Suzi’s Blog

Route to a New Kitchen: Day 3 After Demolition and The Unplanned Flood



This top photo shows the state of the CBTB kitchen right now at the end of Day 3. How did the kitchen look when it all began on Monday morning? Here's Day 1 photo of the kitchen we loved for 10 years.




And here's a photo later from Day 1 as the workmen demolished the kitchen.




Why no photo from Day 2? We were a little busy actually. Our neighbors one floor above us are completing a year of rebuidling their two-story loft. They stripped it down to the brick walls from 1864 and began from  scratch. They were just putting up sheet rock on Monday, our Day 1. And then someone put a sheet rock nail through a water pipe and … Water accumulated, we saw drips and then a our soggy kitchen ceiling collapsed. So, we don't have pictures from Day 2 because there was water and mess and chaos everywhere. 

Were we upset? No. We became religious. There has to be a God. If that water leak had occurred three weeks later, after our current construction was finished, then, then we would have been rather upset. The timing of this leak, and the ceiling collapse, was perfect. We are just glad the workers upstairs found the offending nail. I understand the offending nailer is no longer on the job there. Probably a wise move.

We hadn't planned on putting in a new ceiling. We are.

In Memoriam: A Wonderful 10 Years for the CBTB Kitchen


It seems impossible but our latest CBTB kitchen lasted 10 years. From September 2016 until this morning.This very morning, the kitchen was demolished as we prepare for the next ten years. We'll take pictures as the transformation continues. Ideally, the new kitchen will be finished in three weeks.

This last kitchen saw over 50,000 people pass through, cook, laugh, learn and — best of all — eat. Our culinary team building program will be stronger, and more beautiful, than ever before. Stay tuned for daily updates. There will be plenty of surprises. Like the unexpected flood this morning from the apartment above us. Took out a quarter of our kitlchen ceiling. Did we get upset? Heck, we're under construction anyway. What's a little ceiling mess on the floor.

Quince Tatin with Cinnamon Cream from Sirocco by Sabrina Ghayour


Quinces are related to apples and pears, albeit distantly. It’s an Asian fruit grown mostly in Turkey and China. Very little is grown in the Western Hemisphere and the closest to us is Mexico. Quince trees are modestly high and most often appear in mixed orchards with other fruit trees.

Some quince can be eaten raw, but most species are pretty hard and cooking is mandatory. Europeans make digestive wines from quince but the most frequent their appearance is in desserts.

With the quince season of October upon us, here’s a lovely fall recipe. You may have enjoyed an Apple Tatin. Now go with quince, deep in flavor and color. And here, accented with cinnamon cream.

This recipe is from Sirocco by Sabrina Ghayour who calls quince the “apple of the Middle East.” Since apples started in the Middle East, too, that’s quite an endorsement.

The dramatic photo is from the talented Haarala Hamilton.

Quince Tatin with Cinnamon Cream

Yield: serves 6


For the tatin:

  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 large quinces, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 frozen puff pastry sheet, defrosted

For the cinnamon cream:

  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar


Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Put the sugar in a large skillet or ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Swirl the sugar around in the pan (don’t stir) until it has dissolved and turns a deep caramel color. Add the vanilla seeds and swirl to distribute, then add the quince wedges, cramming them into the pan as best you can. Cook for a few minutes on all sides or until they start to caramelize, then add the butter cubes around the quince and continue to cook until the quince has caramelized on all sides. Shake the pan occasionally to prevent sticking. This process should take 8-10 minutes.

If you haven’t used an ovenproof skillet, select an ovenproof dish of any shape (not too large). Carefully tip in the quince wedges (ideally, with the most caramelized sides facing down), then pour any excess caramel on top (the caramelized sugar will be extremely hot, so be very careful).

Roll out the pastry to a circle just bigger than the size of your skillet. Drape the pastry over the quince and tuck the pastry edges inside the skillet (mind your fingers on the hot caramel). Bake on the top shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry has risen and is golden brown.

Meanwhile, whip the heavy cream, cinnamon and confectioners’ sugar together using an electric hand whisk until fairly stiff. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

When cooked, remove the Tatin from the oven and leave to rest for 2 minutes. Select a serving plate or tray that is large enough to cover your skillet. Using oven mitts or dish towels to protect your hands from the heat, cover the top of the skillet with the plate and carefully flip over onto the serving plate (it will be runny and very hot). Serve with the cinnamon cream.


Source: Sirocco by Sabrina Ghayour [Clarkson Potter, 2016]