April 27, 2013

Kitchen tour to benefit Junior League projects targeting child abuse

She wanted Gothic. He wanted a turret.

She wanted Gothic.

He wanted a turret.

Together, Lisa and Tom Ritchie had what they call their “castle in the country” built just northeast of Wichita 10 years ago. Part of the house – including Gothic pointed-arch doors and an intimate dining niche in the first floor of the turret – will be part of a kitchen tour May 5 sponsored by the Junior League of Wichita.

The tour will take in five kitchens and entertainment spaces in upscale east Wichita neighborhoods, and the proceeds of the tickets ($40 in advance or $45 the day of the tour) will go to the Junior League’s local projects of child-abuse prevention, intervention and awareness.

Lisa Ritchie says she’s excited about the tour – because she plans to tour the other kitchens that are on it.

The Ritchies say they love their kitchen, where they both cook. In fact, they each have a stovetop on either side of an island. Tom loves meat, so his side has a grill.

“We both like to cook, and we can be out of each other’s way,” Tom Ritchie said. “When she has sauerkraut, I have steak.” The kitchen also has two sinks with garbage disposals and two dishwashers – “I love two dishwashers,” Lisa says – and there’s a refrigerator in both the kitchen and the pantry.

They also have a pizza oven on the patio outside the kitchen doors and a fryer in the pantry.

The Ritchies say they got the kitchen right the first time – Lisa says she wouldn’t change a thing. She especially loves the stainless-steel countertop, made of one seamless sheet. She said it’s a nice surface for making bread and pizza and cleans up easily.

Tom Ritchie especially enjoys a coffee bar that’s behind one of the pointed-arch doors.

That Gothic feature can be seen in the wine cellar’s door and in the kitchen cabinets and doors concealing the appliances. Gothic architectural elements of quatrefoils are used as ornaments on the kitchen cabinets, first as cut-outs that show that the cabinets are lighted within, and then as medallions above the cabinets.

Visitors also will walk through the “pool room,” with its 1880 pool table and wine cellar, the dining room – including the first floor of the turret – and a powder room whose sink is a replica in limestone of a baptismal font the Ritchies saw at The Cloisters, the medieval section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

The Junior League of Wichita, which has more than 700 members, will serve samples from its latest cookbook, “Pinches & Dashes” ($28.95), in the various kitchens, and its cookbooks will be for sale. The ticket price includes a voucher for 50 percent off one cookbook during the event.

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