Gourmet Outdoor Cooking Is “In”

When will a bedroom closet be the most important “room” in a house? Don’t know for sure but I bet it’s coming…. You see, our collective taste keeps on changing, largely influenced by TV programs showing the lifestyle of the rich & famous or the successful growing menu of HGTV house hunt shows.

At the age of individualism and originality, one can be puzzled by the persuasive power of these shows to condition viewers into addiction to stereotypes. We, human beings, just have to have exactly what our wealthy neighbors have. Case in point, watching those TV shows, you would think that today a house shows signs of physical obsolescence if the kitchen is not equipped with stainless steel appliances and a granite or marble counter!

Correct me if I’m wrong but I seem to recall that 50 years ago or so, the size of the master bedroom was THE big deal. Then, a lot of people figured that, actually, the size of the master bathroom was infinitely more critical. If you had a huge master bathroom, with all the fancy amenities and gadgets, it was the unquestionable proof that “you made it.”

For the last 20 years or so, the kitchen has been the star of the house, the proud focal point to showcase, brag about and gather with friends with a glass of wine in hand. I don’t care whether you eat spaghetti most nights or are in the habit of ordering your pizza, but you must have a Cordon Bleu kitchen that would make Julia Child envious. That’s all there is to it.

Well, here we are now, in 2015. Another era, another need, another want. For the last few years, the real thing to make an impressive statement is an outdoor kitchen. I am not talking about a barbecue here, I mean a full service gourmet kitchen, kind of a duplicate copy of what you have inside. That’s the new chic. You better start planning for it if you want to play your part in the “elite.”

Our global marketing partner, Luxury Portfolio, put out a paper some time ago on “Luxe Trends,” with this evocative title: “Creating An Outdoor Oasis.” It suggests that architects and homebuilders of luxury homes must now integrate the fact that the demand for outdoor kitchens has exploded. Not just where the sun shines most of the time, no, everywhere, anytime.

The judges at the Best in American Living Awards at the International Builders Shows, say that entries to the prestigious annual design contest suggest that ready-to-party outdoor spaces have transcended geography and are no longer confined to warm weather climate.

Thus, as the study goes, the scope of those oases is limited only by the homeowner’s imagination (money too, I might add). This may include under-cabinet refrigeration, multiple ovens, six-burner stoves, grilling islands, ice makers, dishwashers, pizza ovens, bars, fireplaces, etc.

Maybe the next new thing after all will be an outdoor bedroom (and bathroom of course), right next to the kitchen, so that you don’t have far to go after a big meal…  Meanwhile, appliances and furniture manufacturers love what’s going on and are busy creating durable, sealed workhorses that are designed to withstand nature’s capricious moods and seasons.

With all that good outdoor stuff, who needs a house?!