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.

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!

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

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 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

Read our past post featuring Belgard’s Elements Collection.

Belgard Elements = Outdoor Enjoyment, Fast!

Outdoor Kitchen from the Nottingham Collection

Spring naturally brings people back outdoors, with friends and neighbors gathering in the backyard more frequently as the weather warms. Belgard offers you the opportunity to be the neighborhood house that’s always “prepared for company.” Adding outdoor living spaces, such as an outdoor kitchen, outdoor bar, water feature, or a fireplace creates a naturally appealing gathering place. Yet, to build these features from scratch can be laborious and time consuming.

Installation is Easy

With that consideration in mind, Belgard has partnered with Harmony Outdoor Living, Inc. to offer the Elements Collections. Each item is modular, uses Belgard products and arrives ready to be installed. Most installations are done in one day! With five collections, and multiple color options, there’s a style to coordinate with any architectural look.

The Bristol and Wexford Collections offer upscale options with extra details and generous sizing, and the upper end Nottingham and Euro Series each offer a distinguished look.

Euro Fireplace Series

“Whether it is the entry level Brighton collection or our top of the line series, all Elements are build to the same exacting standards and carry the Belgard lifetime warranty,” states Joe Raboine, President of Harmony Outdoor Living.

How do I decide

It’s a judgment call in most cases. “Considering the home’s architectural style is important, as is color. When in doubt, keep it neutral,” suggests Raboine.

Bristol Collection

Look at your area – measure and layout the available space on graph paper. Cut out pieces representing the features you are considering. Don’t forget to add furniture and leave ample space for walking. Rule of thumb is to leave four feet of space around all cooking features. At this stage, consider contacting a Belgard Authorized Contractor who can create a 3D scale model.

What do I need

Nottingham fire pit

The beauty of the Elements collection is they’re designed to coordinate with Belgard pavers. For a complete look, consider the backyard as a whole – this could be the right time to install pavers as well. At a minimum, it is recommended pouring at least a concrete base for all features, which allows for easier installation. The Elements Collections are designed to be buried four inches below the finished pavement. “This is specially important when installing the kitchen and bar units, which would be too high otherwise,” Raboine points out. Natural gas, propane and wood options are available. Most important, be sure to check  your local building codes first.

Wexford Collection
Wexford Collection with Brick Oven

What are the options

The Elements Collection offers a wide range of options – from complete kitchen islands to simple grill combination to fire pits and fire tables.  Plus, there are accents galore! Collections can be accentuated with wood boxes, a hearth, seating walls, planters, lighting pillars, a mailbox, water features, and the popular Chicago Brick Oven. “And don’t overlook lighting,” Raboine is quick to add. “If you skimp on lighting, you will be very disappointed and it’s difficult to retrofit after the fact.”

Click to see our whole product line or download our catalog.

More on Chicago Brick Ovens/Medium Rare Grills.

Wexford with Water Features
Brighton Fireplace Series
Nottingham Collection
Nottingham Fire Table and Seat Wall

Read past posts on this topic: fireplaces and fire pits, choosing a fire feature, project planning: outdoor kitchens, modular units

Examples from various collections:

Island Bar
Outdoor kitchen
Fire table
Wood boxes
Water Feature
Brick Oven
Small Water Features
Grill Island
Gas fireplace