Fundraiser Features Gourmet Kitchens, Market

Area residents have an opportunity to get a rare peek at some of the most exquisite kitchens in Wheeling during Oglebay Institute’s Secret Kitchens of Wheeling Tour and Gourmet Market Saturday, June 13.

Presented by the Committee of the Museums of Oglebay Institute and sponsored by Tim’s Custom Installation Inc. and K Design, this biennial event raises money for the Mansion and Glass Museums and ushers in summer with a self-guided tour of Wheeling’s grandest kitchens and an opportunity to shop from more than 40 vendors.

Maps for the kitchen tour will be available outside the Mansion Museum in Oglebay, where the brick pathways will be transformed into an outdoor marketplace.

There is a fee to tour the kitchens, but the vendor market is free to browse. Even those not going on the home tour are invited to stop by and see how products from these vendors can spice up their own homes. Dozens of merchants and artisans will sell items such as kitchen accessories, plants and herbs, cookbooks, pottery, candles, artwork, baskets, gourmet foods and spices, cookware, cutlery and more.

The Secret Kitchens committee carefully selects the tour homes, looking for unique features, interesting decor and varied locations around town, and this year promises to showcase more design and architectural gems. Six homes are featured on the tour and vary from contemporary to Cape Cod in style. The one feature that remains equal among the homes is the spectacular kitchens.

“To call them gourmet kitchens would be an understatement,” said Oglebay Institute museums director Christin Byrum. “Marble or granite countertops, Wolf stoves, Sub-Zero refrigerators, custom cabinetry, expertly hidden appliances and work areas are just some of the amenities you’ll find from year to year on the Secret Kitchen Tour.”

Byrum said tour-goers attend for different reasons. “Some want to get ideas to take back to their own homes. Others just like to look and marvel. It is also an opportunity for people to see the work of local builders and kitchen designers firsthand.”

Each kitchen on the tour has its own unique story to tell and reflects the personal style of the homeowners, from color choices to creative uses of space to whimsical decorating touches, she explained.

She added the homes selected for the tour include a nice mix of colors, design styles and price points.

“Everyone can walk away from this event with plenty of design inspiration,” she said, “whether they are interested in a total kitchen redo or easy and cost efficient ways to transform their existing kitchen into a more beautiful and inviting space.”

To discover whose kitchens are being featured, arrive at the Mansion Museum between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Saturday June 13.

Guests will purchase a ticket and receive a detailed map to find each of the secret kitchens. Names will be revealed then – and only then.

The last tickets are sold at 2 p.m., and guests have until 4 p.m. to take the self-guided tour.

The market is open from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. outside the Mansion Museum.