Kitchens to Live in

Bulthaup Scottsdale creates kitchens for people who love to cook and entertain
Photos by Bill Timmerman

A former architect, Robert Moric sees each kitchen as living space that reflects the personality of the owner.

“Every kitchen is different,” says Robert, owner of Bulthaup Scottsdale.  Robert works with each client to create a kitchen that reflects the client’s aesthetic taste and functional needs in the available space.

“Our clients choose to cook,” says Robert.

One of those clients, Steve Pollock, is no exception.

“I entertain a lot,” says Steve. “I have a lot of dinner parties and I do the cooking.”

Though when he hosted 29 people for a seder this spring, he says he confined himself to cooking the soup and had the rest of the Passover meal catered.

“The kitchen is amazing,” says Steve. “It is fabulously organized with lots of work space and space to pivot easily.”

Pivoting is essential for Steve, who has used a wheelchair since “too much booze and too much testosterone” on his 21st birthday resulted in a car accident.

“I use my wheelchair for cooking, for tennis – it is my mode of transportation,” says Steve, who also has a hand-cycle that he rides often. In tennis, he’s even competed in his wheelchair and won medals at the Maccabiah Games in Israel.

Steve, who also has homes in Vancouver, BC, and New York City, decided he wanted a winter home in Arizona 10 years ago. He rented his current home while looking to buy and fell in love with it. So when he couldn’t buy it, he bought another home across the street.

“Five years later it came on the market and I bought it,” says Steve. But it needed a complete renovation. “Robert worked on the kitchen. He and I are on the same page. He has exceptional taste, and I don’t say that lightly. He knows his business and he knows how to plan a kitchen.”

In fact, when Steve was trying to renovate his kitchen in Vancouver, “we were stuck. … He (Robert) looked at it and solved it in a day. He looks and figures out the perfect solution.”

The perfect kitchen for Steve’s Arizona home is an accessible one, “but you wouldn’t ever know it. It serves as a regular kitchen,” Steve says.

The minor adaptions that make the kitchen work for Steve are slightly recessed cabinets that allow him to roll his chair closer to the cooktop and countertops (which are 34 inches high rather than the standard 36 inches).

Robert adds that the kitchen has a horizontal orientation. “The oven, coffee machine, refrigerator … are all next to each other on the same level,” says Robert. “It’s a panoramic.”

The kitchen also features professional-grade Gaggenau appliances. Steve especially likes the induction cooktop, which uses a high-frequency induction coil below the surface to heat cookware via magnetic field while the surface remains cool to the touch. “Heat only transfers to the metal pots,” explains Steve. “You can’t burn your fingers … and it’s extremely efficient and the temperature change is instant.”

He adds the kitchen is designed to be part of the living space. “When I’m cooking for friends, I want people around drinking wine and hanging out all in the same room.”

Robert says, “The cooktop and sink are in the island so he can always face his ‘audience’ of family and friends.”

Robert and Steve also agreed on lavish use of wood for a dramatic aesthetic.

“We used striped walnut with blond and dark areas to create energy,” says Robert. “We broke the back area into 2-foot increments to use as a backdrop for the monochromatic island.”

Some of the 2-foot-wide panels conceal appliances such as the refrigerator, freezer and dishwasher, while others open onto cabinets for storage.

To accommodate Steve’s desire for a clean look, the cooktop hood is set into the ceiling and can only be seen from directly underneath.

“It’s all a clean, sophisticated feel,” says Robert.

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