Kitchen of the Year Wrap Up

Relaxing outdoors

Rockefeller Center in New York City was bustling with hundreds of daily visitors on site to view the House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year, featuring both indoor and Belgard® outdoor spaces designed by Chef Tyler Florence. With Belgard’s collection of patio pavers, pillars, walls, fireplace, and fully functioning kitchen with grill and brick oven, the outdoor area was a spectacle to behold. The area was set up so that you couldn’t help but meander out one of the many double doors onto the outdoor living room, dining room or kitchen. Anytime during the day visitors found a peaceful retreat in the center of Manhattan on the couches or at the dining room table. This space did exactly what a great outdoors space is meant to do: beckon you outside.

Before
Chef Tyler Florence outdoors

Designed by Chef Tyler Florence, the goal for this area was to create a space where people can share good company. He felt the need for the outdoor component based on his life in CA where being outdoors is possible all year long. “You want to be part of your events, so having a full kitchen outdoors brings the whole experience together,” Florence comments. This outdoor kitchen has all of his requirements: brick oven, charcoal grill, storage, fridge, and numerous chopping blocks to create work surfaces.

“The Kitchen of The Year was an incredible experience. To see all of the sponsor companies put together an exhibit of that magnitude in five days was amazing. However, I can honestly say the Belgard portion of the project was by far the best!” states Todd Sriro, Field Marketing Manager for Belgard Hardscapes.

The fireplace

Each day saw new cooking demonstrations (recipes at House Beautiful) and wine tastings. When a chef wasn’t creating a masterpiece inside, one could be found in the outdoor kitchen displaying their talents in the Chicago brick oven or on the grill. The outdoor kitchen’s U-shape allowed visitors great views while the chefs had everything at their finger tips. “Not only was the Belgard outdoor kitchen used throughout the week for cooking demonstrations and special events but it supplemented the indoor kitchen’s amenities. The outdoor sink and ice maker came in handy,” adds Mary Beth Sharp, Marketing Manager for Belgard Hardscapes who spent the week in NYC.

“It was a great experience and the outdoor living area really added a new dynamic to the event. Visitors loved the idea of expanding the home and entertaining areas outdoors,” comments Sharp. The kitchens will remain open through July. During August, the area will convert to “Bar 30” for snacks and cocktails. At the end of the summer many kitchen parts and pavers will be donated to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore.

An outdoor kitchen...
worthy of the...
best chefs!

At Belgard, we want to create the best space for you. Using our website, an outdoor room or kitchen for your home is a click away. You will find listings of design centersdealers and contractors in your area to help get you started. We offer tools, such as our lifestyles catalog and the online visualizer where you can discover ways to create new spaces in your back yard, for your pool or for a driveway. Our catalogonline catalog and website have 100’s of ideas and photos get you started. Belgard | Be Prepared for Company!

Kitchen of the Year Opens Monday 7/18

View from W. 50th St. into the Kitchen of the Year set-up in Rockefeller Center

Belgard® is excited about their progress on the House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year, opening Monday, July 18th in NYC’s Rockefeller Plaza. The area went from a plain plaza to an indoor/outdoor chef-inspired entertaining space. Chef Tyler Florence has made the design in such a way that you can’t help but want to linger, smell the cooking and enjoy friends. They say the most popular place when entertaining is in the kitchen – and this set-up has both indoor and outdoor ones!

Belgard Elements

The outdoor space is designed around Belgard’s Bristol Elements Collection, including a U-shaped kitchen with a Chicago brick oven and a living area with a fireplace. To keep the design cohesive, the Bristol line’s coordinating kitchen pieces are used as design elements for the counters and cooking spaces. Medium Rare grills and accessories are integrated with this kitchen and come standard with the Elements line.

Outdoor living space

For the covered outdoor living room, the Element’s Bristol line outlines the living space using planters, columns and walls. In this space, seating will be abundant and the smells of Chef Florence’s cooking waft through the air. Visitors can relax and sip a glass of wine alfresco. Adding an outdoor space to your home is like adding on a new room.

Arrival of the pavers

The senses will have so much to take in, but not to be overlooked is the transformation of the grey road and sidewalk from drab to fab! The look now includes lively colors of the natural collection’s popular Mega Lafitt with its look of cut flagstone yet with the strength and long-term durability of a paver. Natural looking Mega-Arbel is used on the patio entrance and as accents, while Urbana pavers, also part of the natural collection, are used as trim throughout the project.

Below are some pictures of the building process. Using Belgard products makes installation a breeze! The Element’s items arrive in pre-made components, so they are set into place. All Belgard pavers are designed with the simplicity of installation in mind.

Come back next week to see photos of the final product! Click here for the schedule of events. Read previous posts.

