Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Webinar: Winning Outdoor Kitchen Design

Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet is presenting a LACES accredited webinar on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 from 11:00 a.m. to noon CST.

The webinar, based on one of the most popular sessions at the 2009 ASLA annual meeting and covering some of the same material as the successful course from the 2009 NKBA annual conference, covers sound design principles for creating outdoor kitchens that really work. The material covers all four primary types of outdoor kitchen installations and avoids mentioning specific brands and products.

Course overview: This course will teach participants the key functional design principles for kitchen layout, including prep areas, storage, and equipment placement. The speaker will share specific and actionable guidelines that have been developed through years of experience with outdoor kitchens and are founded in some of the best practices for indoor kitchen design.

Learning objectives:

  • Learn to apply proven indoor kitchen design principles that have been translated to the specific needs of the outdoors. Also, identify and avoid the most common outdoor kitchen design mistakes.
  • Evaluate client cooking and entertaining needs and translate them into successful designs.
  • Discover specific and actionable recommendations for kitchen layout, including work space, storage space, equipment placement, seating and more.


Registered Professional Partners, $30.00; Other Design Professionals, $70.00; Students, $15.00. To learn more about becoming a Registered Professional Partner, please call Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet at 1.800.868.1699.

Register online at http://www.kalamazoogourmet.com/webinar

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Follow Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet on Facebook

Our new Facebook page includes photo galleries of completed outdoor kitchens, recipes, design tips and more. The topic in our discussion area right now is our Top 10 Tips for Better Outdoor Kitchen Design. We would love to hear from you, so please join in the conversation.

Visit our Facebook page.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Favorite Thanksgiving Grill Recipes

With Turkey Day right around the corner, I wanted to take a short break from outdoor kitchen design topics to wish everyone a joyful and delicious Thanksgiving. I also wanted to share a terrific turkey and a delicious side dish recipe we at Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet created for the holiday.

If you haven’t yet tried to grill some or all of your Thanksgiving feast outdoors, I really encourage you to give it a try. You’ll find it easier and better tasting than cooking indoors.

Looking for another benefit to cooking your feast outdoors? The extended entertaining space that comes from freeing up the kitchen allows guests to gather in an area traditionally taken over by the cook. Happy Thanksgiving!

Apple Brined Turkey:

Top Chef Masters Winner Chef Rick Bayless uses Kalamazoo’s hybrid grills on his show “Mexico: One Plate at a Time,” and this recipe is inspired by his guidelines for creating a succulent brined turkey. Faulk adds spiced apple cider for a can’t miss turkey recipe.
Check out the recipe.

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes:

Here you’ll find the subtle, smoky taste of grilled sweet potatoes melded with a savory twist on classic turkey stuffing and the familiar tang of fresh cranberries. You’ll think you are in sweet potato heaven.
Check out the recipe.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Design Trend: Give Me Shelter

Outdoor kitchens began as a trend of taking the indoors outside; homeowners are now putting a roof over their outdoor kitchens. A sheltering structure provides a location for lighting, ceiling fans and helps retain heat from radiant heaters on cool spring and fall evenings, among others. More than 50 percent of designers attending Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet’s kitchen design classes report seeing an increase in the number of outdoor kitchens being designed under a roof. Kalamazoo believes this trend will continue to strengthen and become more elaborate as more people combine their outdoor kitchens with outdoor living spaces. Below are some best practices to keep in mind when installing an outdoor kitchen under a sheltering structure:

  1. Extending a home’s living space. Shelter over an outdoor kitchen has grown to be an important addition to today’s increasingly sophisticated kitchens. It has been adopted most readily in the northeastern United States. The main thing to keep in mind when considering structure: it is an architectural element and it must blend in with the exterior of the house. Clients are starting to build shelters that often require an architect’s skill to ensure it blends well.

  2. Ventilation. Once a structure goes over a grill, the need for ventilation increases. While a grill’s job is to produce smoke, you want to keep it and grease spatters contained. Vent hoods can be mounted on a wall, or suspended from the structure to service cooking islands; performance varies by manufacturer. Kalamazoo builds ventilation hoods to a commercial standard and six inches wider than its grills to ensure smoke and some grease are captured. The hoods are designed from the ground up to include a vertical capture area that is 30 inches tall.

  3. Keep a light on. Lighting is always important in an outdoor kitchen, but it becomes doubly important when a kitchen is under shelter. It is probably the least understood element in outdoor kitchen. Two types of lighting, task and ambient, have distinct jobs. Task lighting makes the work area more visible. Make sure that each work station (grill, sink, cooktop) and at least one prep area are well lit. Ambient lighting ends drama and atmosphere to the outdoor kitchen. Make it indirect, but provide enough for the entire kitchen and dining area. To see more about outdoor lighting, check out this article from Kitchen & Bath Business magazine.

