Outdoor Cooking Spaces 101 - part 1                                           1     2     3

Teppanyaki-style cooking and grilling has quickly become a must-have for every home chef’s kitchen, indoors or out, traditional or contemporary design.
In this first of a three piece series, we are sharing with you opinions of homeowners and design professionals on a variety of design options for Outdoor Cooking Spaces.
Linda Ashom of Quail Creek, FL, has built an outdoor kitchen oasis that is nearly as large as the house itself.  “We entertain three or four times a week. People are always driving by on golf carts, yelling ‘What’s for dinner?’ “she says. Linda built a bar big enough to prepare and serve food, and to seat 12 people.  “Now I can do dinner outside in a snap.” Her kitchen has all the ingredients of a serious cook’s kitchen, graced by Brazilian Ipe Wood cabinets and marble countertops. Strategically located at the end of the bar she placed a round 27 inch built-in CDS Teppanyaki grill. “The teppanyaki-style allows everyone to be involved in the cooking process,” she explains.
“Most people do a 30-inch grill, an outdoor fridge, a burner and a sink,” says Zury Jaeger, owner and outdoor kitchen designer of Dreamscapes by Zury in Plantation, Florida.  “How we arrange things varies according to their needs, but I usually suggest installing the grill in an island so they can have a view and look out at people, not against the wall.”  Did she say view? Boutique hotel owner Muhsin Gunasti of SMG Travel has plenty of that from his rooftop teppanyaki station in Bodrum, Turkey.
Vincent was driven to his dual-Tiki outdoor kitchen design by additional thoughts. “For me this is MY kitchen, where I can rule independently,” he says. “I spent about one year planning it and got hooked on the CDS teppanyaki grill, but also ordered a stainless steel barbeque grill. The teppanyaki was installed first and after I had cooked on it a few times I quickly realized that the bbq grill has become obsolete and canceled it. Everything I like can be cooked on the teppan grill. For me, the CDS teppan is the best thing since sliced bread.”
As with indoor kitchens, an efficient layout is everything. All the expensive equipment in the world will be for naught if you constantly have to lug hot, dripping pots from one end to the other. Be sure to locate the sink, cooking surface and fridge within easy reach of each other. Even if you are just plopping a portable teppanyaki or charcoal grill out on the patio, it’s always a good idea to include some sort of work surface.

So, if you love to socialize, cook and eat, all in the same place, particularly outdoors, and you are a believer in quality of life, we recommend investing in a welcoming retreat at home, thus in happiness.

Outdoor Cooking Spaces 101 -  part 2: What's cooking

We talk to avid home entertainers to find out about their favorite dishes.
Even a covered outdoor kitchen is exposed to heat and moisture, so materials must be extra durable. Good choices include stainless steel, granite and stone veneer. “We are starting to do polished concrete countertops, which are very beautiful,” says designer Zury Jaeger. "The latest outdoor cabinetry comes with all the features an indoor kitchen has and is often constructed of steel framing with concrete board and stainless steel drawers". Naples resident Vincent even took it one step further by having custom-made gaskets installed, just like the ones on refrigerator doors. “I definitely wanted bug and ant free storage,” he states.
“In Jamaica, it’s done over a smoking 55 gallon drum. In Vietnam, it’s done over a diminutive charcoal contraption. And, in Florida, it’s done atop a stainless steel gas grill with electronic ignition, halogen lights, side-burners and a rotisserie. .. It is a true testament to Florida’s indoor-outdoor way of life that, these days, some outdoor kitchens are better equipped than their indoor counterparts.” says Juliette Guilbert, editor for Florida Home & Table magazine.

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