Ranch-style housing, an architectural style characterized by its long, single floor profile, is extremely popular in neighborhoods throughout Atlanta. Though many families appreciate the typical 3-bedroom/2-bath arrangement, many quickly realize that the focus on compartmentalization and low ceilings limit gathering space quite significantly.
I recently worked with a family with three young daughters who found their ranch set-up a challenge and wanted to “open” the space to enhance family time and allow for entertaining families and friends. Without changing the footprint of the home, our design team was able to create an entirely new layout that combined the living, dining and kitchen area into one large room. Eliminating the fireplace, which had separated an under-served porch, and combining the porch to the living room, further enhanced the large gathering space.
“before” photo of the kitchen
As one can imagine, choosing the kitchen appliances was a central part of the remodel. Aided by 30-inch deep countertops, the Jenn-Air 48” Pro-Style® Range provided ample preparation and cooking area, and at the same time, the multi-functional ovens synchronized baking of entrées and pastries.
At the onset of the redesign of the new kitchen, the owner expressed a desire for a large counter-depth refrigerator. The Jenn-Air 48” fully-integrated refrigerator was one of the few available that met her requirement and ended up being a perfect fit. We positioned the unit near the home’s garage so it was easily accessible for unloading groceries and immediate snack satisfaction after a long day at school!
Once the refrigerator was chosen to accommodate family meals and grocery runs, we wanted to ensure that entertaining needs were fully met as well! We created an area for a wine bar, enabling guests to access the wine while the host completed meal preparations. The beverage center was positioned at the edge of the kitchen and near the living area – a simple way to encourage a flow between the different spaces of the new “great room.”
Keeping the whole cooking cycle in mind, we also ensured that the primary sink and dishwasher were located as far away as possible to the core entertaining space. This allowed dinner parties to extend late into the evening without the thought of unsightly dishes or errands needed to be done the next morning.
After this project was completed, it was clear that though the ranch-style design was architecturally interesting, these changes allowed for greater familial exchange and promoted endless entertaining possibilities. And at the end of the day, what family member or friend doesn’t appreciate that!
BY: Allison Lanier Jones
Jenn-Air was a major sponsor and exhibitor at the 2013 Architectural Digest Home Design Show in New York City held March 21-24. This year marked record attendance at the prestigious show with over 45,000 consumers and design industry professionals visiting the show’s more than 500 luxury exhibitors – from kitchen and bath products to home furnishings and lighting.
Based on past success at the show, Jenn-Air was excited to increase its already significant presence at this year’s show by sponsoring a series of Jenn-Air Master Class Studio seminars presented by The New York Times. Events that took place on the branded stage designed to resemble a high-end kitchen included keynote presentation by editor in chief Margaret Russell with celebrity designer Nate Berkus. Additionally, Jenn-Air general manager Steve Brown joined distinguished designers Jamie Drake and Bruce Bierman in a “Taste & Technology” panel discussion moderated by the award-winning cookbook author and former editor of both Gourmet and Cook’s Illustrated magazines, John “Doc” Willoughby.
Steve also joined Architectural Digest magazine’s publisher Giulio Capua to discuss the Show and luxury goods market on Bloomberg Television’s show “Taking Stock.” To view the segment, “Cutting Edge Consumer Goods Going on Display in NYC,” click here.
And since no event is complete without some sweet treats, media and bloggers stopping by at certain hours to view new products at the Jenn-Air booth including the Accolade ventilation system, a built-in steam and convection oven, six-burner Pro-Style® and Euro-Style cooktops and a built-in espresso maker were met with delicious French macarons. Special thanks to Francois Payard for providing the delightful dessert that were an absolute crowd hit!
All in all, it was another great year at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show! If you didn’t have the chance to attend, we’d encourage you to join us at next year’s event—we’ll be there and look forward to sponsoring once more! Until then, feel free to check out this video featuring celebrated designer and event planner Antony Todd highlighting his favorite picks from the show: http://bit.ly/10KihzW.
BY: Juliet Johnson
I’ve been thinking a lot about how my cooking has changed over the last 10 years since moving from the South to the Pacific Northwest. I was thinking mostly of my recipes and how I don’t fry as much, almost never actually. I’ve been exposed to so many more food types over the years that my own food now has more Asian, Thai, Mexican, and Mediterranean influences. It’s also been influenced by numerous friends, who also happen to be foodies. Funny, how one foodie attracts another.
