It makes beer! It deep-fries whole fish! It churns out real Parisian crêpes! Eight people can work at its six-foot-long sink with sliding countertops! It’s the super-open-galley kitchen—an invention of extreme foodie David Arnold, with help from his wife, Jennifer Carpenter, an architect–product designer (who hasn’t had to cook in the ten years since they got married). For Arnold, who never went to cooking school but reads only cookbooks before going to bed, the kitchen is both a place to make dinner for the kids and a sort of gastronomic laboratory. He’s in the middle of courting backers and scouting sites for his other dream creation, a Museum of Food and Drink. “If I am not eating or cooking, I am thinking about eating or cooking or how someone else is eating or cooking,” he says. “There is always a meal on the way.”
What do you cook most often here?
Arnold: Mainly simple, family-style meals. I am also excited about this self-saucing quail I do, with a par-poached egg on the inside that is battered and fried, but no one else seems to like it as much as I do.
Any drawbacks to the place?
Not enough electrical power! I wish I had 220 volts or even three-phase power with more amps so I could have more commercial equipment.
Any food phobias?
I don’t like drinking out of other people’s soda bottles.
The ideal sink: The foot pedal controls the tap (both from www.tsbrass.com). “I used to play with foot pedals when I was a kid at my mom’s hospital,” says Arnold. “My mom is a great cook. She found the time while also being a world-renowned pediatric cardiologist.”
The hidden fryer: Part of the countertop by the stove lifts up to reveal a six-gallon, 40-pound oil fryer. Arnold can have one of these only because of the kitchen’s extensive exhaust system.
The brew-beer-yourself operation: Arnold practices all-grain brewing (which he says is like making a cake from scratch) as opposed to extract brewing. In this cabinet is a ﬁve-gallon keg that all the brewed ingredients go into for cooling.
His brand of malt: Maris Otter, a British barley. Not shown is a lot of the other apparatuses involved in the beer-making process: a turkey frying pot used as a boiling kettle, a fermentation “carboy” bottle, etc.
1) The Mexican pig: A stone bowl used to ground spices.
2) The oven: A modiﬁed six-burner Garland—with an exhaust pipe that goes straight out the window.
3) The fish: A sea bass.
4) The chef’s knife: A Henckels.
5) The pots and pans: “I don’t like having to ask where stuff is in other people’s kitchens,” says Arnold, who often has guests help cook. “So most of our items are out in plain sight.”
6) The crêpe maker: A Krampouz, the kind Parisian street vendors use. Arnold lugged his back from France.
Owners and Designers: David Arnold and Jennifer Carpenter, principal of TRUCK Product Architecture, and their two small children.
Space: 800-square-foot two-bedroom apartment on the Lower East Side.