My new ‘minimalist kitchen’ is complete. Yet a kitchen that boasts minimalism seems such a contradiction to its function, an oxymoron for certain. It is impossible to use and enjoy cooking food in a kitchen that looks like a show home but after a lifetime of having a kitchen that says a cook lives here, I have finally opted for an uncluttered kitchen. But I have a secret to share, I have a small pantry/kitchen hidden away behind sliding doors. Years of experience told me it is impossible to cook in a perfect kitchen.
I kept the main kitchen area as uncluttered as possible since it looks into the living and dining area but most of all my working area faces a beautiful view. I dislike overhead cupboards and I have banished handles, the white two pack surface of the cupboards and drawers are very easy to clean.
Kitchen bench tops get a battering and so I chose stainless steel as a surface for the business end. Stainless steel stands up to all who are clumsy in the kitchen and also if you drop something on steel it is more forgiving than stone. I did opt for reconstituted quartz stone on the servery bench facing the living area. The stone backsplash and bench is essentially white but it is randomly flecked with glitter. I had to have some glamour.
Together I have three ovens and I am still busy testing each one. Since I fitted out my last kitchen, some 16 years ago, ovens have come a long way and now are finely tuned to do the thinking for you. One oven has an option of appointing myself the experienced cook or inexperienced. If using the latter, it senses the weight and even tells you which rack to place the dish on and voila, it cooks the chosen dish. If you choose the ‘expert mode’ that is me……then I just carry on as usual setting my own temperatures and deciding where to place the food. There is a little computer in there that asks me if I want to save my personal favourite settings. I suppose if you haven’t cooked much and obtain one of these it would be like driving an automatic car from the day you get your licence and never ever driving a manual.
At last I have a rotisserie, actually two rotisseries just to show off a little, as two of the ovens have this feature. I haven’t tired of watching chickens rotating around and follow their progress as they turn golden. If you are like me, some of the eating is done with my eyes then it definitely sets the mood to appreciate the meal before it is even on the table.
I also have a steam function in the oven you see here. For my friends who know me as the owner of a former cookery school where I had Zanussi commercial equipment, I have bought from the De Dietrich range. De Dietrich is a French company who have begun to infiltrate the market here competing with Miele and Gaggenau.
I always said I would buy commercial ovens again as I am still using the ones I bought 16 years ago for the Brisbane house and they are still going strong but I was completely taken with these new domestic options. Also as I rent this house out when not here I thought commercial cooking tops and ovens may be daunting for people renting on a short term basis.
Yet the big departure from commercial equipment is not the new smart ovens but using an induction cooktop in place of gas. I hate electric cooktops but this is induction and I thought it time to catch up with chefs who have converted. Not only is it quicker than gas, yes that is true, it is not messy, and at the end of each cooking session, needs a mere wipe. I don’t have to be a slave to cleaning a gas top, removing all the parts, soaking them and scrubbing with scourers. I am not going to waste time spruiking about its energy efficiency, one of its redeeming features, I am just enjoying the intelligence of the cooktop as it heats the pots up or down as quickly as my mind works.
So if the principles of minimalism are to bring about a feeling of well being and energy, then I hope the holiday renters who come here next year leave with the same feeling of exhilaration and refreshment as I will.
My next project the new front garden.