August 21, 2018

Alfresco living

alfresco

More and more people are seeking to bring the exotic outdoor dining experience to their own homes. The options for a practical and stylish outdoor kitchen are endless, says Anji Connell Outdoor entertaining and al fresco dining are becoming a quintessential part of our modern lifestyle as we travel and experience outdoor eating. What better way to enjoy outdoor living than with an outdoor kitchen? Letting the outdoors in and the indoors out expands our space and is now so common it has a name – the ‘transterior,’ coined by Australian horticulturist and landscape designer Jamie Durie. A passionate advocate of outdoor life, Durie worked with Electrolux Australia to produce its eco-friendly outdoor kitchen that includes beautiful countertops, an integrated burner and barbecue with built-in planting.

A pergola or shelter is a good option as it prolongs the time we can cook outdoors – just remember to allow for ventilation and enough space between the grill flame and the roof. Russian architects Arseniy Borisenko and Peter Zaytsev designed an outdoor kitchen fora yacht captain that resembles the broken hull of a boat. It’s a unique way to provide cover from the elements, and you can wheel your kitchen outside when the sun shines. Outdoor kitchens are quite simply a great place to entertain. They keep the mess outdoors, and the kids can do their thing while the adults do theirs.

The joy of the outdoor kitchen is in its laidback and open atmosphere, where our friends and loved ones can sit and sip while we prep and cook in the fresh air. Katrin Schön, project manager of garden trade fair Spoga+Gafa in Germany, reported: “The market for cooking and eating outside is growing rapidly. There is such a huge demand now, not just for grills and barbecues but for full outdoor kitchens.”

There are some questions your client will need to answer, however, when choosing an outdoor kitchen:

• How will your client cook outside – would a grill or a hob be best suited for their needs?

• Do they have natural gas available, or would they prefer propane gas, electric or charcoal?

• Is storage for barbecue tools and dishes a factor?

• Do they need running water to wash hands and dishes?

• More luxurious considerations might be a refrigerator, ice machine, wood burning stove or pizza oven.

 

Location

Will it be set in an area away from the main kitchen? If so, it will need a considered design to prevent your client running back and forth into the house for supplies and will need the traditional prep, cook, refrigerate, serve and clean areas as well as some storage.

A satellite kitchen situated adjacent to the indoor kitchen allows prep work to be done inside the house and cuts down on appliance duplication and costs. A fabulous example of this is in the John Pawson house where the kitchen run continues inside and outside. Think about the view, too – you probably don’t want to obstruct your client’s best views with an extractor fan.

Safety

Safety is key. Think about the layout of the outdoor space – don’t place a grill near a play lawn, swimming pool or hot tub and go for a non-stain, non-slip flooring. Be sure that the area directly underneath the grill can withstand high heat and any sparks or embers that might fall. Check that the proposed site can support the weight of the equipment as decks might need additional structural support.

 Materials

Tiles are easy for clients to clean with a hose or pressure washer. If they’re going for a deck, stain it or paint it to repel grease and food stains. There are many outdoor kitchens and appliances available that combine style with functionality and durability in the build materials.

 Happy cooking!

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