Topic: Outdoor Kitchens

Date Posted: Thursday, December 10, 2015
Posted by: Tanya Zanfa (Master Admin)

Bring the kitchen outdoors

Bring the kitchen outdoors

Cooking meat or veggies on the grill and enjoying an outdoor meal is something most everyone enjoys.

Some culinary enthusiasts expand on the idea and create true outdoor kitchens where they can create meals beyond the grill.



"I love the creation of different dishes, and the time our family really comes together is for meals," says Susan Yonehiro.

The Yonehiros love grilling and the outdoors so they chose to build an outdoor kitchen to combine their two loves.

The outdoor kitchen expansion was in progress to their existing home, which Susan's grandfather built in 1939, when the Yonehiros went on vacation and became inspired.

"We went on a trip to Mexico and stayed in a very nice, open-air home that had hardwoods and an open window. So we brought that outdoor kitchen into our home," Susan says.

"I don't have a favorite piece (in the kitchen) because I'm blessed to have everything in my outdoor kitchen. I have a cooktop, an oven, a grill and a refrigerator, so I have all I need. I truly have a second kitchen," Susan says.

While the summers and winters may get a little rough outside, Susan says during the spring and fall, she predominantly uses the outdoor kitchen when making meals.



"Conceptually, I knew what I wanted and where I wanted it (in the kitchen). I'm not going for fancy, purely utilitarian," Scott Trezza says, noting that he loves the outdoor kitchen because he can cook when it's raining, cook when it's dark and make as much smoke as he wants without it causing a smell in the house.

"I got tired of holding an umbrella over my head and a flashlight in my teeth."

The kitchen is oriented a few steps from the home and includes a refrigerator, outdoor wok, hot water and a grill. Hurricane shutters allow Scott to seal it up in the winter and promote air flow during the summer, making it a space he cherishes year-round.

Learning to cook in medical school, Scott and some friends would take turns cooking.

"By the end of the two years we did that, we were pretty good in our own right," he says.

He honed his skills as an active-duty flight surgeon, cooking for his comrades, and today loves having friends over to enjoy meals.

Scott sees cooking as a wonderful experience to share with others, taking after his Italian grandmother's.

"You eat food to survive, and it's a way of communicating 'I value you and I wish to sustain your life'," he says.

He also jokes that putting in an outdoor kitchen versus buying a fast car during mid-life is great because you won't get a speeding ticket in the kitchen.



• Build the space for your specific needs and budget.

• If you include an island, a portable one is a good option, or one which you can utilize all four sides for storage, counter, seating and serving space.

• For spaces with seating, have easily stackable or moveable tables and chairs to accommodate larger gatherings.

• Refrigerators, sinks and grills are your top three must-haves. Adding items like a cooktop, pizza oven, wok or microwave should be tailored to your culinary needs.

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