But, it happened today, when I realized what the real transition of the cooking experience was for me. It is not about the style or type of cuisine; it’s how the food is prepared. I’m not referring to some sort of knife skills technique or a braising method. I’m talking about a more communal approach, where multiple people do the cooking. This is not the standard way I entertained in the past, nor how I learned to host in the South. In the past, I would invite friends for a cocktail party or dinner party, then slave for hours by myself on tedious appetizers and elaborate entrees.
But that began to change ten years ago when I moved to the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle from Atlanta. Our infamous dinner parties were a way of introducing the newbie in the house (me) to all of my housemate’s friends. The majority of us were certainly foodies. Our dinner parties were about trying new foods, making new friends, and having a nice break in the work week. Tuesdays were “dinner party” night. It was a bi-monthly thing and to this day, our dinner parties, which ran the course of three to four years, were like a religion for some of us. We always had a theme. Some of the popular ones were Indian, Thai, Mexican, Fondue, and Breakfast. The Comfort Foods theme was quite interesting!
If it was your birthday, you got to choose the theme. There were introductions made and marriages that came out of our dinner parties. And, of course, children followed marriage, or not necessarily in that order. I thought our dinner parties were a thing of the past, but realized recently they are changing to a new concept – The “Come As You Are” breakfast party. This way, the kiddies can be involved and bond just like the grown-ups do. Beer and wine with dinner has transformed to Mimosa’s and Bloody Mary’s for the adults, while the kids get their splurge of chocolate milk!
Another experience that is becoming a new routine is with some friends just outside Seattle, on Vashon Island. I have found another group of foodies that enjoys cooking together, while eating local and gluten free. We gather for full weekends of cooking. We choose a theme based on what is fresh, local, and abundant - then go into “factory production” of cooking. We each go home with a load of items for the freezer to enjoy for months afterwards.
The first one of these cooking events was the “Tamale Fest” at Judith & Ramon’s home, where we spent two full days roasting a turkey and a pork butt, while making a red sauce and a green sauce for each type of tamale. The second day consisted of making the masa dough and soaking the husks for the final stage of the tamale. Also, in the background, a large pot of plum jam was simmering on the range. Not for the tamales of course, but plums were in season!
The weekend included harvesting fresh goodies from the garden, watching the dogs run through the pasture, petting the horses, visiting the local farmers’ market, and just plain enjoying each other’s company and laughter. We discovered our new favorite summer afternoon cocktail. We call it “Gingerita” and the recipe is below. For me the trip to Vashon is a short ferry ride from Seattle and it’s the best “stay-cation” I can think of. The next Vashon event was the Pre-Thanksgiving Bakeoff. This was a one day cook-off held the Sunday prior to Thanksgiving. This time, Bonnie hosted in her home as she had the double ovens. We needed the oven capacity for the apple and peach pie production. The apples were brought by Judith and Ramon. They almost needed a wheelbarrow to haul in all the apples from their trees, the last harvest of the season. There were just enough frozen peaches left over from an earlier harvest to make one peach and cardamom pie.
Once again the factory production began. This time it was the peeling and coring and slicing of the apples. Dough (gluten free, of course) mixing began right after that. I played the part of factory support by bringing the makings for an antipasto platter and a selection of wine. We certainly needed our nutrition and energy throughout the process! Other than the wonderful pies we all walked away with, it was the sharing of the process, the laughter, the banter, and joking that really made this experience special.
I am always looking forward to the next dinner party, cook-off, or whatever function it may be that brings my different groups of friends together where the focus is on food, friends, and fun. I have learned many new recipes, food types, and cooking methods. I have also shared my own skills, knowledge, and family recipes with my friends. There is now a bank of memories associated with those dinner parties in Wallingford and new ones being deposited from the Vashon cook-offs. These are such unique experiences for me as an avid lover of kitchens, be it designing one for a client or cooking in one with friends. The kitchen is the setting for so many memories.
6 oz Ginger Beer
1-1/2 oz clear 100% Agave Tequila
Squeeze of lime
A fine grating of fresh ginger
Shake and pour over ice
BY: Kayron Brewer
There is nothing worse than running out of ice at a party you are hosting. So how much ice do you need? According to a caterer friend of mine you should plan on about two pounds of ice per person. Now you may think two pounds per person is a lot, but when you think of cocktails, soft drinks and water at meals, you can run through a large quantity of ice pretty quickly. A typical cocktail party for 15 people would require 30 pounds of ice minimum.
So how much would 30 pounds of ice cost? Like everything else it depends on where you live, what time of year it is, and where you shop, but let’s say it will be about $3 per 10 pound bag. If you need 30 pounds total, that’s three bags or just under $10. This could get pretty expensive for a household that entertains frequently.
