I Am Cooking, I’m Not Your Cook

I have a bone to pick with all kitchen designers who have ever placed the cooker against a wall.

This frustration has arisen in part from my endless research into the fantasy home that I would one day love to design and build, but also from my own experience of cooking in my current house.

Kitchens are wonderful. To me, they are the heart of the home. You can gather there, share experiences, chat, drink, eat (of course), experiment, and socialise in the kitchen. You teach your children in the kitchen, you feed your pets. Life happens in the kitchen. So when I’m on Rightmove looking for a new property for my parents to move to it frustrates me how many large, characterful houses have teeny, tiny little kitchens. Did these architects never cook a day in their lives? Did they lounge in their parlours smoking until dinner was brought out by the maid?

Even in modern houses, however, kitchens are often overlooked. These box rooms are simply not practical for the way I would like to live in my home. I love cooking, but just because I enjoy it that does not make me the cook, banished to the kitchen unable to socialise or join the family to play a game or watch TV and expected to reappear magically with plates in hand. That is simply not fair.

So why do cookers face the wall? Even if your kitchen is large enough for a table and chairs, or even a sofa, I can’t talk to you because I’m cooking against a wall like a moron. Have you ever seen a chef talk to the camera whilst cooking against a wall? No, of course not, they chat to you over a stove built into an island, that lets them chop and stir whilst engaging you and inviting you to join the process. So why don’t we have this at home? Put the boring stuff at the back; the cupboards, the fridge, the oven- things that you only hover at for a second to grab something and get back to your workstation. Cook facing the action in the room and you cannot feel left out!

My other bone to pick is with people who think it’s very clever to put a sink in their kitchen island. Have you never left plates by the sink before? Do you seriously want that mess to be the focal point of the room? Just why?!

It is these practical details that really put me off looking for a house that I would not have to build myself or at least seriously remodel to my family’s requirements. It’s just not natural to live in a house that someone else has designed and just learn to live with the daily frustrations of not being able to do daily tasks the way that you want. That’s how you end up wanting to move again, without really understanding why you ended up hating that house that seemed to tick all the boxes when you moved in.

Your home should suit your family’s lifestyle. My role is cooking but I refuse to be just the cook!


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