Kiss your Kitchen Design – Keep it Simple and Strong (part 1)

Cook's Correctional Kitchen Equipment and SuppliesThe KISS method of kitchen design is the innovation of Howard Breeden, the co-founder of Cook’s Correctional. Howard had spent a lot of time in corrections – in the kitchen, not as an inmate, gaining a first-hand understanding of the environment. He also had a culinary background. Combining his education and experience and you get KISS. The following post is an excerpt of an article that appeared in Corrections Forum in 1996, written by Howard. It’s as relevant today, as when it was written.

If you can “think like a con” when planning or renovating a correctional kitchen, you can outwit even the most ingenious inmate. Since inmates see everything as a potential weapon, they look for opportunities to collect contraband and destroy or exploit the equipment and system. The planner’s job is to prevent problems as much as it is to design an efficient feeding operation.

That’s because the presence of inmates in the correctional kitchen means no aspect of design can be taken for granted:

  • Ceiling height: Kitchen ceilings should be high enough so that an inmate cannot stand on a cart of counter and stash contraband in a ceiling panel. Or ceilings should be dry walled or fixed security ceiling panels, which are sealed surfaces.
  • Lighting: Above average light levels create the perception in an inmate’s mind that “I’m easily seen.”
  • Equipment: There should be no parts or protuberances that could be broken off and fashioned into a weapon. Easily said, but tough to make happen.

The correctional kitchen designer should focus on three key items when planning a kitchen:

  • Client goals
  • Continuous open space
  • Simple, correctional equipment.

We use the acronym KISS: Keep it simple and strong. When you start to plan to build or renovate, develop the food service goals before retaining a designer. Your consultant / designer should understand your goals before beginning the space planning and equipment layout. Discussion of the goals and the implications for cost or space may require altering the “I want it” attitude to an “I need it” realization, resulting in a more effective and efficient objective.

This is the first in a series of posts from this article.

Marketing Manager, Cook's

Candace Meneou

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