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Foundry chef Eric Greenspan's home kitchen

January 28, 2012 |  6:00 am

Chef Eric Greenspan and his fiancée, Jamie Molever
Chef Eric Greenspan and his fiancée, Jamie Molever, share the kitchen of the future.

More accurately, the kitchen of their future. In the present, it gets used just about never.

“This was the first apartment that I even looked at the kitchen,” says Greenspan, the chef at the Foundry on Melrose and the Roof on Wilshire, in the boutique Hotel Wilshire. In previous places, his feeling toward the kitchen was: “Who cares?”

This time, he cares. He and Molever, above, are getting married this spring in Palm Springs, and they plan to have children. When they do, they plan for the kitchen to be a center of their home.

So two years ago, when they moved into the apartment just south of Melrose, they made sure the kitchen would suit. What Greenspan likes is the plentiful granite counter space, including a bar that looks into the dining area, counters on both sides of the stove and the double stainless steel sink.

“One thing we loved is the great mix of old and new — the curves, archways,” Molever says. At the same time, all the appliances are new. There's a gas stove, a key requirement for Greenspan.

“I also liked the look of the — I think it's called the hood? Over the stove,” says Molever, laughing at how little she knows about cooking. Of course, she's fallen for a guy who makes that knowledge something she won't much need.

“When I have kids, I want to cook for them,” says Greenspan, who has plans to open two more restaurants.

Greenspan, 36, began cooking to pay his way through UC Berkeley, where he studied business. After graduation, he figured the best way to keep from upsetting his parents about his plans to be a cook was to go to France. So he did.

As for Molever, salad is her signature dish, and Greenspan put it on the Roof menu — as the Wilshire salad. It's one of the most popular dishes, he says.

“When we had parties and potlucks, it was all I could do. It took off,” she says.

Chef Eric Greenspan at home
The salad is one food that does get prepared in the kitchen; there's a deep wooden bowl sitting on the microwave, and Greenspan has brought home ingredients and prepares it: chopped romaine and radicchio, candied nuts, crumbled goat cheese, avocado, tomatoes, corn and seasonal fruit — in this case, persimmon and pear.

“I don't think my salad has ever seen a persimmon,” says Molever, who is studying for her MBA and works in marketing for Evite.

“The salad is the only thing I can think of being made in the kitchen,” Greenspan says. But he amends that to include the kugel and cookies Molever makes and a Seder they prepared for 11 people.

“We eat,” Greenspan says, patting his not insubstantial belly. “Obviously I do.” But, he says, “We're that model of a young couple on the rise that has no time.”

Their cupboards reflect busy lives: Greenspan opens one near the sink, revealing crammed in papers, Twizzlers and other assorted things on three shelves before Molever asks him to close it.

In another cupboard, there are neat stacks of plates in a matte gray-green and white bowls — with store stickers still attached.

“We registered well,” says Greenspan, the sort of guy for whom the word “quip” is just right.

The silverware drawer holds — of all things — silverware, plus restaurant chopsticks in paper wrappers and plastic utensils. The refrigerator has juice, chocolate frosting, baby carrots, some dip, Beaver and Gulden's mustards and five bottles of champagne.

“We like to bathe in champagne. We like to live like rock stars,” Greenspan jokes.

On the counter a white sign leans against the backsplash. It proclaims: The Greenspan Family Established May 5, 2012 — a gift from good friends. There are few other decorations: an orchid next to the sink, and on the bar a white candle and three glass vases holding white tulips and china mums.

The cherry-colored cupboard next to the oven holds olive oil, “good” balsamic vinegar, vanilla bean burnt-sugar syrup made by a friend and a box of salted caramel cookies. Two shelves are empty.

There are some of Molever's baking supplies, a toaster oven, a microwave and an espresso maker. A few items hint at Greenspan's professional life, like the whipped cream maker and pasta machine.

But to find another clue that this is a kitchen of the future, just look at the refrigerator.

The few items posted on it look toward the days ahead: Adam Sevell and Rikki Bass' marriage announcement; a new baby card; and a running list of songs for their own wedding reception, including “Crazy Love,” “I Got You Babe,” “Light My Fire,” “We Are Family” and “All Night Long.”

No other weddings? Births? Graduations? “Yeah, but after they happen,” Greenspan says with a dismissive jerk of his hand, “off they go. They're over.”

-- Mary MacVean

More profiles of chefs at home have appeared as part of our series Mission: Kitchen.

Photo credit: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times