CAPE MAY — See where family chefs perfect their homemade dishes inside six of Cape May’s magnificent homes during the Taste of Cape May Kitchen Tour Saturday, Oct. 16 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. These elaborately designed kitchens will dazzle, amaze and inspire you. The tour also includes a delicious tasting at each location provided by KARA Catering and Cape Island Foods and a wine tasting with Cape May Winery at the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. Admission is $30 and tickets may be purchased online at capemaymac.org or by calling 609-884-5404. Tickets are limited.
Home kitchens on tour include the following:
The Cedar House, 1035 Washington St., Kevin and Jill Bremer
Shore Designs built The Cedar House in 2018. Although it’s a new build, it purposefully fits right into the historic Washington Street neighborhood, said owners Kevin and Jill Bremer, who have declared this their “forever home” and have created a fresh and inviting place for family and friends who visit. The home features a gourmet kitchen with a six-burner Wolf stove and oven and a wine fridge that holds 150-plus bottles of wine. The home has an open concept floor plan with four bedrooms and four bathrooms, with one master bedroom on each floor, as well as a finished loft on the third floor. Outside is a large wrap-around porch in front and a covered deck in back, looking onto a saltwater pool with sun deck and waterfall.
The Maggie McKean, 1125A Washington St., John and Cheryl Gulish
The Maggie McKean was built circa 1890, but has a spacious, modern kitchen that overlooks the patio and gardens. The kitchen was the first room the family entered when looking for their home in 2008 and is the reason they decided to buy the house. The kitchen is in essence a great room and by far the most used room in the house: a go-to gathering spot for family and friends. The Gulish family loves to cook and the Viking stove and center island cooktop provide plenty of room to spread out, when preparing hearty breakfasts or three-course dinners. Many lively discussions take place while sipping wine and sitting on the casual chairs and loveseat. In winter, the wood burning fireplace adds to the coziness of the space. Weather permitting, the wrap-around porch is the second most popular hangout for the family, especially for early morning coffee or pre-dinner appetizers and drinks.
The Kurtz Residence, 910 Washington St., Yogi and Karen Kurtz
Built in 1864, 910 Washington St. is located in the primary Historic District of Cape May and is an example of Cape May’s Victorian charm. Owners Yogi and Karen Kurtz purchased the property in 2011 and began renovations to the interior. The home has a Key West vibe with bright colors and eclectic artwork. The kitchen has an open feel with a wraparound counter that includes double ovens and a Bosch cooktop that makes entertaining easy and enjoyable. A cheery breakfast room is off the kitchen. This comfortable home also includes four bedrooms, three bathrooms, formal dining room and a sunken living room. There is a screened in porch to host summer dinners with friends while looking out at the beautiful gardens. The front porch is the perfect spot to sit and watch the world go by. It’s what makes 910 “our Happy Place,” said Yogi and Karen.
Aurorean Cottage, 726 Corgie St., Marc and Lauren Shenfield
The Aurorean Cottage, built in 1867, was the summer home of Augustus Bournonville, a physician in the Union Army during the Civil War. It has been a year-round house, however, for most of its history. The kitchen has remained in the same location and much the same configuration for 154 years, while accommodating changes in cooking technology, lifestyles, and social trends. Today, a country kitchen with period antiques, it features the latest in functionality, while retaining its original Victorian character.
Judson Bennet House, 835 Washington St., Mike and Anna DeDominicis
The Judson Bennett House was built circa 1887 for Judson Bennett, a Delaware River pilot, and his family. Judson and his wife, Lillian, raised three children here. The house is a Queen Anne Victorian that sits majestically at the corner of Washington and Queen Streets. A beautiful wrap-around porch is perfect for relaxing and watching the trolleys or horse and carriages go by. The home consists of heart pine hardwood floors throughout and the main staircase is over 100 years old. Tin ceilings in the parlor are a wonderful fixture to appreciate as is the beautiful fireplace. In the kitchen you will find a mix of old and new, featuring some old farm flair. The large kitchen island is meant for large gatherings and has Viking appliances, granite countertops and a delightful old pantry. It is a favorite part of the house to gather and entertain. The kitchen flows into the dining room where the Bennetts used to dine and gather. The back of the house, where it’s believed the original kitchen once was, is now a den. The den is a nice place to play games, read a book or enjoy sitting by the fireplace. The hosts of the house are very much into baking, cooking and celebrating life.
Inn at the Park (The Henry Walker-Hand House), 1002 Washington St., Carl and Susan Spaccoto
The Inn started as the home of Henry Walker-Hand. Henry had the house built in 1893, a year that was actually a time of economic depression. The “Cottage” was built on his land for $1,670 or approximately $510,000 in today’s money. The original bill of sale is hanging on the dining room wall. The house originally ended at the edge of the kitchen and two additional sections were added. It was powered by gas and had two chimneys; electric came later. The horse stables eventually became garages, then outside rooms, then inside rooms. Henry was a boat captain, a schoolteacher, the editor of the local newspaper, a staunch abolitionist and a writer, and was recognized as an expert on the island’s hawks by the Audubon Society.
Susan and Carl have enjoyed operating and renovating the Inn for five years. Nearly 40 percent of the house has been renovated. The kitchen is a dual function space; it is a working commercial kitchen used to service the Inn, and is the family kitchen as well, where Susan and Carl’s grandchildren love to knead dough and make pizzas in the built-in 1200-degree pizza oven. The kitchen features a unique ceramic tile backsplash, a custom Italian-built 7-burner, dual-fuel oven with heavy-duty hood, and butcher-block counters. The wood floors were refinished and two of the original butler cabinets and a spice cabinet were used. While modernizing, the couple used as many of the original features as possible, and have incorporated a 1901 backbar from a historic tavern in Baltimore.
Cape May MAC (Museums+Arts+Culture) is a multifaceted, not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors. Cape May MAC membership is open to all. Visit capemaymac.org/support/membership to learn more. .For information about Cape May MAC’s year-round schedule of tours, festivals and special events, visit capemaymac.org.