When is a kitchen not a kitchen?

May 7


Tristram Whitney

Tristram Whitney

  • Share this article on Facebook
  • Share this article on Twitter
  • Share this article on Linkedin

Is a kitchen more than just a room?

Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

Have you ever met one of those people who seem to eat out every night of the week? Or maybe you know a friend who lives on takeaways and ready meals? Do you ever find yourself wondering why these people have a kitchen in the first place?

The answer is because a kitchen is much more than just a food preparation and cooking area. A kitchen is a place where people talk, where things happen,When is a kitchen not a kitchen? Articles where there is excitement, smoke, steam, flames, big metal pans which make a satisfying clanging noise when banged together and bizarre looking implements hanging from hooks.

Okay, so today’s modern kitchens may not be quite the romantic image I just painted, populated as they are with the beep of microwaves and the smell of oven cleaner, but they still play a vital role in any house.

Try to imagine visiting someone who did not have a kitchen. At first you might not even notice – it’s not generally the first place a visitor heads to in a house. But I think your subconscious would nag at you that something wasn’t quite right, that feeling that something is missing but because it’s not immediately evident you can’t quite put your finger on it.

For some people the kitchen can act as a sanctuary. Certainly in castles and country manors of yore the kitchen was the kingdom of the servants and waiting staff, where the nobility never so much as stuck their noble noses through the door.

Yet still these kitchens had a strict hierarchy, with the chef ruling all, creating order amidst the chaos and producing everything from great feasts to dainty breakfasts. This tradition has translated to modern times, and you only have to watch one of the dozens of popular cooking shows constantly on television to hear the phrase “Yes chef!” emphatically barked across a flambéing frying pan.

And in domestic kitchens the chef still rules. Screaming children are banished, assistants (also known as family members) are ordered to “pour a drink for the chef” and with a wooden spoon as a baton the triumphant cook conducts a chorus of bubbling pans, which will fetch any curious interlopers a sharp rap on the knuckles should they try to lift a lid for a preview of the contents.

I know what you’re thinking – I said that kitchens weren’t all about the cooking, yet that is all I appear to have eulogised so far. I will confess there are probably few people who find dish washing or doing the laundry a rare treat, but the activities are not the point. The kitchen has a different atmosphere than any other room in a house. No other room will have been so meticulously designed, be so practical yet so aesthetically pleasing. Everything in a kitchen is functional and yet we refuse to let this compromise its appearance.

Without a kitchen a house is nothing more than an extended hotel room, a place where nobody really lives for long. So next time you’re just sticking something in the microwave before you rush out, take a minute to think what a pleasant thing it is that you have a room to do it in.

Article "tagged" as: