Food Zone: A Look Inside Morton’s and Kornick’s Kitchens

David Morton and Michael Kornick’s restaurants, which include DMK Burger Bar, Fish Bar and Ada Street, are known for their succulent fare.

Thanks to interior designer Jodi Morton, the spaces provide a visual feast that complements the cuisine. Enjoy this exclusive peek into the private kitchens of David and Jodi Morton and Michael and Lisa Koch Kornick.

David and Jodi Morton

David and Jodi Morton have been renovating homes for more than a decade. Their latest is by far their most extensive. “It was very undone,” Jodi Morton explains during a recent tour of the space. “There were no light cans and barely any outlets in the whole house. We tore up the place and started over.”

The transformation is most evident in the brand new kitchen, which originally sported a dropped ceiling, damaged Linoleum floors and dated, battered cabinets. “It was totally uninhabitable,” Morton recalls. The couple restored the ceiling to its original lofty height, replaced the windows, installed new hardwood flooring and added a 12-foot long center island. The result? “It’s we wanted—a big happy space full of kids and family.”

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Form meets function: The counter surfaces—Calcutta Gold marble, Zebrawood butcher block and stainless steel—show their patina, and that’s okay by Morton. “The stainless steel scratches, and I love it,” Morton says. “Nothing in my house is precious except for my kiddies and the husband.”

Island paradise: According to Morton, the large center island has taken on a life of its own. “I always have a million kids in here. Everybody climbs up and sits on the counter,” Morton says.

Oft-used items such as utensils, spices and cookbooks are kept close at hand: “I have a million cookbooks, but the ones I use constantly are right there,” Morton says.

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Two dishwashers are twice as nice: “When we entertain, having two dishwashers makes cleaning up a breeze.”

Simple does it: “I don’t like things that are overdesigned or that have no purpose,” Morton says. “You really want the food to get top billing.”

Michael and Lisa Koch Kornick

“I started cooking with my grandmother when I was six or seven years old,” says chef and restaurateur Michael Kornick. Although running the restaurants has taken him out of the kitchen at night when guests are present, Kornick enjoys cooking for friends and family at his home in Evanston. “For me, cooking is very therapeutic,” Kornick says.

When Michael and Lisa bought their home in 2000, they installed a brand new kitchen with commercial appliances, a milk glass back splash and plenty of built-in shelving for their many cookbooks.

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Plenty of counter space: A long counter makes it easy to cook for larger groups. “There is enough open counter space that I can set 12 plates for the cold course and still have room on both sides for plates for the next course,” Kornick says.

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Not many gadgets: “I basically have utensils, knives, pots and pans,” Kornick explains. “I’m a cook, and I like to do it in a way that feels tactile to me.”

Two dishwashers: Like the Morton’s, Kornick enjoys the convenience of having two dishwashers.

Out of sight, out of mind: Kornick stores away less often used kitchen appliances—think food processors, blenders, rice cookers—in the tall kitchen cabinets. A step stool allows him to reach the items with ease.

Commercial range: Rather than selecting an oversized commercial stove, Kornick went with a 48-inch Wolf range with four burners and a French hot top in the middle. “To me, there’s no reason to have more than four live burners, but having a French hot top allows me to keep something warm in a small pot that won’t burn on the sides,” Kornick says.

 

Photos by Tate Gunnerson