Gourmet Cooking Zones
The modern kitchen can often include multiple cooking appliances. In this classic white kitchen, the Vestabul designer needed to accommodate a pro range, a large extractor hood, a microwave, a steam oven and a warming drawer into the Cooking Zone. Centering the range between the ovens & paneled refrigerator on the back wall was the starting point of the design. Then every available space was utilized to maximize function, including multiple full extension drawers. The finishing touch was to recess a tiled condiment niche into the wall above the range to place frequently used items at the cooks fingertips.
A 6 burner gas cooktop was the dream of this homeowner. To crown the cooktop, a custom wood hood accented with carved corbels, was designed to make this cooking zone the focal point of the kitchen. Deep pot drawers were specified under the cooktop along with a bonus operational shallow drawer directly below the cooktop. (Most cabinet makers will blank off this valuable space if not specified to become a custom drawer) To allow stock pots to be filled with ease, a pot filler was installed directly above the cooktop giving this cooking zone a truly gourmet touch!
The placement of the cooktop for these homeowners was well planned out. In both cases the gas cooktop was installed in a lower counter section. This placement works well for gas cooktops since the height of the burner grates can add an additional 2″ to 3″ of height above a standard countertop. Placing a gas cooktop in a standard 36″ high counter can make looking inside a stock pot on a back burner impossible for many cooks.
The Cooking Zone in the south western inspired kitchen is very inviting. The vent hood was clad in plaster and trimmed with tile. The extractor inside the hood has a strong CFM rating which will pull all cooking orders and steam from the cooktop. The stainless steel rollout shelves under the cooktop add a bit of a commercial flair to the area and compliment the stainless steel cookware. The storage in this cooking zone also included multiple full extension drawers and inserts for spices and utensils.
The Cooking Zone in the deep cherry kitchen utilized European appliances to fulfill the homeowners multiple cooking needs. The center piece is the dropped gas cooktop and sculptural island hood. An under counter steam oven and a separate convection oven were placed either side of the cooktop with ample counter space above each unit. A custom pullout cooling rack was installed above the convection oven allowing the cook to rest hot items coming off the cooktop or out of the ovens. The lowest drawer under the cooktop houses pots & pans, with lids in the middle drawer and oven mits in the top shallow drawer. A condiment rollout was installed in this zone to store all of the oils, vinegars and sauces used during the cooking process.
Custom Venting Systems
In many kitchen designs the cooking zone becomes the focal point. There are many ways to accomplish this from a design perspective but function should not be sacrificed. In these two examples Vestabul designers provided functional Cooking Zones that look fantastic!
Installing a custom hood is a great way to turn the cooking zone in to your kitchen’s focal point. In this example the exhaust extractor was clad in wood panels and trim to coordinate with the cabinetry. By bumping it out slightly the Vestabul designer added some texture to the design. (This is a great trick to avoid splicing crown moulding together when there is a long run of cabinetry being installed) The designer accommodated great function by specifying condiment rollouts inside the posts either side of the pro cooktop. The deep drawers under the cooktop house all of the homeowners pots & pans. The upper drawers in this area are divided for utensils and oven mitts.
Cooking hearths have been popular in kitchen design and come in many shapes and sizes. This examples has a distinctively Mediterranean feel. It’s design evolved through a renovation in an existing home that retained all of the existing cabinetry. The Vestabul designer integrated a new pro range inside the tiled enclosure. This is definitely the focal point of the new great room. As is our philosophy at Vestabul, function was not over looked. The existing base cabinets were modified to be large pullouts to store pots & pans either side of the range. The top drawers were divided for utensils and spices and in the backsplash area two niches were built and tiled to house cooking oils.
Maybe your new design will make the Cooking Zone the focal point of your kitchen!