Food Fantasy: A Hollywood Kitchen Makeover

The Father of the Bride.

This casting call notice for a kitchen makeover show got my heart racing:

Do you have a friend or loved one who has a real passion for cooking but is trapped in an outdated, nonfunctional or just plain ugly kitchen? Now’s your chance to nominate him/her to receive a kitchen worthy of a gourmet chef for free! We are currently casting dynamic homeowners who love to cook but are in desperate need of a completely new kitchen.

Um, hi. Too bad I’m a renter  — but it set me thinking about my ultimate dream kitchen. This probably says something about how much time I spend with Netflix, but my kitchen daydreams are pretty squarely centered on deciding which TV/movie kitchen (equipment aside) I’d most want to live with.  If, you know, I was directing a crew to recreate it in my Capitol Hill rowhouse.  Am I the only one who watches every blockbuster movie and thinks — damn! I want that kitchen!? If so, indulge me while I take a look back at my ultimate dream Hollywood kitchens:

Father of the Bride

The first one that comes to mind, of course, is George and Nina Banks’ kitchen from Father of the Bride. This is basically the fallback fantasy house for an entire generation of movie watchers, right? The New York Times even mentioned the “bourgeois splendor of the Banks house” in its movie review. But the kitchen looks so cozy and usable, which you rarely find in houses put together by a set designer. It’s like the platinum version of the kitchen you grew up with…copper pots hanging over the butcher block island, floral curtains, fruit baskets filled oh-so-properly, KitchenAid mixer (swoon!) in the background.

Something’s Gotta Give

Slightly less cozy but still inviting is the airy Hamptons kitchen from Somethings Got to Give (like Father of the Bride, a Nancy Meyers-helmed project). It’s clean and classic, with a splash of color from the potted plant and warm touches like the wooden bowls. On the down side, it seems like plenty of folks are already co-opting that one. If I’m going to copy a kitchen, I certainly don’t want to be copying the same one as everyone else.

Something's Got to Give

Something's Gotta Give

Read More

ES Local: Quest for Lox and a Schmear

That's what I call a bagel.

That's the whole package right there.

Editor’s Note: New contributor Elle joins the DC-based ES team with — what else — a DC rant. Welcome, Elle, and good luck on your quest!

I’m on a hunt. No, a quest. A quest to capture a surprisingly elusive prize: an awesome bagel (toasted!) that comes with awesome cream cheese (on both sides!) and awesome lox, somewhere (anywhere!) in DC.

On New Year’s Day, a friend of mine hosted a “hangover brunch” at her parents’ place in Manhattan. A few DC folks made the trip up to NYC for the NYE festivities, and our resident New Yorker was treating us to an impressive spread of quiche and French toast and Bellinis and….goodness, I can’t even remember everything she put out. But in addition to those made-from-scratch offerings, she had a bag of fresh bagels from Pick-a-Bagel and a heaping plate of lox.

My initial reaction? Something along the lines of “omgsofreakinggood.” I managed to polish off a pair of perfectly doughy, chewy bagels piled up with cream cheese and thinly sliced lox in a blink. Then it occurred to me that maybe decorum dictated I should stop hogging that heaping plate all to myself.

Read More