Elemental kitchen trio pares it down to the basics

Mette Schelde
© Mette Schelde

The modern "dream kitchen" today usually involves a lot of space, a lot of expensive, shiny gadgets and a lot of misguided notions about what it takes to cook well. But cooking great food actually requires less investment and space than we think; great chefs and food lovers will tell you it's about good ingredients and passion more than anything else.

In her re-design of what she calls an "elemental" kitchen, Danish designer Mette Schelde pares it down to the essentials: a source of flame, a source of water, and a place for preparation.

© Mette Schelde

Schelde's EtKøkken sits firmly in the "passion" camp, almost literally, as she explains her motivation to reduce it down to the basics, and by extension, simplifying life and going back to the roots of cooking:

The starting point was a desire to break today’s kitchen standards down, because I don’t believe that the over-equipped kitchens make better food or saves more time. Cooking is a basic discipline and with good ingredients you don’t require more than basic cooking techniques. I went out in the nature, butchered a chicken and prepared a meal on fire, water and chopping block. Those elements set the frame around the processing of commodities and preparation of the meal and cover the kitchens basic functions. I intended to pull these elements into a contemporary context. It’s not about having to settle, but a quest for grades from the past that makes sense to let shine in a new light.

© Mette Schelde
© Mette Schelde
© Mette Schelde

The triad of circular forms has a kind of alchemical appeal, as does the fact that all three stations can move to adapt to any space -- inside or out -- or to any position the cook may find themselves in, thanks to the fact that the fire station has a gas tank hidden inside.

The water station has to be connected to water and drainage however; though if Schelde's camping analogy has any import, one can imagine some kind of "dry camping" solution where you could get a bowl and a bottle of water to stand in for the lack of a water hookup.

© Mette Schelde

Minimal, adaptable and living up to its elemental inspirations, this kitchen emphasizes the love of simple things over all else. For more of Mette Schelde's work, see her website, and check out this visual tour of more small kitchens of the future.

Tags: Denmark | Kitchens | Small Spaces