Outdoor area being prepped
Starting the paver installation
Elements components
The U shaped kitchen keeps work and cooking areas within easy reach
Awaiting appliances
Appliances being installed
Brick Oven being “cured” = excess moisture removed
Come out & relax by the fire in the outdoor living space
Outdoor area before
Now a fabulous entertaining space

Recipe of the Month – Grilled BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza on the Grill

Ingredients (amount varies depending on the size of the pizza and your preferences)

  • Pizza Shell (buying the pre cooked one is quick, but homemade works too*)
  • BBQ sauce
  • Chicken
  • Cooked Canadian Bacon, chopped
  • Pizza Cheese, grated
  • Red Peppers, sliced or diced
  • Scallions, sliced
  • Cilantro, shredded
  • Baby Spinach, shredded and washed thoroughly

Preheat half your grill to medium, or fire up your Chicago Brick Oven. Cook chicken (or buy rotisserie chicken from market and strip into bite-size pieces) and mix with cooked bacon and BBQ sauce. Lightly brush the bottom (grill side) of the pizza shell with oil.

Brush a thin coat of BBQ sauce over the top side of pizza shell. If using dough, see recipe below for grilling instructions. Spread a generous coating of the cheese mixture over shell. Spread BBQ chicken pieces over pizza. Top-off with spinach, peppers, scallions and cilantro.  OPTIONAL: Add drops of BBQ sauce over pizza before grilling. Cook on the grill’s indirect heat side. Leave on the grill until the cheese is melted, approx 5-7 minutes depending on pizza size.

BBQ chicken goes great with most toppings. Try topping the shell with fresh mozzarella, the bbq chicken mixture,  garden tomatoes, and oregano.

* Basic Pizza Dough

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110°F to 115°F)
1/4 ounce active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
3 1/2 cups all–purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina flour or fine ground yellow corn meal
1/3 cup olive oil, and extra for coating the bowl
1 teaspoon salt

Combine yeast, water and sugar in a mixing bowl and stir. Let sit until foamy on top. Add 1/2 cup flour, the semolina, and 1/3 cup olive oil with the salt. Mix and continue working in the flour a 1/4 cup at a time until completed. Put the dough on a lightly-floured work surface and knead until smooth and tacky. Prepare a large mixing bowl coated in olive oil and place the dough in it. Cover the bowl with wax paper or wet towel. Place in a warm area and let double in size; usually takes over an hour. Knead the dough a little and separate into two equal portions. At this point, store in airtight bags; it’s ready to use as directed in recipes.

Cooking on the grill: You’ll want to spread out your dough to a circular 1/2 inch thin layer (no sky-high flipping needed) by pressing out in a circular motion or flipping between hands. Lightly coat a preheated grill  with oil and place stretched dough on direct medium high heat for 2-3 minutes depending on size. Then flip to indirect heat and add toppings. The dough may char lightly, but that will give it a crunch! If you are using your Brick Oven, follow those directions.

Note: You can freeze and store this dough up to four months. Make sure before using to thaw for several hours at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Belgard & Chicago Brick Oven

Brick Oven from the Harmony Collection

An April blog featured the Belgard Elements Collection of modular fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, and multiple matching accessories. One of the most popular pieces within the collection is the Chicago Brick Oven. This unique focal point is a natural addition to any Belgard outdoor kitchen. Featured in the media across the country, and showcased on the Today show with Chef Mario Batali, the brick oven craze has only just begun.

Partnered with the Belgard Elements Collection, the wood-burning Chicago Brick Brick Oven comes ready to install. Or, create a custom look for your Brick Oven with Belgard walls. All ovens are built with a flue for ventilation, so placement should be considered. An Authorized Belgard Contractor can assist you through the entire process. Chicago Brick Oven president Bill Paschen says, “The ovens come in various sizes. If you entertain, consider the largest oven. You will not be displeased.”

Pizza
Onion Soup
Kabobs

Paschen adds, “When I searched for a brick oven for my home, 99% were made overseas, which added huge freight and duty costs. So, I created my own. We offer a variety of sizes, so if you entertain, consider the largest oven. You won’t be disappointed”

It is important to note that along with Belgard Elements, the Chicago Brick Oven is made in the USA.

Components

Components

The beauty of using Belgard’s Elements and the Chicago Brick Oven are that all items coordinate and the oven’s installation consists of only two modular pieces: the oven and the supporting wood box. Each item is delivered and placed on your pre-poured foundation. Once installed, build a few small fires to cure the oven, and you are ready to create mouth-watering masterpieces. The ovens can be enjoyed all year-long and, along with all the Elements components, are designed to be weather resistant.

Maintenance is simple: just brush out ash and crumbs when done. There are two doors, one for decoration to keep out the weather and one insulated to control the oven temperature, especially for baking. Preheating is also simple. Most recipes call for the oven temperature to be over 400 degrees, which takes about an hour to heat. Once it’s hot, you can use the oven for hours.

