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New York’s Jack of All Kitchen Trades

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New York’s Jack of All Kitchen Trades

Laura Fenton July 27, 2012

Haven’s Kitchen, just west of Union Square, is a cooking school, café, catering company, and boutique, to name a few of its guises.

Owner Alison Schneider, who has a masters in the burgeoning academic field of food studies, worked with Turett Collaborative Architects on a gut renovation that transformed a 19th-century carriage house, previously home to a Japanese screen manufacturer, into her dream culinary club. Says farm-to-table advocate Schneider, "I imagined a food community where people could learn about, prepare, and share delicious food."

Above: A reception area at the base of the stairs bridges the gap between the retail space and a teaching kitchen.

Above: White subway tiles laid in a running brick pattern frame a chalkboard that lists upcoming cooking classes. On the docket: parent-and-child five-day summer cooking camps.

Above: The ground floor houses the shop, which stocks a well-edited array of linens, ceramics, and pantry goods, such as Old Field Farm honey, Whimsy & Spice marshmallows, and Common Good cleaning products and candles. The floor is poured concrete floors with a helicopter finish, which has a sheen but is not at all slippery. The walls are lined with custom wood-and-steel shelving designed and built by Matt Zalla (MattZalla@gmail.com), who also made the marble-topped communal table.

Above: Mini pavlova tarts, crisp meringues topped with whipped cream, berries, and mint.

Above: Haven's Kitchen is out to reinvent the food basket. Its themed food totes, such as the Artisan shown here, are filled with treats and snacks made mostly within striking distance of Manhattan. These include Queen's Guard tea from Bellocq, Hot Bread Kitchen's lavash crackers, Mast Brothers chocolate, salt from The Meadow, Bonnie's rhubarb jam, as well as Haven's Kitchen's own granola, popcorn, and private blend of coffee from La Colombe.

Above: Bon Maman jam jars were put to use as a multi-strand light fixture at the shop's entrance. The jars’ exteriors were sanded to reduce glare.

Above: Upstairs is home to a lounge (as well as a bar and dining room) where private events such as rehearsal dinners and corporate powwows take place. All of the chairs are in black, leaving room for two to make a bold statement in deep yellow ultra-suede.

Above: The brick walls were painted white and hung with contemporary art, 19th century botanical drawings, and American and French movie posters. Owner Alison Schneider loves the look of layered rugs, and notes that they're also practical: they absorb sound in a loft-like space.

Above: The bar is frequently put to use for private cocktail parties. A mirrored wall behind the shelves reflects light back into the space and gives an illusion of depth.

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