I've got a few bemused comments on the phenomenon of the outdoor kitchen. I have yet to visit one or have a client request one, but I can see from the gardening magazines and home improvement TV that the idea is hugely popular.
Possibly, outdoor kitchens work fine in other climates. But in Houston, I have doubts. I assume the first step for meal prep would be to run a leaf blower. Would guests want to eat anything from a kitchen which, by its nature, has unlimited access for cockroaches? Even in my slackest maintenance moments for my indoor kitchen, I do not have opossums taking a walk on the countertop. What ever else the chef must do, he has to plan on really cleaning every surface before the first tomato is sliced.
What makes the outdoor kitchen odd to me is it is not just that it is unclean. I’m not too fastidious--I eat things right out of the garden without washing them. I grill outside and camp. But the other thing is that the outdoor kitchen is no bargain at $15,000+. I am pretty sure that the $15,000 is a price tag for an idea of leisure, good company and meals together. If you have the money but not the life, maybe it seems like a good trade.
I thought last weekend’s TNLA Landscape Expo would have outdoor kitchens galore, but no. Maybe we are seeing the end of the fad in general, or maybe the market for outdoor kitchens in this area is nil and the industry knows it.