Through My Eyes: City Girl Cooking

As an interior designer, I’ve done many kitchens, so I know firsthand how a kitchen is the center of a home.  It’s the one room that most people feel reflects their personality most.  It is the heart of the home, a gathering space that is used for much more than cooking.

I recently thought of an old article from the New York Times, Michael Pollan’s “Out of the Kitchen, onto the Couch”.

I began questioning the irony of his points.  He states that cooking shows don’t help or inspire us to cook at home—they just make us eat more.  In my experience, my clients have always wanted the best appliances, a great layout with a place to socialize, eat, and hangout.  I just assumed people were cooking, especially with the popularity of cooking shows, and movies like Julie & Julia.

Meryl Streep as Julia Child in the movie Julie and Julia
Meryl Streep as Julia Child in the movie Julie & Julia

Interestingly enough, my personal experience is different from Michael Pollan’s article.  Yes, I am a foodie, and seeing all of these talented chefs create beautiful, interesting food within an unreasonably short time frame has, well, inspired me to start cooking!  As a working mother in New York City, there was a point many years ago when I had certainly fallen into the trap of take out, restaurant deliveries, and prepared food-to-go.  Cooking never seemed necessary, although I, of course, always had a state-of-the-art kitchen…it is the center of the home after all!

Traditional Westchester home, Photographed by Phillip Ennis
Traditional Westchester home, Photographed by Phillip Ennis

However, I have to admit, I’ve been seduced by the cooking shows.  Iron Chef America, Chopped, and Top Chef Masters are the only type of reality shows I don’t feel guilty about watching (except for American Idol, of course!).  They make it look fun, sexy, and a lot less intimidating.  They demystify cooking for me, much like Julia Child did for French cuisine in the 1960s.  Now, this city girl finds herself cooking at home 2-3 times a week.  It may not sound like much, but it has my family jumping for joy!

Do these shows inspire you to cook or eat out?  Which are your favorite?