Iconic Inspiration Kitchens

The Renegade Lunch Lady

Design by Paul Anater



The Icon

Ann Cooper

Ann Cooper

Food activist and educator, author, and chef.

Before becoming the “Renegade Lunch Lady,” Ann Cooper enjoyed a successful and diverse culinary career. She’s held a bevy of positions and was most recently the executive chef at the much-lauded Putney Inn in Vermont.

Her time at the Putney Inn expanded her passion for cooking and food, as she became acutely aware of the challenges society faced to harvest healthy, sustainable food. It was while researching and writing her book Bitter Harvest, written with Lisa M. Holmes, that she became focused on advocating a food system that promotes nutritional and sustainable food.

Ann’s message now reaches children, as she’s revamped school cafeteria menus with healthy, fresh and sustainable meals. This is earned her the moniker “Renegade Lunch Lady,” and she’s worked with schools in Berkley, Calif., New York City, and currently Boulder, Colo. She also founded the Food Family Farming Foundation and The Lunch Box, and has received national attention on sites like Ted for her work in food education.


The Designer

Paul Anater

Paul Anater

Kitchen, bath and residential designer; design blogger.

Boasting funny, brash and blunt opinions about design, Paul Anater's blog, “Kitchen and Residential Design” has garnered a heavy following. But what makes his writing so appealing is that it’s backed up with years of design experience and respected knowledge.

When he’s not dishing and opining about design, the St. Petersburg, Fla-based Anater is helping his clients transform their homes into efficient and stylish spaces, as well as running “designer bootcamps” for design-industry professionals.


Kitchen Sketch and Products of Note

Indoor and Outdoor Kitchen

Ann Cooper wanted a kitchen that could easily transition to an outdoor kitchen area. In this aerial view of Paul's design for Ann's kitchen, you can see how the indoor kitchen's colors and materials are used in the outdoor kitchen as well, creating a seamless transition from one space to the other. This angle also offers a great view of the kitchen's pantry area, which is the long space located behind the cooking center. Below are some of the products included in Ann's ideal kitchen.

Jenn-Air pro-style gas range

Jenn-Air 48-Inch Pro-Style Gas Range

With six gas burners, a stainless steel griddle and two ovens, this professional-style range packs a lot of power in its 48 inch width. Dual flame burners make for easy searing and fast boiling while ultra-low settings help heat sauces.

Shaw's apron front sink

Shaw's Original Apron Front Sink

This fireclay apron sink is designed to withstand heavy use, endure acids and alkalis and can be cleaned with abrasive pads and cleaners. Depending on style choice, this sink can be mounted below, flush or above the counter.

Jenn-Air integrated side-by-side refrigerator

Jenn-Air 48-Inch Fully Integrated Built-In Side-By-Side Refrigerator

Concealed hinges and trim pieces integrate this refrigerator in with your cabinetry while optional panels can further blend this 48-inch fridge into your existing style. An LCD display system keeps temperature control easy by maintaining temperatures within a half degree of each set point.

Brizo Venuto faucet

Brizo Venuto Faucet

SmartTouch technology allows this faucet turn on and off with a light tap on its handle or spout. A pull-out faucet flaunts magnetic features that allow the faucet head to pull out and then snap securely and easily into place.


Design Notes

Mood board for Ann Cooper kitchen.

Ann Cooper’s sobriquet might include the words “Lunch Lady,” but rest assured, if she invites you over for dinner, you will not be served a mushy, microwaved meal (aka, the all-encompassing school-cafeteria term: “hot lunch”). Ann's ideal kitchen, designed by Paul Anater, has the tools to cook delish dishes, and the space and style to entertain friends for dinner parties. Paul shared some of his kitchen design ideas for creating Ann’s dream kitchen.

Ann wanted her ideal kitchen and home set in the Colorado Rockies. This helped guide Paul's design vision. “This fantasy kitchen…would need to have an outdoor component as well as a more typical indoor set up,” said Paul. “Due to its location in the Rockies, I see this home being rustic but not primitive, hence the stone, the timber beams and the large proportions. To counteract a slide into primitivism, I selected a painted inset cabinet style.”

“To keep things clean and streamlined, there are no wall cabinets in this kitchen. Rather, there are stainless steel shelves. As a chef, Ann's kitchen will be used often enough that open shelves would work for her. The primary work zone is built around a Jenn-Air 48-inch professional range,” said Paul. “To keep things contemporary and interesting, I paired a Brizo Venuto faucet with a Shaw's Original apron-front sink for the the primary sink. The counters are a combination of stainless steel and Carrara marble.”

Ann wanted her indoor kitchen to easily transition to an outdoor kitchen and entertaining space. So Paul also designed a patio space with all the fixins’ for making outdoor fixins’. “There's a wood-fired oven, a gas and charcoal hybrid grill, a side burner and stainless steel cabinetry,” said Paul of the outdoor kitchen.


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