Oldcastle/Belgard Hardscapes’ outdoor kitchen shines in Rockefeller Center

Things were served up with a twist at the fourth annual House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year. For the first time ever, the event featured a fully functioning outdoor kitchen component on a stone patio. Belgard Hardscapes furnished veneer stone and unit masonry for the 2,500-sq.-ft. dream kitchen, which was on display at Rockefeller Center from, New York City, in July.

“Inclusion of an outdoor kitchen in this year’s showcase is a testament to the growing popularity of this segment of landscape design,” says Belgard Hardscapes V.P. Ken O’Neill. “Outdoor living is becoming more and more an extension of the home, and we’re honored to have been chosen to demonstrate this trend of family life.”

Tyler Florence, Food Network host and renowned chef, designed the Kitchen of the Year with 1,000-sq.-ft. indoor and 1,500-sq.-ft. outdoor sections, the latter incorporating a combination of modular components from the Belgard Elements Collection. The outdoor kitchen was outfitted with a paver patio that continued around the entire building, creating a wrap-around dining and living area flanked by a fireplace and matching woodbox, all created with pavers and garden wall products from Belgard. The wrap-around patio was enclosed by a wrought iron fence from Merchants Metals and Belgard pillars, with decorative paver ramps at either end to provide easy access to the raised building.

The outdoor living room and kitchen units were manufactured by Harmony Outdoor Living in a controlled factory setting using Belgard pavers and wall products and shipped in sections to where it could be assembled at the site using a Bobcat. Mike Miles of Belgard Hardscapes and Harmony Outdoor Living notes that “[the] line of factory-built modular units provides a way to easily create luxury hardscape kitchens for a fraction of the time and cost of a site-built kitchen.”

Throughout the event, the dream kitchen was open daily to the public for tours, tastings, cooking demonstrations and special events. On August 1, it was transformed into Bar 30, which served snacks and cocktails for two weeks. Afterwards, products and building materials were donated to ReStoreHabitat for Humanity. The Kitchen of the Year will be featured in the October 2011 issue of House Beautiful, available September 13. — Josephine Smith