Published May 3, 2012
Women's board is cooking up a
Kitchen Walk offers a peek into some of Hinsdale’s most
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
Zielke credited the walk’s founders for scheduling it at the
“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 kitchen-walk.com.
More details about the walk are listed in Out and About on Page 20.
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
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
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
“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
Her kitchen won’t be the largest on the tour, but Roberts said it
“It feels cozy to me,” she said. “People will come in and say, ‘Oh,
it’s really homey.’ That’s what everybody says.”
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
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.
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
The Hinsdalean and the Hinsdale Historical Society,
which works to collect, preserve and promote the
village’s history and its architecture.