Photographs by Stacy Bass
Above: Sliding French doors open onto the grounds and gardens.
Tim’s Kitchen is the much-buzzed-about addition to the historic WAKEMAN TOWN FARM property on Cross Highway in Westport. A former chicken-plucking room presided over by three generations of the Wakeman farming family, this newly reimagined classroom space, complete with a gorgeous commercial kitchen, is the talk of the town.
The farm’s committee— of which I am cochair, with Liz Milwe—started out with a modest wish list. We hoped for a functional indoor space for our kids’ programs and camps, but—after careful consideration and a year’s worth of planning—it became clear that a commercial kitchen, classroom and events space would usher in a new era for the farm. It would provide new opportunities for this nonprofit organization, including a wide range of cooking classes, kids’ programs, farm-to-table dinners, wine tastings and special-occasion rentals.
The name, Tim’s Kitchen, was chosen as a memorial to the late Tim Wormser, a farm and food enthusiast, and son of Peter Wormser and Liz Milwe, who have been an integral part of the farm since its inception. Both Peter and Liz had a huge hand in bringing this project to life. Peter was the architect of the project. He donated all of his work pro bono and managed to stay true to the farm’s historic roots while modernizing it with high ceilings and contemporary design touches. Both he and Liz were on the job site every day for more than eight months, ensuring that every light fixture and countertop was installed to perfection.
In addition to this, friends, family and members of the community donated close to $100,000 in funds and goods to the project—from KitchenAid mixers to pasta makers and pots and pans to a ten-burner Garland stove and massive hood system. Larger community partners, including Tony Aitoro, the Gault family and Alex Brandfon at Riverbend Flooring, donated appliances, stone for the patio and interior flooring.
“Building Tim’s Kitchen was bittersweet and emotional,” says Milwe. “But, at the end of the day, we are delighted to have such a fitting and lasting memorial for Tim, and we are incredibly touched by the generosity of so many friends and members of the community. We put a kitchen wish list on the farm’s website, and every day, we came home to find more boxes piling up. While we will always miss Tim, we are grateful to have a project like this to pour our hearts into.”
When people walk through the door, their jaws drop, as they take in the white-washed cathedral ceiling and industrial farm chic vibe, complemented by accessories furnished by Lillian August.
The space accommodates forty for seated dinners and corporate retreats and more for cocktail parties and gatherings. With sliding French doors opening onto the grounds and gardens, the farm is accustomed to handling much larger crowds, including more than 250 guests. From bridal showers and milestone birthday parties, to children’s parties, guest chefs and film series, the new Tim’s Kitchen at Wakeman Town Farm will be a gathering spot for aficionados of food and wine, farms and gardening, hands-on learning and community events. In the future, expect square dances and bingo, as well as plenty of down-home attractions. 134 Cross Highway, Westport; 203-557-6914; wakemantownfarm.org