In mid-February, Harrisburg residents Judy and Dan Schulder began working on a kosher kitchen remodel with Excel in anticipation of hosting many meals with family and friends over this year’s eight-day holiday of Passover, April 11-18. Throughout history, culinary distinctions have helped to define cultural identity, drawing members together in shared expression and appreciation of their heritage and religious faith. The Jewish dietary or kosher laws (kashrut) have great religious significance to observant Jews, and creating a kosher kitchen in the home is a sacred commitment requiring a well-planned and executed design and construction concept.
Due to the important adherence to religious law and their desire to have their kosher kitchen completed in time for this year’s Passover celebration, the Schulders sought out a design team and contractor known for their superior attention to detail, as well as a high level of service both in regards to project timeliness and clear communication throughout the process.
Excel President Jim Mirando, Jr. explains, “Our process always includes meetings with our clients in their homes to learn about their ideals for their space and what’s important to them from a lifestyle perspective. Working with the Schulder family involved a deeper understanding of the kosher laws for food handling, including keeping all meat and dairy separate, and how that would affect the materials, appliances, and design layout of their kitchen.”
Kosher foods are divided into three categories: meat, dairy and pareve. Common pareve foods include eggs, fish, fruit, vegetables, grains, unprocessed juices, pasta, soft drinks, coffee and tea and many candies and snacks. While there are kosher restrictions on pareve foods, there are more complexities in the separation of meat and dairy. Orthodox law also restricts work in observation of the Sabbath (nightfall on Friday until nightfall on Saturday), including the overt operation of electrical appliances and switches. This was also taken into account in the design of the kitchen.
Some of the project considerations included:
- Separate counters, dishwashers, and ovens for the preparation and cooking of meat and dairy foods.
- Separate cabinets for storage of meat and dairy utensils and serving dishes.
- A large, double-bowl sink to allow for separate wash areas designated for prepping and cleaning meat and dairy items.
- A large refrigerator with separate storage areas for meat and dairy items.
- An eating area with lighting on a timer, pre-set to turn on and off during Sabbath so that the family does not have to operate a switch.
Whatever your needs are for your kitchen or home remodel, we look forward to working with you on the design that will fit your lifestyle and make the most of your home. Give us a call or submit our brief online form today so we can start discussing your project needs.