We have talked about the kitchen work triangle and how it effectively makes or breaks a kitchen design. If the geometry is off, the kitchen -no matter how beautiful it looks- will not work successfully. Sometimes clients refer to this problem as a “dysfunctional layout.” This has all to do with the location of work centers (aka task areas) and the logic of work flow.
The work centers are
The individual task areas (work centers) must be organized so that the cook has all the utensils, vessels and supplies easily at hand. Each area needs to be planned for efficiency and ease of movement–which leads us to work flow.
Work flow relates to the order in which kitchen work centers are used in various steps of food handling. In simple terms it is this:
Ideally, kitchen work centers are located strategically along that work flow path so that they are in close proximity and minimize the number of steps needed to move from one process to the next.
Set up your work space so that you don’t strain and don’t waste energy that should be going into the work at hand. I was taught this lesson in one of my first part time jobs in high school (back when kids used to do part time jobs in high school). Mr Leonardo, the Leonardo family patriarch and owner of the Four Corners Bootery in Delmar NY, taught me this when I was training in as his assistant. ”Economy of movement,” he said to me, emphasizing with a shake of a wing tip shoe in his black smeared hand. ”Don’t waste time.” Don’t waste time or materials. Follow the formula and you can produce. I don’t think Mr. Leonardo ever cooked a meal in his family kitchen upstairs from the shoe repair shop, but he had the right idea.
And that is precisely what kitchen design and planning is all about. Eliminate unnecessary effort so that all your energy goes into the task at hand. Organize your work centers and plan your work flow so that they support the task at hand and don’t in any way interfere.
There is a beauty and a sort of extravagance in this sort of “economy.” It is the sort of economy -or mindfulness- that sets you free rather than restricts you.