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Behind the Kitchen Door: Anna Thomas’s Kitchen Built for Friends

Robyn Doyon-Aitken; text, floor plan, and photos by Charles Miller, except where noted
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Text by Charles Miller

Anna Thomas wears two hats, professionally speaking: She is a best-selling cookbook author-her first, the seminal The Vegetarian Epicure, has sold almost a million copies since it came out in 1973. She frequently contributes to national food magazines-including Fine Cooking-and created our popular Crowd-Pleasing Thanksgiving menu, a celebratory feast for both vegetarians and turkey-lovers alike. Anna is also an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker and screenwriter.

Working in two industries as she does, Anna knows a lot of people. And she loves nothing more than inviting bunches of friends over for a soup supper, the kind of casual party that inspired her most recent, James Beard-award-winning cookbook, Love Soup.

She used to host these informal affairs in the 81-inch-long kitchen in her studio, where she lived temporarily while her main house was being remodeled. Once the renovations were complete, the parties were relocated to the open, airy main kitchen, a perfect space for the laid-back, help-me-cook-and-then-we’ll-eat kind of gatherings Anna has become known for. As one friend remarked at a recent dinner, “If you’re invited to one of Anna’s parties and you don’t go, you’re either stupid or dead.”

In this Behind the Kitchen Door tour, Anna describes what makes her island such a guest-magnet, why she loves soapstone and stainless-steel, and the one big thing that makes her open kitchen work.

Giveaway: leave a comment on the giveaway post for your chance to win a signed copy of Anna’s books The Vegetarian Epicure and Love Soup. (Now closed).

A Few of Our Favorite Anna Thomas Recipes
Quinoa Salad with Apples, Walnuts, Dried Cranberries, and Gouda   Green Beans and Carrots in Charmoula Sauce   Caramelized Pear Upside-Down Cakes with Cognac Whipped Cream


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  • VAVeggie | 10/22/2013

    Thank you for sharing your kitchen. It is amazing and lends ideas for those of us with smaller spaces. We have soapstone in our kitchen (with cherry cabinets) and we love the soapstone, too.

  • SandyCandy | 10/22/2013

    Anna's kitchen is a true inspiration . . . so well-equipped, yet uncluttered; so utilitarian, yet beautiful; so user-friendly; so welcoming (just like Anna herself)!

  • knitmagic | 10/20/2013

    This is a beautiful kitchen. I love how open it is and yet how much can be stored out of sight!

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