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Tuesday, March 20, 2007


david  L

As long as you're open by mid-June, whatever design you choose is fine with me...


I admire your willingness to go outside your comfort zone. When I went into the French Laundry kitchen I was impressed with the quiet and precise movements in the space. No screaming, that's for sure. I wonder if being willing to allow people see the kitchen changes it's character?


GOD BLESS YOU BRETT for sharing this process with us! It is so completely facinating and you are to be commended for sharing a process that involves every bit of your body and soul. WOW WOW WOW WOW!

Derrick Schneider


You should also check out Oakland's Jojo. The dishwashing station is in the back, but the kitchen where Curt and Mary Jo work their magic is right out in front. Same ideas, and it works so very well. Plus, we get to say hi to them as we walk in.


This is all very exciting...but who is doing your cooking oil???


Considering the proximity of Ollalie to our house, you will no doubt be a proxy dining room for us as well. You'll be sick of our faces before long! :-)


I'm so gald you're blogging again, although I don't begrudge you a single second of the planning, dreaming and even -- gasp -- relaxing in between that kept you away.

We can't wait to sit at the bar. Or in the garden. Or... everywhere. :D


I read your blog regularly, but just had to comment on your kitchen in the front. One of the hottest new high end restaurants in my city, Fuel, has their kitchen in the front and the kitchen bar is the place ti sit. I think it is a wonderful idea and I suspect it will be popular with your regulars. NExt time I drift down to San Francisco, I hope you will be open.


David, mid-June? Hahahahaha!

Amy, the willingness to let people see the kitchen definitely changes its character. From my experience, working in open kitchens forces us cooks to work cleaner, more carefully, and to treat our coworkers with more respect. It has its downsides and it's not for everyone. But it can also be a lot of fun! We get to see and meet the people we are cooking for.

Matt, thank you for your support and encouragement!

Derrick, I've been to Jojo a couple of times and I loved it (though it's been a while and I'm overdue for a return visit). You pointed out another positive aspect of the open kitchen in the front. My fellow kitchen grunts and I will be able to greet our friends and guests who stop by to savor our cooking.

Elle, I'm open to checking out your rice oil, but I have to admit I'm partial to olive oil. Its a better fit with my style of cooking.

Sean, you know I'll never tire of your or DPaul's faces :)

Anita, thanks for your support! Can't wait to have you dine at our restaurant! We'll save a stool at the kitchen counter just for you.

Linda, I appreciate the tip. I have to make a trip up to Vancouver one of these days. So many brilliant restaurants there. I checked out Fuel's website and it looks great (although they didn't have a good picture of the kitchen in the front).


I'm out here on the East Coast and don't know when I'll be back to the Bay Area...but your restaurant will be one reason to do so.

I've been a lurker on your blog for a while (not sure why...I comment everywhere else) but I just wanted to say how awesome it is to get an inside view of your plans and goings on.

With the passion you obviously have for this project, I don't see any way that it won't succeed.

Good luck.


I'm an Architect, and while I would say be open to your Architect, also go with your gut. If you don't love this, then it won't work for you long term. And it's SO much easier to make changes at conceptual design stage. Maybe have them do a few "back of the envelope" sketches of a few alternate options with kitchen at the back? If nothing else that may quell the "what if" questions I seem to read between the lines of your post. If you still love the kitchen-at-front design you will have that validated, and if you like something else better you will know that too. I think in the end there is no "perfect" design and everything is collaborative, so I'm sure ither option would be fine, but you want to be sure you feel good about it in the end. A little sketch time now may defer regrets later.

I'll be there supporting you all the way once you get open - can't wait!


Lenn, thanks for showing your support. If you do ever come out here, be sure to bring some of the excellent Long Island wine I hear so much about.

Diane, thanks for your professional input. Don't worry. I explored every possible place to locate the kitchen with my previous architect - left side, right side, along the back. The only schemes that had real potential required expensive structural work and new foundations, a topic which I'll touch on in an upcoming post. Because those options had already been explored, my new architects decided to experiment with the kitchen in the front. Though not perfect, it really is the best and most cost effective layout for the space. Over time, I have grown to love it.


Brett: I'm glad you've taken time to fully explore all options - it sounds as if this will be wonderful!


Ooh! I am so excited for you!

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