If you want to make the ice yourself, you could bag ice from your refrigerator ice maker. The average built-in ice maker makes about four pounds of ice per day. Working with the same 30 pound estimate from above, you would need to start saving ice just over seven days before your party. (You’d want to start at least two weeks before your party if you were relying on ice cube trays.) And that’s assuming you don’t need ice for anything else during that time period. Can you imagine filling and dumping ice-cube trays for two weeks straight?
To complicate matters even more, you need to choose the type of ice cube you want to make. If you want to use your refrigerator’s ice maker, you won’t have clear ice cubes. You will have the standard cloudy ice cubes unless of course you use a reverse osmosis water purification system to feed your refrigerator ice maker. The same ice cubes will also be a half moon shape. I don’t know about you, but half moon shaped ice-cubes and round glasses don’t work very well for me. Each time I tilt the glass to take a drink the ice cubes bang against my teeth or lips.
Here’s a much more elegant solution for people that use a lot of ice — an ice machine. This is perfect for frequent entertaining. (Not to mention for the family with kids that participate in sports. Someone always needs ice for a sprain or sore muscles.) The Jenn-Air ice machine makes 50 pounds of small clear square ice cubes per day and stores 25 pounds at a time. You don’t need reverse osmosis for clear ice cubes because it’s a feature of the machine. The secret is that the water is chilled first before going into the cube former. The other secret is that there must be a drain hooked up to the machine so that when the cubes melt, the excess water goes down the drain.
If you really want to see the difference between regular refrigerator ice maker cubes and those from an ice machine try the following test. Put regular ice maker ice cubes in a glass and pour soda into it. Put ice cubes from an ice machine into another glass and pour the same amount of soda into it. Notice how much less foam is in the glass with the ice machine cubes? That’s because the ice is so pure. Now, do the blindfold test and see if you can tell the difference between the two sodas. You will be amazed how delicious the ice machine ice makes the soda. You’ve got to try this to believe it.
When you add up the cost of what you think you spend for ice per year and taste the difference ice machine ice cubes can make, you’ll want to find 15 inches of space somewhere in your home with access to plumbing for a drain. Buy your home an ice machine and start enjoying the taste of your favorite beverages. Best of all, you’ll never have to send someone out to make an ice run, especially late into the party!
BY: Morton Block
How many times have you put up with an inefficient, unorganized room and one day said to yourself, “That’s it, I have to change this.”? Your environment greatly affects your mood, your attitude and how you enjoy life.
I would like to share one such story. This farm kitchen was built in 1931. The kitchen had some minor updates since it was built, but was clearly in need of more updating. The homeowners’ desires were to have a warm, inviting kitchen that would lend itself to entertaining family and friends. They wanted to include cozy areas for the kids to be near mom during meal prep. Organized storage areas, additional counter space, luxury finishes coupled with high-end, intuitive appliances complimented this family’s lifestyle.
Due to the age of the kitchen, the floors and ceilings were not level. A marble could be rolled from one end of the room to the other due to the unevenness. A great deal of time and effort was taken to correct this situation.
When deciding on a kitchen layout, it is important to determine your best vantage point. In this case, the beautiful country view was very important. Therefore, we faced the sink in that direction. This allowed the homeowner to be engaged with the family, while enjoying the view as well as the cozy fireplace.
To accommodate entertaining in the kitchen, additional counter space was made available for numerous activities. We accomplished this by recessing a small-appliance garage. Daily items are conveniently tucked away into the wall, allowing the counters to stay clutter free and adding an extra luxurious look to this kitchen.
Gorgeous handmade tiles enhance the 30” Jenn-Air® Electric Radiant Cooktop. They wrap around and end at the intuitive Jenn-Air® double wall ovens.
Since the transformation of the kitchen, entertaining is a delight for the homeowners and their guests. The needs and comforts of the family are now met with excitement to spend time in this cozy countryside kitchen.
When it comes to remodeling an outdated kitchen, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
It is best to work with an Interior Designer who specializes in kitchens. Kitchen remodels are a huge investment. If the design isn’t thought our carefully, it could be a disaster. We sure don’t want that.
If you decide to go with dark cabinets, remember, as beautiful as they are, they do show finger prints. If you have any door style with a profile dust usually collects in the corners.
Don’t be in a hurry when remodeling. This is usually when mistakes happen. Remember “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Be patient and enjoy the process. In the end it will bring you joy and lasting happiness to enjoy with family and friends.
BY: Linda Waddell
I had a great time attending the LA Food and Wine Festival. It’s always an exciting opportunity to be a part of an event where I am surrounded by amazing chefs, enthusiastic food lovers and people who are eager to learn and eat as much as possible.
