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Chefs at Home | The Affordable Kitchen

Maria Helm of San Francisco's PlumpJack Cafe creates a welcoming place on a budget.
When Maria Helm married Robert Sinskey, she found herself with a functional but uninviting kitchen. Helm, who cooks at PlumpJack Cafe in San Francisco, and Sinskey, the proprietor of Robert Sinskey Vineyards in nearby Napa, kept to a budget: they splurged on a workhorse of a stove, but they poured concrete for the floors and the counters, faced the cabinets with inxpensive galavanized steel and bought the casings for their recessed lights at Home Depot. A few antiques add warmth and keep the space from looking too industrial.


Published August 1998
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