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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Walker Kitchen Lab Serves Up Surprises Tonight at Open Field

Walker Kitchen Lab Serves Up Surprises Tonight at Open Field


Walker Artists in Residence Carl and Betsy DiSalvo (designers/researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology) have been facilitating a two-week workshop on reconceiving the concept of the kitchen. They’ve assembled a group of University of Minnesota students and experts in a range of subjects—from ceramics to history to social justice—that all, in one way or another, have a perspective to offer on the subject of food. After much brainstorming, discussion, and sketching, the Kitchen Lab Collective has created several prototype boxes that contain tools for new ways of thinking about the way we experience food and cooking.

The prototype boxes will be introduced tonight, between 6 and 9 p.m. on the Open Field. I stopped by last night to get a sneak peek and found a few cool concepts in the works. For example:

  • A small solar oven, which will be used to heat up fondue for tonight’s event.
  • A tea garden/tea set consisting of a collection of herbs for making various teas, plus recipes and a setup for participants to brew their own hot or sun tea.
  • A collection of bottled and jarred smells (examples of which are pictured below, courtesy of Kitchen Lab) that encourages participants to blend custom smells evocative of a concept or place. For example: the smells of dried roses, plus black licorice, plus dusty book pages might evoke grandma’s house.

Plus: at 8 p.m., the Picnic Operetta will offer a musical performance with an accompanying five-course tasting menu, related to the story, served during the show.

If you’d like an extra incentive to check out the Walker’s Open Field this summer, I have a few vouchers for free beverages or food at the museum’s Garden Grill. Share your pipe dream ideas for reimagining your kitchen in the comments section (hydroponic herb garden! carbonated water on tap! self-cleaning dishes!), and we'll pick five winners!

Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2012 in Permalink

Comments may be edited for length, clarity, or appropriateness.

Old to new | New to old
Jun 28, 2012 12:20 pm
 Posted by  kathymt16

I would LOVE a complete outdoor kitchen--large grill, pizza oven, sink with hot/cold water, fridge, fully stocked bar!

Jun 28, 2012 03:49 pm
 Posted by  jwitcher87

I would love for a refrigerator/pantry to have particular spaces for staple items. Also storage items that properly utilize empty ceiling and wall space.
Our kitchens are far too reliant on simple drawers/cabinets... what I'd call a "2 dimensional view" of our modern kitchen. So much space above your head and in front of your face!

Jun 28, 2012 11:00 pm
 Posted by  Shannon F.

One day I will have a pastry station with special refrigerator! I hate when I try to cram in a pie to set and it's sitting next to the stinky (yummy) cheese.

Jul 3, 2012 04:38 pm
 Posted by  big red

Dream kitchen = plenty of storage, large center island, a layout that actually makes sense ... and a robot that cooks my meals, does the dishes, then gives me a nice, long, relaxing massage. (Hey, you said pipe dream, right?!)

Jul 5, 2012 11:42 am
 Posted by  JEREMY J

I also like the Outdoor space with pizza oven idea, and a solar cooker is very intriguing as well. Dream kitchen though, I just saw a kitchen that had butcher block shelves instead of cabinets on one wall, I thought it was a great way to create usable accessible space that still looks attractive. Why bury everything in a cabinet. Another must is counter space, maybe on a nice big island and also bar stools on one side of island for guests to sit while the cooking magic is going. Another fun idea for a kitchen would be a window ledge for growing fresh herbs, accessible and look cool through window.

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