I was eating brunch with my wife when Chef Wolfgang Puck invited me to perform a macaron demo with him on Saturday afternoon due to a last-minute cancellation. Wolfgang Puck is both an incredible chef and a good friend, so I agreed to do the demonstration.
Even though it was a little rushed, everything ended up running smoothly thanks to helpful assistants and high-quality kitchen appliances and tools. Jenn-Air sponsored the event and provided a suite of appliances, which I love. As a chef, it’s important to have appliances that work well, and most importantly, are reliable. It’s especially important to use high-quality equipment when you’re creating desserts like delicate pastries. Macarons, one of my favorite desserts in the world, are exceptionally sensitive. Due to outside factors, like extreme heat or humidity, it is so important to have consistent cooking tools like a great oven. I love being able to use Jenn-Air® appliances because they always deliver consistent results. I also love the feature of the oven that allows you to pull the rack out in front of you. This makes home baking so much easier because you don’t need to take your entire dish out of the oven before it is ready. For example, when you have to pour liquid into a tart in the middle of baking, you can simply pull the rack out without interrupting the entire process too much.
When it comes to buying kitchen appliances, here are a few tips to remember:
Know when to spend money: Look for high-quality appliances that will last for 10–20 years.
Quality in the kitchen is key: Spending money on good quality pots, pans, knives and an oven is the best investment you can make.
Great cooks need great equipment: When you buy the best quality that you can, you too can become a great chef.
BY François Payard
Jenn-Air was an exclusive sponsor at the second annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival, which took place in downtown L.A. and surrounding neighborhoods August 9–12th.
I was delighted to have the opportunity to introduce celebrity chefs like Michelle Bernstein, the Voltaggio Brothers, Wolfgang Puck, Ming Tsai, Andrew Zimmern, Guy Fieri, Michael Chiarello and Jacques and Hasty Torres who were showcasing culinary demonstrations in the Jenn-Air Cooking Demo Pavilion. Many “foodies” attended these exclusive demos and enjoyed their chance to mingle with and sample cuisine from their favorite chefs.
The culinary demonstrations also provided an opportunity to give back to the community. I conducted auctions following the demonstrations which gave guests the chance to bid on various packages, some of which included first class airfare from Delta, gift cards from American Express and dinners for eight people at Guy Fieri’s restaurant. I’d like to extend a special thanks to all of these contributors as well as to Hammer Stahl, ChefWorks and the many others sponsors who made generous auction donations. Together, we were able to raise over $35,000 for the featured charity, St. Vincent Meals on Wheels.
Across the street from the demonstrations, the Grand Tasting Tent spotlighted more than 100 celebrated chefs and 300 acclaimed wineries. In addition to sampling gourmet bites and savory wines, attendees also had the chance to walk through a fully outfitted Jenn-Air kitchen exhibit. The exhibit featured our new iPhone app that lets users envision how Jenn-Air appliances will look in their own kitchens.
I thoroughly enjoyed this year’s L.A. Food & Wine Festival. If you didn’t have the chance to attend, I’d encourage you to join us at next year’s event—we’ll be there and look forward to sponsoring once more! Until then, I invite you to take a look at our photos from this year’s event on our Facebook page.
BY Brian J. Maynard
As a member of the Jenn-Air Design Advisory Council, I traveled to beautiful Chicago last fall to visit the Jenn-Air Training Facility – located in the historic Reid Murdock Center. The weather was chilly but Chef Perry had prepared homemade mushroom soup which we sipped from our vantage point in the clock tower overlooking the winding river.
That being disclosed, I wanted to share something I learned about one of their products during my visit. The Jenn-Air induction cooktops are not only beautiful, but they also use less energy than gas or traditional electric cooktops. What I didn’t know was that they are produced without using toxic arsenic.
Being environmentally responsible means being aware of not only what we put into our immediate environments (our homes, work places, cars, etc.), but also the manufacturing processes used in the products we endorse with our purchases. The air and water that we and our children breathe and drink is highly impacted by the manufacture of harmless, everyday products; glass is one these. Much of the glass we use every day is produced with arsenic. Although the glass is perfectly safe by the time we have contact with the finished product, the toxins have already leached into the air and water supply during manufacturing.
When creating an eco-friendly space in your own home, here are a few things to remember:
Reach for the Star: Choose appliances for your kitchen that are Energy Star certified. Jenn-Air offers several models that meet all government guidelines to qualify as energy efficient, like the 48” Built-In Side-By-Side Refrigerator with Dispenser, or the exclusive 42 dBA TriFecta™ Dishwasher.
