Wednesday, January 5, 2011

On Kitchen Design and the Birth of R’evolution Red

Sneak preview of the R'evolution kitchen

Throughout my 30+ year career, I’ve worked and staged in dozens of kitchens. My own, those of my mentors and colleagues, kitchens in hotels, in homes, in culinary schools. l’ve been blessed – or spoiled, depending on how you look at it – with many beautiful kitchens. Even as a young chef coming up in the restaurant world, working at the Gotham and at restaurants in Europe, I had the privilege to work in kitchens that were spotless, well thought out and efficient.
I’ve also worked in a lot of crappy kitchens. Places where it’s clear the chefs aren’t treating the kitchen like the all-important nerve center that it is. Once you’ve seen both kinds, you appreciate the good ones even more.
My first kitchen was at Trio, in Evanston, Illinois. When Gale and I opened it, we had no money, so we bought all used equipment. But we treated it the way you treat your first apartment. We scrubbed everything until it shone, painted the kitchen and maintained it really well. We appreciated what we had.

The TRU kitchen. Credit:

Then we opened Brasserie T, and from that $50,000 kitchen at Trio, we leapt to a $250,000 kitchen, then on to a $1 million kitchen at TRU. Everything was custom, from the refrigerators and the drawers to Gale’s pastry kitchen. It was a lot of fun to really have a blank slate – no budgetary constraints – and be able to sit down with a pencil and trace paper and draw to our hearts’ delight, from scratch. We knew how lucky we were, and we savored the opportunity.
As many kitchens as I’ve been in, I can tell when the kitchen was designed by a kitchen designer who just didn’t “get it.” Beyond issues having to do with budget and not enough money, there are often lots of mistakes that would have cost nothing to fix, but have to do with thought. If a restaurant isn’t run by a chef, sometimes there are glitches that could have been easily corrected, had the chef been involved in the process. Traffic flow problems are just one example.
When I sit down to design a kitchen, I think through service again and again and again, as though I’m working each of the stations. How do I want the station to flow? Do I want that drawer to open on the left or the right? We have three chefs designing this operation – John, myself and Jody – and that’s exciting. We’re all seeing stuff that the others wouldn’t. Jody has worked in a lot of amazing kitchens himself – he’s worked with Wolfgang Puck and Dean Fearing – but he hasn’t’ worked in Europe. I’ve worked in European kitchens, but not many hotels. John brought that hotel experience. So we got a rounded perspective of all of these facets, and we each brought a different nuance to the project.
Chefs also tend to know what they like and don’t like in kitchen design. It’s kind of like fashion. Everyone knows what works for them, whether it’s islands or lines; Viking equipment or Jade, etc. So last year, as we were thinking ahead to the opening of Restaurant R’evolution, I walked the National Restaurant Association Show with Jody Denton, my sous chef for R’evolution. We went to the Montague and Jade booths, took tons of pictures and quizzed the reps on all the details. And then, as we were rushing out to make it to an afternoon appointment, we walked quickly past the Viking booth on our way off the show floor. I stopped in my tracks.

Viking island suite. Credit:

Viking has traditionally been much more known for its home ranges, but I had heard that they were going to be stepping it up, going against some of the big commercial guys. When I saw what they were showing at NRA, I couldn’t believe my eyes. They’ve done an amazing job improving the durability of their equipment. You can stand on their range doors. The burner grates are like tanks. Two hours later, I had cancelled my appointment. The Viking rep – who turned out to be a friend of John’s, answered about a million questions. We played with everything and told him all about the new project in New Orleans, and drew sketches of the early ideas we had in mind for the R’evolution kitchen. It was just organic.
I got John on the phone, and he knew the team at Viking because he had guest taught at their culinary school, so he suggested we fly down to their plant in Mississippi and check it out. So a few months later we went, and they took us through how everything is made. We sat with their kitchen designer and talked about our plans. The woodburning oven we wanted, the rotisserie. We brought in the team from the Royal Sonesta and they got excited. And the partnership was born. When Restaurant R’evolution opens later this year, we'll have all-Viking back-of-house and show kitchen suites in a custom color that was created just for us: “R’evolution Red" (you'll see that color carry through certain aspects of the front-of-house design too.) For a kitchen geek like me, this is the stuff dreams are made of.

R'evolution kitchen plans

We’ll have more fun details to share with you about the kitchen, as demolition and construction get going in the coming weeks. Glass-doored walk-ins that show off the freshness of our products, and Star Trek-like automatic glass doors between the kitchen and the dining room. But suffice to say, the kitchen at R’evolution is going to be just as beautiful as the dining room. I can't wait for you to see it.
- Rick


  1. How exciting...I can tell it must be one giddy moment after another for you!Enjoy your blessings!!

  2. Thank you my dear, keep an eye out for the rest of it :)
    I liked ur blogs very much and image formant is very helpful.

