This island kitchen was designed with love of food and company in mind
The open, bold, geometric pattern of the backsplash in Kat and Mike Bouvier’s kitchen repeats the mid-century modern motif of their Galveston home and serves as a backdrop to creating comfort food.
“We didn’t want a traditional beach house,” Mike Bouvier said.
He also didn’t want a traditional kitchen.
“My requirements are for him to cook my meals,” Kat Bouvier said.
Mike recently retired from his popular business, Hey Mikey’s Ice Cream, 2120 Postoffice St. in Galveston’s downtown. Now that he has turned the business over to his son Rob Bouvier and daughter-in-law Kristin Bouvier, he has more time to cook at home.
But this new home doesn’t have an ice cream maker, Kat said.
“We don’t even have ice cream in the house,” she said.
The Bouviers went to Galveston architect Brax Easterwood to design the home in the mid-century modern style is reminiscent of the simple-line design that became popular from 1933 to 1965 and now has become a different type of classic. John Paul Listowski of Galveston-based HomeLife Builders oversaw the construction.
After two years of designing their dream home and then another year and a half of building it on Bayou Shore Drive, the Bouviers moved into their new house in January this year.
The kitchen features a custom-made hood above an oversized stove. The top burners are gas, while the oven is electric. The large stove and hood are against a wall, opening up the kitchen all the way to the windows with a waterfront view.
“It’s designed to entertain,” Kat said.
It’s also designed for people who love to eat and share that love with others.
The kitchen has enough space to chop vegetables, cook multiple dishes and pour drinks while visiting with guests and spreading out. Open shelves add to the mid-century style. Outside, a custom-made pizza oven waits for custom-made pizzas to bake. Inside the butler’s pantry are the frozen cuts of a whole pig. That’s just some of the food they enjoy.
“I love to hunt and fish,” Mike said. “But we only hunt what we eat.”
The couple met in Las Vegas when he was in construction and she was a horse trainer.
“Growing up, my mom made a lot of comfort food,” Mike said. “She cooked economically with ground beef and chicken.”
His mother, along with his grandmother, made meatloaf, chicken and dumplings, and American chop suey with noodles, tomatoes and onions.
“It lasts days and days, and gets better and better,” he said.
Mike can walk into the pantry, pick out whatever ingredients might be on hand and then create a masterpiece of home cooking, Kat said. She compared him to a winning contestant on the television cooking show “Chopped.”
“That’s how we fell into the ice cream business,” Mike said. The alternative would have been to open a restaurant. “With my passion for food, I’d always be at the restaurant.”
Dinner guests are common and welcome in the Bouvier kitchen, Kat said. Inviting them over and entertaining them and having them back again is important to the couple, they said.
“Our house is open,” she said. “We are open to all.”
“It’s tough to cook for just two people,” Mike said.
In the nine years they have lived in Galveston, they’ve made friends and are making more as they get to know their new neighbors. The warmth of those connections is special, Kat said.
“The whole island is like a great neighborhood,” she said.
This Christmas Day, Kat wants to have people over. The menu might include baked French toast, eggs Benedict and possibly barbecue. The meal won’t have a set time. Guests, friends, family and neighbors can come and go as their holiday schedules allow.
“It would be an open house,” she said.