Monday, March 19, 2012

Kitchens (2 of 8): Dual Cook VS Single Cook

As a general rule, kitchens are classified in two categories – the dual cook and the single cook kitchen.  Planning for either requires different thought and design considerations.

The single cook kitchen will be more compact to eliminate a lot of movement by the cook.  This is more of the traditional kitchen, with the work triangle (discussed in a later post) which connects all the main elements of the kitchen.  They should be planned with all necessary utensils and cookware within easy reach.  This does not mean it must be bland.  By incorporating style and character in the door and drawer panels and hardware and using decorative splashes and surrounds, the single cook kitchen can be functional and stylish.

Even with the efficiency of the single cook kitchen it tends to become cramped and inconvenient when someone else enters to lend a hand while bumping you with their elbows.  Families and couples are also becoming more involved in meal preparation, finding this a great way to socialize and spend time together.  With that in mind the concept of a dual kitchen was born.

The dual cook kitchen, as the name implies, is designed with two or more cooks in mind.  Although both cooks are sharing the kitchen, a well-planned dual cook kitchen will provide for separate preparation areas for each cook.  One cook will center around the range or cooktop and larger sink.  The other cook will have a separate counter area with a smaller sink and will prepare all the sides, etc.  This is similar when baking.  One will center around the oven(s) and the other around the prep sink.  This really helps to eliminate most of the crowding elbow battles in the kitchen.  We all know that everyone wants to help get things ready.  For this reason (and of course a few others) islands have become very popular.

Not only are islands fun, they have a function as well.  When everyone wants to help they can be seated at the island away from the center of the kitchen and yet still be close to the action.  (Incidentally this works well in a single cook kitchen as well.)  So no matter how many helpers you have – let them come and help make meal time a memorable event.

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