The open kitchen trend
This week's Shallow Thought
Wednesday Thursday entry has evolved into a discussion of open kitchens and what their value is. I love this insight by Robert (the Single One):
Open kitchens are nothing more than the road crew standing around watching the one guy shovel stone. Everyone (well at least of the Y chromosome persuasion) likes to watch other people work. And if the workers use lots of neat toys, oops, I mean tools, so much the better. Ever watch the plumber in your house? New windows, siding and roof are nirvana.
Anyway if you have more to say on the whole open kitchen subject, say it here so people won't miss it. ...
Here's what Joanna Daemmrich wrote in her story on the subject a few years ago in the Taste section:
"Chefs no longer are blue-collar workers who toil in the back; they're now celebrities who perform in front of the dining room. ...And kitchens have become a central attraction, artfully designed, sometimes lined with bar stools to let curious customers sit even closer to the cooking.
"'You get this adrenaline going,' says [Alison Chase of Aqua Terra in Annapolis] whisking tempura batter on a busy night. ... 'If I sense there's not enough energy in the restaurant yet, I'll squirt some oil on the grill to get flames going. I have fun with it, absolutely.'
"Dining out has always been about entertainment. Sitting next to a crowded and noisy restaurant kitchen, though, used to be considered not stylish but unpleasant.
"What happened over the past two decades, according to restaurateurs and kitchen designers, is that eating in the kitchen became commonplace, even chic, made popular by televised cooking shows and 'great rooms' in modern homes.
"These days, open kitchens can be found in all kinds of restaurants, from the national chain Romano's Macaroni Grill to Baltimore's elegant Charleston. At some of the hottest restaurants around town, the best seats are by the burners."
(Chiaki Kawajiri/Sun photographer)