Each year, the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute Auxiliary at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences holds Cooks Tour, a unique event combining the best in kitchen design with fine cuisine. During the 2009 Cooks Tour, four homeowners will open their houses to visitors, while chefs from some of Little Rock’s finest restaurants will prepare dishes for tour participants to sample. Included in this year’s tour is the home of Sherrie and Zsolt Sander, a space that bridges the gap between culinary function and family togetherness.
When Sherrie and Zsolt began building their home, they knew their kitchen had to meet a number of goals. They wanted a space that would be comfortable for family meals with their children, Anna and Krisztian, while also functioning well for serious cooking and large groups. “My husband loves to cook and entertain,” Sherrie says. “He wanted a space that could be enjoyed by many people, but we also wanted it to be a special gathering place for the family.”
Not only is the space a blend of each family member’s needs, it also combines their varying tastes. “Every area shows a part of who we are,” Sherrie says. The sophisticated space includes rich, dark cabinetry, which was Zsolt’s request, finished with modern hardware selected by Sherrie. With so many different ideas to choose from, the Sandors turned to interior designer Sha Knight to refine the kitchen and provide the ultimate finishing touches.
One of Knight’s biggest contributions was to combine two planned smaller islands into the large central island, one of the kitchen’s most striking elements. “Sha thought it suited our style more, and now it’s one of my favorite parts,” Sherrie says. Perfect for preparing Zsolt’s gourmet meals, it’s also become one of the kids’ favorite spots to do homework. “The kitchen is really where we spent eighty percent of the day,” she says.
The 2009 Cooks Tour will be held from 1:00 until 4:00 p.m. on April 19. Tour participants will visit four homes in the Sologne neighborhood of Chenal Valley and sample the food of Evette Brady and Tim Morton of 1620 Restaurant, Mike Selig of Mike Selig’s Vermillion, Scott McGehee of Boulevard Bread Co., John Beachboard of ZAZA Fine Salad and Wood Oven Pizza Co., and Mark Abernathy of Loca Luna and Bene Vita. Monies raised by Cooks Tour 2009 will be used to fund projects benefiting cancer patients in Arkansas.
Presenting sponsors are Chenal Properties Inc. and the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute Foundation. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door and may be purchased in the Cancer Institute Auxiliary Gift Shop or by calling 501-686-8286.
Architect: Williams & Dean Associated Architects
Builder: Jack Hartsell
Interior design: Sha Knight, Art of Design; Carolyn Harrison, Carolyn Harrison Designs
Lighting: PC Hardware
Countertops: Natural Stone Design
Appliances: Metro Builder Supply
Cabinetry: Kitchen and Bath Ideas
Wall coverings: Doyle Parker