Wood
The type of wood used is extremely important, and the user guide will give directions. When buying, ask for wood that’s been aged for about two years, or that has less than 25% moisture content. Soft woods are easy to light, but they produce less heat than hardwoods. Trying different varieties of aromatic, flavored woods will give different foods unique flavors.

Not only does the oven give food an authentic taste, it provides an opportunity to create an culinary outdoor experience. Not only can you can bake a pizza in a minutes, but the ovens are just as well suited for cooking an entire meal. A few items finding their way into the oven are stuffed turkeys, calzones, vegetables, pasta dishes, stuffed peppers, kabobs, whole chickens in a salt crust, ribs, cedar plank cooked fish, paella, baked apples, dessert pizzas, and various breads such as flat bread, focaccia, cibatta, and pita. Bill Paschen recommends his favorite recipe of stuffed jalapeno peppers.

Fox TV Station Outdoor Kitchen in Atlanta

Recipes are as numerous as the chefs who use the Chicago Brick Oven from numerous Iron Chef contestants to TV chef and celebrities. World-renown Chef Mario Batali has his own line of wood-burning ovens which integrate with Belgard Elements.

Read latest blog on Belgard’s Elements.

Outdoor Kitchen & Brick Oven from the Nottingham Collection

Belgard at a Home Show Near You

Have you noticed signs about upcoming Home and Garden shows? Then you know Spring is here! Although the Northeast may have had a blistery April Fool’s Day, it is time to till the garden. Belgard has been the feature at many of the country’s largest shows. Below is a sample of the top of the line displays created for homeowners to be inspired. Double click on any photo to enlarge. Don’t forget to visit our website for inspiration.


Virginia Mid-Atlantic Show

Outdoor Kitchen Area
Garden Seat Wall
Lighting Adds Polish

Belgard’s Elements outdoor kitchen area was the main showcase. With a variety of Belgard pavers, including Old World and Arbel® Stone, plus Celtik® Wall and BelAir Wall® creating seating, and integrated lighting, you felt as though you were outdoors. You will see how Belgard pavers, plus an Elements Bristol Collection kitchen and fire place, work together. The complete look is fabulous.


Southern Spring Home & Garden Show, Charlotte, NC

Seat Walls
Contrasting Patterns
Lighting Adds Drama

The Southern Spring Home and Garden Show featured a stroll through “Belgard Gardens.” Within the Park Expo Center, a true romantic presence was felt. A circular path of Belgard’s Arbel Stone pavers and a seat wall from the double-sided Weston Collection invited you to linger. Lighting installed directly into the walls gave the beautiful landscaping a fairytale feel as well as its functional purpose, to light the path.

Mixing the paver products of Arbel and Lafitt pavers, allows two paths to come together in a carpet-like manner. One leads off through a castle gate towards a Belgard free standing Belair Wall®. Many design tips can be collected from this amazing display.


Southern Ideal Home Show, Greensboro, NC

Fire Pit, Column, Wall
Elements Kitchen
Mobile Show Room

Belgard’s Mobile Show Room parked outside the Southern Ideal Home Show. Visitors were welcomed by the Elements Bristol Collection and its unlimited possibilities of matching seat walls, cabinets, kitchens, and more.

Inside the show, Belgard Arbel® Stone pavers created a handsome flooring and Weston Wall™ created convenient seating, column and fire pit. Adding one (or more) of these features completes a backyard so the outdoor enjoyment continues throughout the year.


Rochester Home Show

Looking Great from the Back
Chicago Brick Oven

The Rochester Home Show set up a Chicago Brick Oven and Element Bristol Collection full kitchen display with seat walls.  The back of the kitchen and brick oven are as handsome as the front. You might consider planting a vegetable or herb garden. Pull off some fresh basil leaves and add to your homemade pizza!

This kitchen features a MediumRare grill, stainless steel cabinets, a cocktail station, bar, sink, and electricity – all part of Belgard’s Elements. The Bristol collection uses a granite counter top, edging of Dublin cobble, and Urbana banding. With Belgard, the attention to detail is impeccable. Using Elements, your outdoor kitchen planning is a snap, and it installs within a day or two.

Elements Brighton Fireplace, Water Features and Seat Wall
An Amazing Backyard Dream

The area also included an Elements Brighton fireplace with water features and matching seat walls. It coordinated with Arbel® Stone pavers in a circular fashion which delineates the outdoor living space. The dining area features Lafitt pavers and a Weston wall to add seating and separation.


Foot Bench Built-In

Milwaukee Realtor Show

This show took Belgard’s BelAir Wall™ and created a fabulous outdoor bedroom with built-in lighting! Notice the head and foot boards created from the Arbel® Stone Collection. The outdoor bath tub was a must-see. The look was completed with Belgard’s environmental line of permeable pavers from the Subterra® collection. Permeable pavers allow rainwater to be absorbed by the ground where nature filters the water, instead of becoming runoff.

Outdoor Bedroom Ideas
Bathtub!

Read our past post featuring Belgard’s Elements Collection.