I Love My Kitchen Because: Todd Coleman
When SAVEUR executive food editor Todd Coleman and his partner Heather moved into their Prospect Heights, Brooklyn co-op almost twelve years ago, the first thing they did was to knock down the wall between the kitchen and the living room. They replaced the wall with a big, wide countertop, where their six-year-old daughter Eve now loves to spend time baking. The kitchen is airy and welcoming, and plentifully stocked with Todd’s collection of kitchen tools from around the world. It’s a place for
When we moved in, we pulled up the linoleum in the kitchen to reveal the original wood floors, but pieces of the floor were missing. Slowly over time, Heather has brought home pieces of wood that she's found, and we've cut and fit them into the empty spaces. So unlike the shiny shellacked wood in the rest of the place, the kitchen floor is raw and rough, and I love the way it looks.
The kitchen is spacious enough that more than one person can be in there without bumping into each other, and the counter that divides the space from the living room is great because it's also serves as a window into both spaces. Eve really loves to bake, and it's fun to be able to sit on the couch and watch her having fun mixing ingredients on the counter. We can work on both sides of it, or I can be cooking on one side and guests can be visiting on the other side.
The equipment in our kitchen has come from all sorts of different places—from family members, yard sales, shows I used to work on at Food Network, gifts from chefs, markets in Bombay or Paris—but it's all pretty damn good. The wooden spoons we have are the ones used on Emeril Live that have strong wide handles—at two different friends' houses now I've broken wooden spoons because they weren't wide enough. I think I have at least 25 wooden spoons, stored out in the open in enamel containers from Oaxaca City so they're always in easy reach. We have a big iron pot rack that hangs from the ceiling, and it makes everything easier to find and put away. We keep multiples of all our favorite tools and pots and pans so there's always enough of everything and you're never stuck searching for anything or having that microplane or saucepan wet and dirty in the sink at the moment you you want to use it. It makes for a more peaceful existence.
• Heather does most the daily cooking, and I like to cook on a bigger scale. If I'm going to cook, I don't want to just piddle around, I want to get lost in it and spend the whole day making a full meal for a special occasion. Usually when people are coming over I like to cook Indian food, but I've cooked for all sorts of parties here, and have great memories of cooking Thanksgivings in this kitchen. I remember when Eve was born and we brought her home I didn't know what do but wanted to do something, so I cooked most of the day and night, making a rich and complex beef stew.
The light in the kitchen is great, and I love that the stove is below the windows. We keep potted herbs in the windows, so sometimes I'll decide to add rosemary to a dish just because the rosemary is right in front of me when I'm cooking. The curtains are actually made of roughly-hewn kitchen towels we found in Stockholm that Heather fashioned into curtains.
Interview conducted and condensed by Anna Stockwell