As a Lifestylist®, I’m always curious about what appliances chefs and celebrities have in their own homes. Do they really cook, or is take-out or a personal chef their lifestyle choice?
I was recently having lunch at EnjoyMint — the newest concept for restauranteur Nikky Phinyawanta — and discovered that she was one of the first people in the country to be cooking on the new Signature Kitchen Suite Pro Range. She shared that it’s the only consumer range that has built-in sous vide. I couldn’t wait to see it in person and discover how it works.
Catching Phinyawatana at home isn’t an easy task. Between running EnjoyMint, and her two Asian Mint restaurant locations, teaching cooking classes, and keeping up with her two children, this Dallas dynamo is always on the move. She just launched Nikky Feeding Souls — a YouTube journey of Thai culture, food, and travel that will use the kitchen in her new home as its hub.
Should I stay or should I go?
Phinyawanta was living in a home that she and her husband had remodeled, and it was just what they wanted. When their family and business was outgrowing the space that they had, it was time to make a hard decision. With as busy as this family is, they didn’t have time for another remodel or to build, but kismet stepped in, and they found the perfect new home that was ready to move in.
Besides more bedrooms and a fantastic home office space, the biggest priority was an open kitchen that Nikky could shoot cooking segments in for her new lifestyle channel on YouTube, Nikky Feeding Souls. Having grown up in Thailand and Dallas, Nikky has always wanted to share the Thai lifestyle with others. Opening up Asian Mint was her way to share her insiders’ view of Thailand with diners. A Hockaday graduate and a self-taught cook, she loves baking and took classes at El Centro College to learn the business of cooking and owning a restaurant. The marketing side of business seems to come naturally to Nikky, and her social media pages are always full of fun happenings and people around town.
Asian Mint and EnjoyMint have become known for their fresh, healthy fusion offerings as well as their signature cocktails and delicious desserts. The interiors are light, fun, inviting and encourage you to come and stay awhile. I asked Nikky about the decors you see in a traditional Thai restaurant. She shared that in Thailand there are two distinct styles: the conventional temple style with carved woods, thick textiles and low lighting, and then there is the more urban style — clean and crisp that don’t smell like grease and soy sauce — that you see in Bangkok. Nikky embraces that urban look not only in her restaurants but also in her new home.
The kitchen has indeed become the theater of the home, and builder Tim Garvey of Garvey Homes embraced that trend in this home. The room is flooded with natural light, and the grand island has enough space between it and the wall cabinets and countertops to easily open everything including the stunning Signature Kitchen Suite Pro range and Thermador refrigeration columns and still be able to access everything inside. This is a place where a lot of builders and remodelers try to save space, but end up with a kitchen that doesn’t function well. The waterfall Caesarstone quartz countertops can stand up to a chef and families wear and tear, and two sinks make it easy for at least two people to be cooking and prepping in this kitchen.
Appliances are going through a massive makeover recently with smart home and connected cooking becoming a must-have for the busy cook. Nikky was able to choose what would be best for her – some appliances had already been installed, but the builder was flexible enough to let her make her own decisions for her style of cooking and lifestyle. With all of the cooking shows on television and social media, consumers aren’t willing to settle for “builder basics” anymore and know what they want and are willing to pay for that. We are seeing more builders understand this and let the buyers choose the brands and options that they want and not force one brand or product on them.
When Nikky saw the new Signature Kitchen Suite Pro Range, she immediately knew that was the one that she had to have. It is duel fuel, meaning it has gas burners as well as an induction cooktop, a 30-inch oven that has convection as well, a steam convection oven AND is the first range on the market with built-in sous vide. And did we mention it’s wi-fi enabled and can be controlled from your phone? All of that in one attractive package.
We are so jealous of the appliances she has in this kitchen — there are TWO steam convection ovens, and the Thermador refrigeration columns have all of the features that you need to help keep your produce as fresh as the day they were picked at the farm.
Most of us don’t have commercial kitchens to cook in, and that is why Nikky wanted a place to show home cooks how they can get back in the kitchen and cook healthy meals for themselves and their families without taking all day to do it. She understands the need for convenient, fast results, and made an excellent point. In her cooking classes, she teaches her aspiring chefs how to make meals they can easily replicate at home, and for the more difficult things to cook and prepare like sauces and spice blends, she packages them, so the home cook doesn’t have to start from scratch on those.
We can’t wait to catch some of her online cooking classes that will be coming to your home soon!