Culinary History Collection


Current Editor: Cynthia D. Bertelsen

Issue 7 Winter 2005

Center for Real Life Kitchen Design

by JoAnn Emmel

The Center for Real Life Kitchen Design, which opened in the fall of 1998, is a collaborative effort of Virginia Tech and the kitchen industry. The Center is located in Wallace Hall on the Virginia Tech campus, and is the only facility of its type known to exist in the nation. Faculty members associated with the Center include: Dr. Julia Beamish, Dr. JoAnn Emmel, and Dr. Kathleen Parrott. Dr. Beamish and Dr. Parrott are Certified Kitchen Educators.

The Center contains five fully operational and very different kitchens. These kitchens represent various price levels and space designs, and they also reflect the diversity of today's families. Included are a gourmet look kitchen, a contemporary kitchen, a family kitchen, a small starter kitchen, and a universal design kitchen. The universal design kitchen illustrates how a kitchen may accommodate all family members with their varying abilities, including young children, the elderly, and the disabled. A classroom, a laundry area, and a home office make up the other spaces in the Center.

The activities of the Center involve all three missions of the university - teaching, outreach and research.

More information about the Center for Real Life Kitchen Design can be found on the Center's website, Tours of the Center are available upon request. Contact JoAnn Emmel at 540-231-9259.

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