The Escondido Project

Al Fresco Living

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In California, we’re so fortunate that it’s always outdoor cooking season. Meet the Escondido Project, a desert oasis meets California coast inspired outdoor kitchen.

This project started back in 2021, when the homeowners purchased the home. This project came about “because we really wanted a space to cook outside and relax while also giving our dog a large yard to run around in and enjoy,” commented the homeowners. The first step to bringing this outdoor kitchen to life was working on the concept plan with a landscape architect. The pair commented that they worked with Brian Grove of Stone Grove Landscape Architects, and he was “instrumental in really hitting home the idea of creating multiple experiences in the backyard. He did a phenomenal job of taking our vision and putting it to paper,” they added. During this process, the homeowners knew they wanted to mesh “the clean, contemporary features of desert design with warm natural tones of relaxed beach life” for the design. A bar, formal dining area, sunken fire pit, and spa complete this beautiful space.

In an outdoor kitchen, we would venture to say that choosing the appliances is the most important part. Thankfully, PIRCH can help! When asked about the appliance selection process, the homeowners commented that there are “so many phenomenal appliances out there now, it was so hard to choose. Ultimately, we went with what we thought would best fit our lifestyle.” Let’s dive into what they chose for this space.

For the grill, the homeowners ultimately decided on the Alfresco ALXE Grill. This 36” gas grill is a great choice for the outdoor kitchen enthusiast, bringing restaurant-inspired luxury and professional grilling results to your kitchen. All Alfresco grills are also made in the USA with 304 stainless steel, offering high-quality construction and durability. “We chose the Alfresco grill because of its beauty and performance. Alfresco gives so much attention to detail in their grills that you can feel it at every touch point. This is a grill that should last us our lifetime,” the homeowners explained.

Best of all, Alfresco grills fit in seamlessly with any type of outdoor kitchen cabinetry, including Urban Bonfire’s Outdoor Kitchen Series. Featured here in the color ‘Anthracite’, this contemporary cabinetry design matched the aesthetic of this outdoor space perfectly. Not only is Urban Bonfire able to customize based on your needs, but the quality is also undeniable. The homeowners “chose Urban Bonfire cabinetry… because of its durability, design, and customization. The cabinets are marine grade aluminum, so you never have to worry about them rusting or corroding.”

Additionally, with their free of charge design services, designing a custom outdoor kitchen with Urban Bonfire is a breeze. “They truly want the best design for your kitchen, and they will do whatever it takes to help you. They have pre-designed cabinets to choose from or semi-custom,” said the homeowners. “Any idea I threw at them they could accommodate which was so nice. We didn’t feel like we had to compromise at all.”

The EVO Grill is a favorite among our team of executive chefs here at PIRCH, and unsurprisingly a top pick among homeowners for indoor and outdoor applications. Chef Maria, one of our PIRCH executive chefs, explains “the versatility and functionality of the EVO grill is unmatched. Where else can you grill, sauté, sear, stir fry, smoke, roast, bake, and steam on one surface?”

With its flat cooking surface fashioned from a single piece of seasoned cold-rolled steel, the EVO is the canvas for truly anything you would dream of cooking. To make life even easier, all EVO products can be incorporated into new or existing outdoor cooking set-ups and the stainless steel exteriors match any aesthetic. Plus, EVO grills are designed and built in America to last a lifetime of cooking your favorite dishes.

“The EVO was a guaranteed piece that was going into our kitchen,” the homeowners expressed. “Having multiple burners allows us to cook different types of food at different temperatures and when you’re all done cooking, cleaning the EVO is a breeze.” Curious about how to clean an EVO? It’s as easy as scraping off any food remnants, and then generously adding oil to the surface to season it. In addition to the ease of cleaning, “the more you cook on the EVO the more the flat top gets seasoned, thus giving your food even more flavor as time goes on,” commented the pair.

Pizza lovers, meet the ALFA Moderno 1 Pizza Oven in ‘Copper’. This Italian made pizza oven is ideal for those who want high cooking performance and the ability to cook multiple dishes, all in one compact appliance. With options for wood-fired or gas, there is an option for everyone. The homeowners chose the ALFA for two specific reasons. “#1, who doesn’t love pizza? The oven can pre-heat to 800+ degrees in 15 minutes and just like that you are making fresh pizza. #2 It also acts as a normal oven… and having an oven in your outdoor kitchen is a great tool to have.” With the ALFA, the options don’t end with pizza. Try fire roasting vegetables, searing meats, baking bread, and even making desserts.

The finishing touches on this kitchen included the Dekton surfaces in ‘Natura’, which are “beautiful, unique countertops that are extremely durable and built to last outside in the sun,” said the homeowners. With a Perlick Ice Maker, Zephyr Undercounter Refrigeration, Franke Faucet, and Blanco Quatrus Outdoor Sink, this outdoor kitchen leaves no stone unturned in terms of functionality.

There are numerous benefits to building an outdoor kitchen, such as being able to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful weather, having double the kitchen resources, and increasing the value of your home. “My favorite aspect of the finished project is that we can use the backyard as an extension of our home,” commented the homeowner. “The kitchen is fully covered so can be enjoyed year-round, and we have actual outdoor cabinetry just like you have indoors to house all our plates, cups, cutlery, and accessories. Our appliances outside give us all the same features and benefits as the indoor ones, plus more.” As they reflected on the process of designing, planning, and building this outdoor space, the homeowners said that more than anything, “creating a space for our family and friends to enjoy was so fun and rewarding.” And truly, “Being outside is what it’s all about!”

If you’re feeling inspired to start your own outdoor kitchen project, make an appointment at the PIRCH showroom nearest you!

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