‘Kitchens becoming style statement in South Asian homes’May 14th, 2012 - 12:53 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 14 (IANS) Often pushed to the background in South Asian homes, the kitchen is becoming a style statement with a spiritual feel, says leading Indian designer Wendell Rodricks, who chases his passion for culinary style when he is not fashioning fabrics.
“I agree with writer Devdutt Patnaik who in an article, ‘The Talking Thali’, wrote that the kitchen is sacred in many ways. Kitchen style is not simply a kitchen fitted out with technological extravaganza. Style is about bridging ethnicity and modern practicality,” Rodricks told IANS from Paris.
Rodricks, who will lecture on “Style in the Kitchen” at the Taj Tashi Hotel in Bhutan at the Mountain Echoes festival this month-end, said he was trying to promote awareness about kitchen styling among those who liked to spend time over the oven.
The kitchen as a designer space at home is becoming vital to tasteful interior decor in urban homes in the region over the past few years with the arrival of modular kitchens, new electronic gadgets and Western influences in layout and food preparation.
More and more Indians are now doing away with dining spaces for smug eating nooks in the kitchen for easy serving. Concern for environment has also led to the creation of organic kitchens in the region.
Neatness and a clean tabletop were vital to a stylish kitchen look at all times, Rodricks said.
“The kitchen is often relegated because people tend to look at it as a place for cooking,” said Rodricks, a “catering college graduate”.
The designer said “his kitchen looks Goan and feels modern”.
“We also have decor in the kitchen. Gleaming brass Goan pots and pans, a hanging rack for onions and sausages ‘a la ancienne (like an ancient dish)’, an altar to the divine and a fresh spring water well attached to the kitchen to ensure that we use the purest mineral water,” Rodricks said.
The designer said the areas where styling was required in kitchens was “without doubt the wash up area, lighting, the breeze circulation and garbage disposal”.
“Attached to our kitchen is a luxurious verandah which makes jobs such as cleaning rice and peeling vegetables a real pleasure. There is also a panel of baskets with fresh produce. It adds colour to the kitchen and we know when to use fresh produce without letting it spoil in the refrigerator,” Rodricks said.
The style honcho said the “refrigerator stores only liquids such as sauces, wones and neatly boxed excess food, never fresh fruits and vegetables”.
“The fresh fruits and vegetables are kept out to entice and colour the kitchen. At the end of the kitchen, we have a compost unit. I insisted we keep it near the kitchen instead of in the modern because we can keep an eye on it. We also plant herbs in one end of the compost,” he said.
Outlining his ideal kitchen blueprint, Rodricks said “a kitchen should have marble tops and stainless steel fittings”.
“The more industrial, the better it looks. The colours must be neutral so that the beauty of food colours shines through and the lights must be well-placed. My Goa kitchen is white with pale grey accents,” Rodricks said.
The designer advises “treating a kitchen as a parlour-cum-dining room-cum-kitchen with modern technology”.
“When you mix these elements together, you get a kitchen where you can lounge in, eat in and cook in. When on holiday, I may ignore the fashion floors but I never miss the kitchen appliance section. There are so many new inventions and they are mostly time-saving,” he said.
(Madhusree Chatterjee can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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