy and knew which recipe would become our family’s favorite.

Fast forward two years. Today we woke up to the most gorgeous sunny Los Angeles day imaginable. We walked to farmer’s market and ran into neighbors and friends…Anna, Hugh, Carolynn, Debra, Jon, Marc, Selena, Andrew, Ariana. Tiny G stopped to listen to some reggae with his favorite friends from music class, Fifi and Desmond.

We got three small bunches of bright orange tulips for $2 a bouquet.

And then we came home and made Poppy Seed Pancakes from one of my favorite blogs, 101 Cookbooks. They get their nutty crunch from toasted sesame seeds and poppy seeds, and wholesome deliciousness from whole wheat flour. One bite and we could taste the future. And let me say, it was worth the wait.

Henry Watson Pottery

In Design on February 25, 2010 at 10:09 am

Several of you have asked about the terracotta canisters in our kitchen. I love them! They’re from the centuries-old and family-owned Henry Watson Potteries in Suffolk, England. Our canisters are from the Original Suffolk Collection, which boasts “Ideal Storage at Home or on Safari.” It seems like when I was a kid living in the Cotswolds, most of my friends’ parents had these canisters in their kitchens so when I had my very first kitchen in St Helena out of college, my father brought these back from England on one of his visits.

Tea Off with a Birdie

In Design, Drink on November 14, 2009 at 9:31 am

kettle

I’ve always loved this Alessi tea kettle with the blue handle and a little red bird whistle, so was tickled to open a package from my parents containing one for my birthday. The bird looks great on top of our Wolf range, which has dark red knobs and the blue handle speaks to some of the light blue accent pieces of Heath Ceramics in our otherwise french gray kitchen.

Kitchen Confidential

In Design on July 2, 2009 at 8:50 am

IMG_1197

A few of you have emailed asking about our kitchen tile backsplash, which is honestly my absolute favorite part of the design! It’s Heath Ceramics from Sausalito (one of the few remaining mid-century American pottery companies still running today). Incidentally, check out the new Heath store on Beverly, inside which my friend Adam Silverman also has a very cool pottery studio.

Even though it looks like there are several different shades of tile, it’s all the same glaze and just varies in warmth because it’s hand glazed! Our tile color is “greystone” and it is the same glaze as our dishes, also Heath, which are French Grey. Our dishes inspired the color palette for the kitchen, from the paint on the walls to the marble countertops (some are white with a brown vein, while the island is brown with a white vein). The design is the GENIUS of Mick de Giulio, who also is responsible for designing the SieMatic Beaux Arts Cabinets in here (and that groovy pot rack, and the plate rack) and consults for SubZero/Wolf. Mick started with a piece of the Heath tile and one of our dishes and went from there. I think the tile helps bridge some of the mid-century items in the kitchen, like the tables and chairs, with some of the more traditional elements, like the lines of the cabinets. The design nerd in me likes to think the binary pendant lamp, round kitchen table and sphere in the photograph on the wall behind the lamp are all having a conversation. Yeah, I know.

IMG_1198

Since de Giulio Kitchen Design is based in Chicago, Mick did all of this sight unseen. Per his request I sent him some snaps of favorite architectural elements from around our house, which was built in 1921, so that the kitchen would feel like it belonged. One of my favorite recurring themes in our house is arches. Check out the arched entry window and front door, built-in book cases and cabinets in the living and dining rooms (not to mention Tiny G’s new Radio Flyer wagon boxed up by the door!):

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In a nod to these elements, Mick added this totally great spice “rack” built into the wall:

IMG_1206

And then I love this hit of copper for warmth in this deep undermount sink from Franke. In fact, it’s not copper, but copper-hued titanium so very durable and won’t patina. Seriously, this sink is awesome for washing huge pots and pans.

IMG_1200

Thank you, Mick! The kitchen is hands-down our favorite room in the house, and where we spend most of our very best times.

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