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Hinsdale, Illinois |

Published May 3, 2012                                         

Women's board is cooking up a
real treat

May 11 Kitchen Walk offers a peek into some of Hinsdale’s most spectacular kitchens

By Pamela Lannom 

   Fifty years from now the home at 707 S. Lincoln St. might be one of the older homes on the Hinsdale Cooks! Kitchen Walk.
   This year it is the newest home on the May 11 walk to benefit the Hinsdale Historical Society. The oldest is a Sixth Street home built in 1898.
   “Obviously we wanted to have historic homes because it’s the historical society,” said Sarah Zielke, one of three co-chairmen of the event, which is sponsored by the historical society’s Women’s Board. “It’s important to highlight those homes, to highlight the preservation of historic homes in the community and to make sure they are well represented.
   “On the other hand, there are a lot of beautiful new homes, and it’s a way to bring those homeowners into the women’s board and into the historical society,” she added.
   The event, now in its seventh year, relies on the generosity of homeowners who agree to be part of the walk and local businesses who supply everything from tablescapes to treats.
   Zielke credited the walk’s founders for scheduling it at the perfect time.
   “It’s something that has become part of a lot of people’s annual traditions, and because it’s around Mother’s Day, it lends itself to that,” she said.
   Two of the five homes on the walk are featured below. The others are at 420 N. Washington St., 222 E. Sixth St. and 728 S. Park Ave. A full description of all five kitchens is available online at
   More details about the walk are listed in Out and About on Page 20.

328 E. Eighth St.
‘Garden Party’

    Maureen Roberts needed a little vision when she and her husband bought their 1932 home 11 years ago.
   “The kitchen was state-of-the-art 1960 when we bought it,” she said.
   Everything was brown — the cabinets, the appliances, even the ceiling. But the home was well-built with a good flow, so Roberts decided to keep the existing layout intact. She replaced appliances and countertops, painted the cabinets white and added lighting.
   “I didn’t have to tear everything out and start over,” she said. “I just took what was here and freshened it and updated it.”
   Among the new appliances she purchased, Roberts is most happy with a compact 36-inch Wolfe with six burners that she found to fit the space and a warming drawer that is part of a convection oven and microwave wall unit.
   Roberts spends a lot of time in the kitchen but said she is not a gourmet cook.
   “I’m not a great cook. I cook a lot because people want to eat every day,” she said. “I’ve never bought a Bon Appetit. I don’t watch cooking TV shows.”
   Her specialties are the simple dishes that she learned from her mother — “unfried” chicken, chicken salad, her world-famous iced tea.
   During the summer months, some of what she cooks come from her gorgeous yard. Earlier this week she harvested her first radishes, lettuces, Swiss chard and rhubarb. She’s also plants peas, broccoli, beets, tomatoes, squash and herbs.
   Her kitchen won’t be the largest on the tour, but Roberts said it suits her.
   “It feels cozy to me,” she said. “People will come in and say, ‘Oh, it’s really homey.’ That’s what everybody says.”

707 S. Lincoln St.
‘Hollywood Glamour’

   When Stephanie Brzozowski was working with builder Patrick J. Murphy, she wanted to create a kitchen that looked great and met the needs of her young family.
   “We wanted an open space, an open floor plan, that was ideal for both small, intimate gatherings and large parties, from every day cooking with the kids to entertaining our families,” she said. “I love cooking. It had to be functional,”
   The result is stunning. Brzozowski’s kitchen features an enormous center island with a raised level where Charlotte, 6, Hudson, 4, and McCall, 3, can eat lunch or where she can lay out a large buffet dinner.
   All the bells and whistles are there, too — a built-in coffee maker, steam oven and double dishwasher by Miele, a Wolfe range and oven and a Subzero double-door refrigerator and freezer. A large bar area features an ice-maker and beverage storage.
   “I think the coffee maker is my favorite,” said Brzozowski, a former Starbuck’s customer. “Honestly we’ve made our money tenfold back with that already.”
   The open layout of the rooms surrounding the kitchen allows Brzozowski to keep an eye on her kids or chat with guests while cooking. The space also will provide plenty of room for people to watch Chef Paul Virant’s 11 a.m. cooking demonstration.
   Brzozowski is friends with kitchen walk co-chairs Zielke, Kate Schuppan and Anna Fiascone and said she was happy to be part of the tour.
   “It’s a nice event and a pretty time of the year. I’ve always participated in the past,” she said. “I know it’ a really nice thing that people look forward to.”


  Making a Difference is a yearlong partnership between
The Hinsdalean and the Hinsdale Historical Society, which works to collect, preserve and promote the village’s history and its architecture.



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