Back for its third year, Junior League of St. Louis’ annual Kitchen Tour is going to be bigger and better than ever, if event co-chair Ann Beck has anything to say about it. Along with Julie Kearbey and their committee, she is working to build on the successes of years past. “It’s one of the League’s largest fundraisers, and it has a lot of public support,” she says.
The self-guided tour will feature approximately seven kitchens along St. Louis’ central corridor, some of which are still being finalized, Beck notes. The goal is to have a range of kitchens that run the gamut—from smaller ones with creative ideas for using space, to impressive kitchens that boast the latest in cooking technology. In a tour first, an outdoor kitchen from Karr Bick will be included. “It’s a fun day; and over the past couple of years, we’ve seen a lot of groups of men and women going in together—couples who are clearly in the throes of remodeling—to get different ideas about appliances, using their space, and what’s new in culinary design. It’s also a fun girlfriends outing.”
In addition to viewing the kitchens, tour-goers will have the chance to speak with design teams as well as representatives from other companies who contributed to the kitchens’ remodeling projects. “It’s a resource for people who are thinking about remodeling,” Beck says.
Another way the League is building on its successes from years past is through its pre-party, Beck notes. To be held at Immerse by Atlas on April 19 from 6 to 9 p.m., the pre-party will include appetizers from J. Gilbert’s, passed hors d’oeuvres from Lola’s, and a sampling of popular items from Harry and David. Guests also can enjoy specialty cocktails, a Champagne toast, gift bags and more. A silent auction will feature prizes that range from four one-day hopper passes to Disney World, to a weekend getaway in Branson, to autographed sports memorabilia and Cardinals tickets. There also will be a celebrity chef apron auction, featuring autographed aprons from the likes of Ina Garten, Guy Fieri, Emeril Lagasse, Curtis Stone, Paula Dean, Buddy Valastro, Bobby Flay, Kansas City chef Celina Tio, and Vince Bommarito from Tony’s. “This is the third year; and each year, we get bigger and better chefs,” Beck says.
Guests at the tour also will receive Junior League’s St. Louis Days, St. Louis Nights cookbook, along with a VIP gift bag while supplies last. The proceeds all support Junior League of St. Louis’ many community programs. They include the Strong Women & Families Health & Resource Fair, which annually brings together agencies that provide a range of services for low-income families; the League Larks/Nightingales, a choral group that travels to area nursing home facilities, retirement centers and rehabilitation centers; and the St. Louis Family Theatre Series, which brings live theater to more than 30,000 school children each year.
“We’re building off our successes,” Beck says. “We always change things up a bit and see where we can improve, but the feedback in the past is that everybody loves it. It’s a good way to get ideas and start thinking about a remodel.”
On the Cover:
Junior League St. Louis is hosting its third annual A Gathering Place Kitchen Tour from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, with a pre-party at Immerse by Atlas from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, April 19. Tickets to the kitchen tour are $30 in advance, or $35 the day of the tour; $25 for pre-party tickets only; or $50 for both. For more information, call 822-2344 or visit jlsl.org.