Today we are sharing a kitchen tour from the home of Kathleen and her husband Maurizio Almanza. Kathleen and Maurizio are the owners of the Italian Imports showroom Eccola. They live with their daughter, Zoe and French Mastiff, Figaro in an incredible English Tudor style home. Their home is situated in the Mid Wilshire district of Los Angeles. They gutted the 1920's original floor plan, and with the new kitchen installed gorgeous modern fixtures and appliances. Kathleen comes from a set decorator background, so it is no surprise that her kitchen remains immaculate yet lived in and cozy. Not only did they paint the floors all white, Kathleen kept a consistent neutral scheme using white cabinets and marble countertops. The open floor plan allows light to spill into every nook and cranny, including the built in window seat and enclosed dining area. One other impressive built in feature we admired, was the computer nook off the back door. Check out our interview with Kathleen and find out what celebrity she would love to cook for!
Does any one in your family follow a specific diet? (Such as vegan, vegetarian, etc.)
“No one in our family follows any food rules, diets, etc., - - fish, fowl, game or meat; we eat it all...”
What is your favorite meal to cook?
“My favorite meal to cook is really any new recipe. I love having all the ingredients prepped; a good glass of red wine and the process from A to Z to table. If it were one specific meal, I love making a roast chicken with cipppollini onions, garlic, sage and olive oil; french green beans and good ol' creamy mashed potatoes.”
Has your kitchen gone through a remodel? If so, what did you change in the kitchen?
“We actually gutted our whole house and kitchen about 4 years ago. It went from a 1926 70s looking linoleum choppy kitchen to a loft like open clean white cabinetry & carerra marble space, a very modern and sleek European looking space.”
For you, what is most important for a kitchen to have?
“A soul is the most important thing for a kitchen to have. AND THEN... Aside from all the aesthetic elements like loads of light, open space and art, it should also always have some fresh herbs, tomatoes, fruit, garlic, etc. on hand... As everyone always gathers and ends up in the kitchen, it should reflect one's personality and be the hub of the home. The most important decisions, life events and sharing take place in this area and hopefully over good food, friends, family and wine.”
Is there any specific way you have organized your kitchen?
“Good olive oils, sea salt and condiments are near the stove and open shelving display plates and glassware. The only system is accessibility, in other words, heavy pots and items used are nearby and those not as frequently are out of view yet on hand.”
What is the most used ingredient in your kitchen (besides condiments, oils and spices)?
“The most important thing isn't an ingredient, it's my nespresso machine. The day cannot begin without a good cappuccino. If it were an ingredient however, it would have to be a good extra virgin olive oil.”
If you could cook a meal for someone (dead or alive) who would it be and what would you cook for them?
“I would love to cook for Howard Roarke or Jane Austen but in the end, I would have to choose Steve Martin and it would be a multi course simple Italian meal-- burratta cheese and heirloom tomatoe salad with fresh basil and San Daniele prosciutto followed by a simple garlic, tomatoe and basil pasta and I am torn on the entree...however, loads of good food and wines supplied by me, the wit and storytelling supplied by Steve ...”
What is your favorite area of your kitchen and why?
“My favorite area of my kitchen is the built in window seat/couch that overlooks all the kitchen out to the courtyard and living room. I love nestling there in the morning with the paper and cappuccino or at night with a good pinot.”
What is the next recipe you can’t wait to try out?
“Lamb ragu with mint.”
Co Written by: Kristen Tola Hettich + Bethany Nauert
Photographed by: Bethany Nauert