Re: Designing and Specifying CH Kitchens
From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 09:22:51 -0700 (PDT)
A non-professional here. RoseWind has 24 families, with about 35 at 
dinners, and periodic larger functions with 50-60. Our fridge is usually 
almost empty except the day prior to a cooked meal, except for 
condiment-type stuff. We send leftovers home with cooks and diners. (A 
big drawer in the dining room collects yogurt tubs etc for taking 
leftovers.)

Our 6-burner Dacor propane range is great - heats well, has room for 
large pots. Technically residential, so we didn't need expensive 
grease-fire suppression hood, just something rather simple. 

Our convection oven meets all our needs. A larger community could use 
two. Our range is at the back of the kitchen, and the oven is next to the 
tiled serving counter, which has worked well. One thing we didn't do, 
that would have been very useful, would be to have a high faucet by the 
range, for filling large soup pots without having to tote. 

I don't know why anyone would choose an under counter dishwasher. The 
lifting and bending takes a toll. Ours works so well. Restaurant type 
counter top. It's in a corner with the washing unit at the bend: spray 
sink (though we've found a dishpan with soapy water and a dish brush uses 
a lot less water and makes less mess- we could dispense with the spray, 
but would still need the area for loading the dish trays) then the tray 
slides into the washer, gets blasted with the soap and hot water etc, 
slides out the other side onto a steel counter for drying. If we had 
room, we could use room for more than two racks air drying in that area. 
With our Corelle dishes, they wash and dry really fast. The noise is 
quite tolerable, though our kitchen is open to the dining room. 

We also have an upright freezer, in which we store bulk purchases of 
butter, corn, coffee, flour, some cut up rhubarb, berries, green peppers, 
as well as ice, ice cream, and containers of soup or such for future 
meals. 

Our fridge is sort of a hybrid- technically residential, though without 
all the internal shelves and bins and whatnot, no freezer area, basically 
three big shelves with room for great big pots of soup, bowls of salad. 
Go for "residential" (commercial are mercilessly noisy) but make sure 
it's very roomy for the institutional size stuff. 

Our center prep island works well: all surfaces are butcher-block wood 
(we also use those flexible plastic cutting sheets a lot, for easy 
dumping into bowls and pots); both high and low counter areas (the low 
for stirring in bowls, kneading dough, short or seated cooks). Glad we 
included an electric outlet for mixer, Cuisinart: the outlet is in the 
little rise between the high and low parts. Storage under the prep 
island. 

We are also very satisfied with Mary Kraus's basic guidance about "clean 
side/dirty side". Our compost, dirty dishes, dish prep, dish washer, 
drying area, pot sink, on one side, and cooking and prep and serving on 
the other. Beverage "bar" in the dining room, with cups, glasses, coffee, 
tea, bar sink with filtered water, drawers for candles, teas, corkscrews, 
bread baskets, etc. 

We built the kitchen so it COULD quality for commercial certification, 
but we weren't required to do so. Some of what we did has been a bit icky 
to deal with: grease trap, and open drains under the sinks. We did get 
health dept certification one year, but that made us a magnet for 
everyone in town to want to use our kitchen to prep food for events, and 
it got out of hand - we let the permit lapse. 

If anyone wants more info on our kitchen, let me know off list. There are 
some photos on our website that show some of our kitchen in the 
background. 

Lynn Nadeau
RoseWind Cohousing, Port Townsend WA

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