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Dream Kitchens — Renowned Designer and a COOKCHILL Showroom Turn Heads

Launching Texas Design Week Houston With 15 Swoon-Worthy Kitchens

BY // 05.18.21
photography Johnny Than

Swoon! There was little else one could do when encountering the jaw-dropping La Cornue all-copper range that was enthroned on the second floor of the recently opened COOKCHILL Showroom — one of TXDW’s keynote sponsors — in the Upper Kirby District. Tours of this emporium of state-of-the-art kitchen design marked the launch of PaperCity‘s Texas Design Week (TXDW) Houston. The mid-morning reception featured a presentation by renowned kitchen designer Richard Thomas Anuszkiewicz (aka Richard A2Z) as well as tasty food presentations from Swift + Company.

A fashionable clutch of interior designers, decorators and design aficionados toured the showroom‘s 15 sample kitchens that include such high-end brands as Gaggenau, Viking and Monogram, the latter of which Richard A2Z is creative director.

Overseeing the bustling kitchens where Swift + Company‘s team prepared a cornucopia of delicious bites was COOKCHILL corporate executive chef Jay Johnston. Jonston noted that the showroom was designed for cooking be it for special events such as this Texas Design Week happening or in-house cooking demonstrations. In fact on a recent day, Johnston notes a customer prepared scrambled eggs on a BlueStar cooktop in advance of committing to purchase.

“We’re here to help people buy the kitchen of their dreams,” he says.

003_2021-05-17 TDWH Richard AtoZ_ (Photo by Photos by Johnny Than)
COOKCHILL owner Alan Nahman, Monogram creative director Richard Thomas Anuszkiewicz, Monogram sales manager Sarah Prazak (Photo by Johnny Than)

For this event, Swift’s Asian Shrimp Brochettes with Pineapple were cooked, for example, in the Monogram Hearth Oven proving that it has uses beyond pizza. The Pear and Brie in Phyllo cups with Blueberry Compote evidenced the multi-rack baking function of the Monogram convection oven and the cooking control of the induction cooktop.

Defining one’s dream kitchen could be a delicious chore as the showroom boasts some 500 appliances. And, as might be expected, the au courant offerings echoed A2Z’s presentation.

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“Truly celebrating the appliances like furniture is something that I am really passionate about,” he told the gathering as he revealed an image of a refrigerator armoire in a Beverly Hills home. The one-of-a-kind piece featured a hand-laid veneer in a starburst pattern on the front, which was accented with leather stitched handles.

Totally integrating dishwashers, ice makers, refrigeration drawers and refrigerators into the design is the ticket for today’s contemporary kitchens.

In popular vintage design where the dreamy La Cornue ranges come in, A2Z noted that bold colors and mixed metals are in play. Think aubergine and forest green lacquer kitchen walls and brass burners.

“We’ve been really proud in the statement collection of Monogram to launch solid brass pieces,” he says. “So you are noticing that in the sense of solid brass burners on our cooking tops. Not only are they beautiful but brass actually conducts heat better so you get a better cooking performance. Solid brass knobs are employed on the range tops as well. I love this contrast because we’ve been so long in stainless finishes that it’s great to see those accents.”

A2Z encouraged the audience to challenge the expectations of what a kitchen or bath could or should do.

“While trends are great, it’s really important for any of us in design to have a point of view and a perspective,” he notes. “We want to be relevant, of course. But we need to make our spaces dynamic. No matter what the look or feel, anything can be extremely relevant. It’s all about execution. It’s all about achieving the ‘Wow’ factor.”

For the record, the brilliant, hand-crafted La Cornue copper range with brushed brass knobs and the copper-trimmed hood tab costs $175,000.

The program was sponsored by COOKCHILL, Monogram, New Orleans Auction Galleries, Porcelanosa, The Shade Store, Alto, K&N Sales, and Swiggard Creative.

Texas Design Week events continue through the rest of the week. For the full schedule of events, check out Texas Design Week Houston’s full website.

Part of the Special Series:

PaperCity - Texas Design Week

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