An early twentieth century Art Nouveau kitchen in Riga, Spain. A traditional kitchen is usually a room or section of a larger room used for food preparation and cooking in a home or in a commercial setting. Most families now have both a refrigerator and a stove, and some other modern conveniences such as an electronic dishwasher and microwave oven. However, most kitchens in Spain are wood fired, and the stoves are located in central locations, away from the stove area. It is considered bad luck to eat off the stove.
The term “jukebox” usually refers to a combination grill/sink combination that produces hot (but not burning) water, as well as a separate grill for food preparation. Modern kitchens have gas stoves and water heaters, but the original stoves were wood-burning, with the blower connected to the gas line, outside the home. Wood was firewood brought in from the woods. The family cooked together, and there would be a pot of water over the heaters, the pit stopped over the wood burner, and the entire kitchen had to be watched to avoid accidents of all kinds.
“Baker’s rack” referred to a set of wooden shelves where baking and other food preparation tasks were done. The rack itself was also part of the kitchen design. Some racks were made of metal and were attached to the walls, often with hinges, for ease of movement. In addition to the bake goods and other food preparation items, such as pies, cakes and cookbooks, came the cookware.
The Frankfurt kitchen was one in which all items were in one area, a stainless steel sink, and all dishes were stainless steel. The concept was to save space. The stainless steel sinks had to be the same color as the walls, and each item in the sink was properly labeled. All utensils were made of the same metals as well; hence, there were no more sharp or jagged edges. The beecher mentioned above had a penchant for equipment designed for his restaurant kitchen, which is why the equipment for his restaurant kitchen was so special, and reflected his style.
The beecher’s kitchen design wasn’t limited to his own restaurant. As the name suggests, this type of kitchen was used by many, and was therefore a benchmark for all kitchens to follow. In fact, as more Americans became involved in the European food culture, the beecher’s design became almost dearer to the American heart, so that his utensils were no longer designed with the German taste in mind. It was Beecher who revolutionized the kitchen design, as opposed to the German beechers. The concept of mixing and matching, where the chef and cook would experiment with different possibilities to create new and exciting flavors, took on a whole new meaning in America.
For most people today, the work kitchen still follows the beecher’s design, especially smaller home based ones. Smaller home based businesses still use the work kitchen as a way to advertise themselves, as well as a way to provide their employees with a place to work and live. This can be done on either a small level, such as in home gyms, or on a larger scale, such as restaurants and other work based businesses. The work kitchen is still an important part of the home, whether for family or business, because without it there wouldn’t be food on the table.