  4. Don’t forget the cable, as in cable TV. TVs and audio equipment are gaining in popularity as a “must-have” in outdoor kitchens. There’s nothing like watching the big game outside while the grill cooks your favorite food. When placing the TV, keep in mind the movement of the sun. The last thing you want is the sun in your clients’ eyes or shining directly on the television. Consider the placement of cables and outlets so the TV’s appearance is kept as clean and simple as possible. Many TVs are being placed into the roof structure to keep them off of work surfaces and conceal wires, cable boxes, DVD players. Keep the same considerations in mind when placing speakers, docks for iPods or stereo equipment.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Winterizing the Outdoor Kitchen

You know you’re supposed to winterize your car and house. You should also winterize an outdoor kitchen, especially if you close it up for the winter. Here are five steps that need to be taken:

  1. Clean it out. That means cleaning the interior and exterior of the grill, cabinets and refrigeration. Including food and drinks in the refrigerators. If you can get to the back of the refrigeration unit, make sure you remove leaves, dirt, etc. that may have accumulated around the condensing unit.

  2. Turn it off. If you have a sink or an ice maker, it’s time to turn off the water supply. Turn it off at the connection to the house. Allow the remaining water to run out of hoses or faucets. This prevents water from freezing inside the lines, causing ruptures and big repair bills.

  3. Turn it off again. Outdoor refrigeration doesn’t work well when the outside temperature is colder than the refrigerator’s interior. On Kalamazoo units it is as simple as pressing the “OFF” button. If the power cord is easily accessible, unplug the appliance. If not, turn off the circuit breaker serving the appliance.

  4. Shine it up. Use stainless cleaner and polish on all exteriors except glass. Use the same cleaner and polish on all cabinet and refrigeration units (only if the interiors are stainless steel).

  5. Under cover. Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet products do not need a cover. If a cover is desired, use a synthetic material that does not trap and hold moisture and can withstand the elements.

For detailed winterization instructions, please visit the customer service section of the Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet website.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet Announces 2009 Oasis Award Winner

Small site lives large through inventive use of space, wins national outdoor kitchen design award

Brian Griffith of Columbus, Ohio created the Prima Vista Entertainment Garden to win the 2009 Oasis Award for Outdoor Kitchen Design.

His design took a small, empty space that connected a house and a garage and transformed it into an outdoor living space that features the cooking grill as the design’s centerpiece, making the host/cook always accessible to the guests; extends the interior feel of the main residence to the outside space and uses terracing to create cooking, conversation, and serving areas.

Griffth’s outdoor kitchen concept is featured in the November/December issue of Garden Design magazine in Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet’s Hot off the Grill! and Outdoor Kitchen Profits by Design e-newsletters and the Web sites of the Oasis Award, www.oasisaward.com; Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, www.kalamazoogourmet.com; and Garden Design magazine, www.gardendesign.com.

With more than six years in the industry, Griffith is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. He holds a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the Ohio State University.

The only nationwide contest to recognize excellence and innovation in the design of outdoor kitchens, the Oasis Award for Outdoor Kitchen Design is open to all design professionals, including architects, landscape architects, interior designers and certified kitchen designers.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Oasis Award Entry Deadline in Two Weeks

Monday, August 3rd is the deadline for entries into the third annual Oasis Award competiion. This is the only nation-wide competition formed exclusively to recognize excellence in outdoor kitchen design.

For more information on submitting your work, visit www.OasisAward.com.

The competition is open to all design professionals, including:
  • Residential architects
  • Landscape architects
  • Landscape designers
  • Kitchen designers
  • Interior designers
  • Students

The judging panel, consisting of five experts in outdoor design, will select the 2009winner. The judges for the 2009 Oasis Award for Outdoor Kitchen Design are:

  • Mary Palmer Dargan, MLA, ASLA, APLD, RLA, CLARB, Author, Vice President, Dargan Landscape Architects
  • Jane Humzy, Owner, Designer, Jane Hamley Wells
  • Sarah Kinbar, Editor, Garden Design magazine
  • Bill Marken, Honorary ALSA
  • Mary Jo Peterson, CKD, CBD, CAPS, Principal, Mary Jo Peterson, Inc.
  • Michael A. Thomas, FASID, CAPS, Principal, Design Collective Group, President-Elect, ASID National

The judging panel will review entries for:

  • Overall design quality of the outdoor living space
  • Effective kitchen design
  • Integration of the outdoor kitchen space with the overall environment
  • Creative and effective use of materials
  • Design value to the client

The winner will receive national recognition through media and website coverage as well as exposure at the 2009 ASLA Conference. Complete entry information is available at www.OasisAward.com. Enter today!