    Restaurant Equipment

  3. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I'm quite sure I’ll learn lots of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next! kitchen design tool

  4. The Interior design is so beautiful, colors, lighting are really increase beauty.I really like different design .Hotel Design

  5. can you go for more detail on the design, or do you have any picture of example kitchen?
    best electric knife sharpener

  6. BIOIMAGER has the largest collection of light microscopes and accessories in the world. Biological microscopes are available in both upright and inverted models with epi-fluorescence imaging capability. BIOIMAGER offers biological microscopes, metallurgical microscopes, stereo microscopes, polarizing microscopes, digital LCD microscopes with tablet cameras and digital cameras, live cell imaging chambers, confocal imaging dishes, and slide scanners as well as gel imaging. Our solutions include 2D imaging, 3D profile with output to 3D printer, 4D and even 5-Dimensional imaging with advanced image analysis software. Contact us:

    epi-fluorescence microscope
    industrial inspection microscope

  7. Thanks for a good and interesting article. It is nice that there is someone else who wants to write high-quality texts. I will look here more often. Maybe I'll find out something cool. I'm definitely not that kind a home expert :D

  8. Thanks you very much for sharing these links. Will definitely check this out..
    קרמיקה למטבח

  9. Hi! Thanks for the great information you havr provided! You have touched on crucuial points!
    Kitchen Taps

  10. Rallison Appliances, leading Kitchen Appliances Manufacturer in India offers Best Kitchen Appliances Online LPG Stoves, Pressure Cookers, Mixer Grinders, Glass Cook Tops, Non Stick Cookwares, Wet Grinders, Ceiling Fans.

  11. Hey its an good idea and interior design is very nice thanks for sharing. Will advise you should have proper commercial kitchen plan for building good kitchen. The kitchen is the place you may wind up spending an enormous lump of your day, cooking a home-influenced feast for the entire family to appreciate at breakfast, to lunch and supper. A commercial cooking range is the correct mix of excellence and usefulness, with the goal that your kitchen obliges your requirements in each conceivable way.

  12. Very good post. I simply came across your blog and wanted to express that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your feed and I really hope you post again makeover essex

  13. With experience in design and construction of wood furniture, Sango86 is confident to bring you the best quality and can meet the needs of customers about all items that SanGo86 has. can do Items such as interior furniture Sofa, wood flooring, phào, plastic floor or plaster ... And many other items.

    thi công nội thất karaoke

    báo giá thi công nội thất karaoke

    thi công nội thất hội trường

    thi công nội thất theo yêu cầu

  14. We take pride in offering the most noteworthy type Buffet ware suppliers andCatering supplies. We offer diverse scope of Induction Chafers and Rolltop Chafers.

  15. I read this Post and this is very informative blog . Thank you for sharing such like of information.for more information about this you can also visit our site. Modern Contemporary Custom Kitchen

  16. Melamine platters is becoming very famous for cooking business along with Bone China crockery because to its durability. We are the Colored Crockery supplier.

  17. very good blog.
    HomeandBeyond is the best home and modular kitchen interior designs in all over world.
    modular kitchen showrooms in chennai
    modular kitchen designs
    home interiors in chennai

  18. I was hovering on the internet to find out best Kitchen Set solution for me...guess what.. I think now I'm in a right place now. Great post!!! I read your other posts too and those were awesome....keep sharing!!!


  19. Our expertise and craftsmanship is well fame and we have an extensive variety of involvement in taking care of the necessities of customers all things considered, either from office or to home. By always procuring the notoriety from our clients we are today viewed as the modular kitchen shops in coimbatore

  20. Our expertise and craftsmanship is well fame and we have an extensive variety of involvement in taking care of the necessities of customers all things considered, either from office or to home. By always procuring the notoriety from our clients we are today viewed as the best interior designer for home in coimbatore

  21. Nice post. it is very useful and informative post. Thank you for your sharing this wonderful post. Keep more like this.
    Modular Kitchens in Chennai
    Home Interiors in Chennai

  22. I wanted to thank you for this great read because it helps me to understand the Kitchen Equipment. Yazicilar Makina provides you best Kitchen Equipment that make your kitchen work essay. Feel Free to contact them.

  23. Thank you for sharing such informative information about In Line Kitchen manufacturers in Noida. This is very helpful blog on water atm project cost. I will come here again for getting more information.

  24. Best Post thanks a lot for this blog and do you want to Top Modular Kitchen Showroom In Mumbai?

  25. This is really interesting blog on Parallel Kitchen manufacturers in Noida, You are a very skilled blogger. I've joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I've shared your web site in my social networks! Thank You!!!

  26. Nice post!really enjoyed while reading your blog.You have posted great content ,which really helped me a lot.Hope you come with more ideas like above post in future.I am looking for Modular Kitchens Manufacturing In Hyderabad