When we set out to design our shared commercial kitchen, we knew that we wanted to configure and equip it in a way that would enable up to three small food businesses to work simultaneously. The result will be a kitchen that maximizes space by sharing certain resources (walk-in cooler, three basin sink, dishwasher) while giving each unit its own essential cooking equipment and prep space. We also wanted to give each kitchen unit its own identity, and looked to our three favorite restaurants for some inspiration.
Kitchen One – “Kingston”
Kingston is the first of our “hot” or “catering” kitchens and is named after Kingston Street, the street that our favorite local restaurant, Townsman, is located on. Townsman sits on the edge of Chinatown on the Greenway in Boston not too far from South Station. Chef/Owner Matt Jennings has developed a menu that celebrates the culinary heritage of New England, while focusing on the best seasonal ingredients, flavor and technique. If you want to know what it is like to be hugged by a restaurant…go to Townsman.
We have dined at Townsman too many times to count and been to many different events there as well. Every visit brings both new surprises and familiar comfort. Chris has also had the pleasure of staging at Townsman, which he wrote about here.
What to order? The menu changes often, but our picks from the current dinner menu would have to be: beef tartare, bluefish paté, pan roasted mahi mahi and the creste de gallo.
We hope that our resident businesses that work in Kingston are inspired by the hospitality that Townsman represents to us.
Kitchen Two – “Ballard”
For the restaurant inspiration behind Ballard, our second catering kitchen, you will have to take the short drive from Townsman to Logan and hop on the next Jetblue flight to SeaTac. Ballard Avenue (in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle) is home to The Walrus and the Carpenter, a small oyster bar where, after your second or third glass of Sancerre, the outside world melts away. Go with your best friends or those that you love the most and get lost in conversation over some of the brightest food we have ever had.
Chef Renee Erickson is the chef/owner of our favorite establishment on the left coast, and she owns a few other spots around Seattle, which unfortunately we have never dined at…we just keep going back to The Walrus and the Carpenter.
What to order? Splurge on good bubbles or crisp white wine and then order at least a dozen oysters. Follow that up with the steak tartare, grilled sardines and grilled octopus.
We hope that our resident businesses that work in Ballard can get lost in their passion for their work and for those that they feed.
Kitchen Three – “North Church”
Our third and final kitchen is specifically designed for bakers, equipped with a convection oven and other equipment tailored for a small baked goods entrepreneur. To find the restaurant that inspired this kitchen’s name, you will have to make your way to Stockholm, to Klara Norra kyrkogata 26…or 26 North Church Street. There you will find the new home of Restaurant Frantzen, one of the best restaurants in the world and the location of the best meal we have ever eaten. (Check out our past blog post about one of the dishes they serve there.) Although we have eaten at a few of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, this one was our favorite. The meal was inspired, the service impeccable and we can still taste the flavors.
What to order? You don’t have a choice! It is a set tasting menu, but definitely spring for the wine pairing.
We hope that our resident businesses that work in North Church will be emboldened by the spirit of adventure that both travel and entrepreneurship bring.