Think induction: Not only is induction cooking faster and more energy-efficient than traditional electric cooking surfaces, it also allows for the instant control and precision found in gas models. Because heat is transferred directly to cookware, surrounding hot air is eliminated. This improves its thermal efficiency while allowing the induction cooktop to maintain a cool surface.
Be aware: Take the manufacturing process into consideration. An environmentally friendly product in your kitchen will be the right choice for everyone in the long run.
This all means that the air and water supply are just a little cleaner, the folks who work on the manufacturing line are just a little safer, and so is the air and water we all breathe and drink. That’s good news for us and for our children. Thank you, Jenn-Air.
BY Roberta Kravette
We all do it. We shop at a few farmers markets and fill our refrigerator with a large amount of vegetables and with each passing moment they lose the qualities that make us love them: greens and lettuces begin to wilt, garlic starts to shoot, tomatoes and squash begin to bruise.
I use a strategy from our restaurant kitchen to help solve this problem at home. At Restaurant Eugene, we break down our produce from its large raw state to smaller more manageable sizes as soon as a farmer brings us their vegetables. Ideally at Restaurant Eugene, vegetables are only in my possession for 36 hours. Eugene’s kitchen is small. We just don’t have room for bulk storage. The faster the food goes out, the fresher it is.
One of the best ways of doing this is to do most of the beginning preparation as soon as you get home from shopping. I know, I know, this sounds like a chore. Coming home after driving to the market and carrying all your bags to the kitchen can leave you with little energy for getting into some knife work, but a few minutes with a knife, cutting board and some good storage containers can save you a load of time later when you need to cook a meal.
Take broccoli for instance: go ahead and cut off the florets and put in a bag for a meal later (sautéed with shallots, pine nuts and raisins). Save the stems, slice them into thin disks and place in a bowl of salt water; they have an amazing flavor and are great for that quick snack. Most raw vegetables take little prep to transform them to ready to eat or ready for recipe. This takes very little time and also has the benefit of saving room in your refrigerator.
- Break down raw vegetables into smaller, more manageable sizes as soon as you get back from shopping.
- Use the whole vegetable: many times what seems like waste, makes a great raw snack.
- The more prepared a vegetable is when you need to cook, the more likely you are to use it.
BY Linton Hopkins
On behalf of the entire Jenn-Air family, we would like to express our deepest sympathies over the loss of our friend and Design Advisory Council member, Billy Williams. Billy was a respected designer and founder of b.williams design. His talents and passion for helping others can be seen through his work with the Rancho de Sus Ninos orphanage in Mexico. Please consider continuing Billy’s legacy by supporting this great cause.
We should never confuse “the best” with “perfection;” only one of them actually exists.
When I think of the best, it’s rarely anything that even approaches so-called perfection. Consider some of the best music ever recorded: it’s far from perfect—inconsistent tempos, vocal quirks, and even tuning problems add to its character. The best meal I’ve ever had was not necessarily the most expensive or exotic—I would say it was a meal enjoyed with people who are important to me. Some of the world’s greatest art has its perceived imperfections. For instance, what’s with the smile on the Mona Lisa? The long-lived debate over the smile is a questioning of the artist’s intent, which makes the painting less than perfect, yet it is still considered one of the best. Even in my own design work, I see beauty in imperfection.
So where does this leave us in our pursuits? I think we’d be wise to step back and realize that we are imperfect people working with imperfect products, creating imperfect things. The actual goal should be to be our best, do our best, and bring our best. It’s an ever-evolving goal we can really never achieve, and I think that, in itself, is the beauty. Perfection states there’s nothing else that can be done: you’ve reached the apex. To do your best says there’s always a higher mark that can be reached and a higher goal to be set. It keeps us moving and growing. It’s what makes us human.
I have a recent scenario that illustrates the imperfect best. In a mere 153 hours, 85 volunteers built a seven-bedroom house at Rancho de Sus Ninos, an orphanage in Mexico. As project leader, I like to say we went from concrete to pillowcases. This was our best in so many ways: people brought their best attitudes, the skilled and unskilled brought their A-game, and I believe the house we built is the best house at the orphanage. But do we stop there? Maybe next time we’ll build two houses in a week.
We can always be better, learn from the imperfections, celebrate the trials and the triumphs, and look ahead to the next “best” that we can do. So the next time you stress about bringing perfection in your life, in your work, in your relationships … take a breath and bring your best. That’s what people want, and in all honesty, that’s what people need.