When Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson, co-owners of the Tartine empire in San Francisco, moved into their circa 1960 Castro district home back in 2015, they were the first occupants after a gut remodel—so they neither got to choose what filled out their new kitchen nor know who designed it.
Regardless, they put it to work fast and furiously, as two star chefs would. It was in this kitchen that the duo developed the concept and menus for Tartine Manufactory, a full restaurant with bakery, bar, and ice cream shop that’s attached to Heath Ceramics’ factory and store in San Francisco’s Outer Mission. (See 7 Ideas to Steal from the Manufactory in SF by Commune Design for more.) And it was here that Prueitt developed recipes, wrote, and had the food photographed for her latest cookbook, Tartine All Day: Modern Recipes for the Home Cook.
Along with their daughter and two cats, the pair moved out of the house earlier this year, and aren’t yet certain what their next home kitchen has in store. But while in limbo, Prueitt shared with us her reflections on what made her Castro kitchen great, and what she’d do differently next time.
Photography by and courtesy of Patricia Chang.
Prueitt’s favorite part of the kitchen was the island. “Perhaps it’s having worked in restaurants where we have a ‘pass’ to land the food before it goes out,” she said, but the island has become a home kitchen mainstay for the star chef: “Even if I have a small kitchen in the future, I’ll make sure there’s an island.”
The kitchen opens to the dining room, which opens, via sliding glass doors, onto a concrete patio with an outdoor dining set and grill.
Another perk of a kitchen island, says Prueitt, is that it’s ideal when hosting guests—either as the buffet station, or “to place predinner snacks so people can snack and talk to the cook.”