Seven years after moving to Leesburg, Master Chef Rich Rosendale, co-owner of Roots 657 and Rosendale Culinary Lab, and his wife Laura decided they were ready for a kitchen renovation complete with high-end and high-tech touches to fit their family’s lifestyle.
The project, which started in February 2022, was recently completed in September with the design and contracting help of Jimmy Nazemian, general manager of Abbey Design + Remodel in Leesburg.
Nazemian said it was an interesting process working with a chef with Rosendale’s experience. Rosendale is one of only 72 certified master chefs in the country, has received more than 50 national and international awards and has competed in the most prestigious culinary competition in the world: the Bocuse d’Or. Prior to arriving in Leesburg in 2015, Rosendale was executive chef at The Greenbrier, where he oversaw a total of 18 kitchens.
In addition, the couples’ love story has a sweet touch — Rich and Laura grew up together and dated — starting in seventh grade in their hometown of Uniontown, Pennsylvania. The only time they have been apart for an extended period of time is while Rich was in culinary school and Laura was in college. They were married in 2004.
Now three kids later — the children are 14, 10 and 8 — they were looking to build a kitchen that not only has a “wow factor,” but to also be functional, yet with personal touches.
“We went through everything together when designing this kitchen,” Rich explained. “We spend a lot of time in the kitchen together and we wanted to have a place for everything.”
“One of my biggest recommendations is to think everything out before you design your cupboards. Where will you put everything and how to create the best storage,” Rich said.
“We had a vision for what we wanted. We hoped it would look good, but until you see it finished it’s hard to imagine it.” Laura added.
Nazemian guided the couple through the selection process, which meant listening to their wish list and finding a way to utilize the best flow for storage and functionality, while adding high-tech appliances Rich is used to using in his work kitchens, he said.
Laura had the idea for a credenza with glass cabinets which took over a space that was previously an empty wall. It now holds her entertainment pieces such as cheese plates, napkins and things they did not have room for before, she said.
“It’s so functional,” Rich said.
One of Rich’s ideas was to have a place for an iPad where he can access recipes online and add photos of the family cooking together.
The project was a joint effort and they enjoyed selecting items for the kitchen together, he said.
“I’m more into the cooking equipment, but Laura is more into the style elements and we worked together on it all. We wanted open glass shelves and to bring in old family keepsakes, it gives more of a story to the kitchen,” he said.
“We didn’t want it to look too trendy,” Laura added. “We wanted timeless style.”
In the upper display cabinets are plates from Rich’s cooking competitions, the first time they have had a place to put them, Laura said.
Working with some of Rich’s culinary partners such as Miele, Le Creuset, Steelite and Heritage Steel, they integrated these products into the final design and even selected new dishes, cutlery and cookware for the kitchen.
The appliances are all by Miele – and include an over-sized side-by-side refrigerator and freezer – with varied temperature control zones and multiple organization drawers.
One of Rich’s prize gadgets is the vacuum sealer which he enjoys using to flash freeze steaks or leftovers that he can later serve to their three children.
The Miele wall oven “is literally like a spaceship” and has the ability to steam, clean itself, uses a Masterchef program, and can cook sous vide. Below the wall oven, there is a warming oven, which is helpful for parties, he said.
On another wall, there is a tall wine refrigerator which gives the couple easier access to their collection.
The cabinets were made in the U.S. out of maple wood, with the upper cabinets painted white and the lower island cabinet area is painted navy blue. The counters are white quartz.
The Rosendales are very happy with the end result and are enjoying the larger, more open kitchen island where the kids can help cook or sit at a stool to eat.
Pointing to the new credenza with glass cabinets, Rich shows off wine glasses, vases and an ice bucket which he remembers seeing in Laura’s house when they were 14 years old, and it feels like their life has come full circle.
“It’s amazing, this was in her house, and now here we are and it’s in our kitchen,” he said.