MONTANA COLLABORATORS: Bridger Kitchens Represents The Best In Design
Kitchens are kinetic spaces, full of life and heat. Which makes the preponderance of static kitchen showrooms puzzling.
Enter game changer Bridger Kitchens, our trusted source for high-end designs conveniently based right by us in Bozeman. Disrupting the standard of an impeccably inert showroom, Shannon Lundgren built a series of live kitchens capable of hosting cooking classes, equipment demos and special events. Such an animated concept reflects Shannon’s experiential approach to sourcing: She visits the factories and sees the products built—like the metal workshop in France where craftsmen forge La Cornue ranges—and then brings her observations to bear in advising her commercial and residential clients. “There are so few things built by hand anymore,” she says. “I come back inspired.”
Echoing her sourcing strategy, Shannon approaches kitchen design as an individual experience, matching specific products to specific clients rather than adopting a set schema. She asks clients (or coaches us to ask): “How do you cook? What types of food do you make? How big is your family? How many people do you typically entertain?”
“I tailor the kitchen to their needs,” she says.
When working with architects, Shannon takes on the role of educator. “I love watching their eyes light up when something piques their interest or when they learn something new,” she says. “It’s all about education.”
Honoring the fine lines she represents, she hosts trainings that always—enjoyably—end in an edible demonstration, like our recent lunchtime testing of the steam oven from Gaggenau. Over flatbread, we listened as Shannon described the 335-year-old factory in Munich, detailing the baking process that turns the ore lining Gaggenau ovens emerald blue—a signature color copied by competitors (with faux enamel finishes). We now speak with fluency on the finer points of Gaggenau’s designs which translates into a more personalized design for our clients.
Our JLF crew enjoys lunch prepared in the showpiece of our Bridger Kitchens session.
Shannon’s educational approach extends to the public programs she stages at the Kitchen Counter at Bridger Kitchens. Spring cooking classes included Portuguese and Persian dinners; after the bustle of summer, the class schedule will resume with a harvest feast tailored to architects and designers.
Through storytelling and experiential education, Shannon connects the artisanal passion coursing through kitchen designs with the cherished experience of preparing and sharing a delicious meal. “Stories come out while we are cooking,” she says. “I look for products that have stories behind them.”
Stories and history. “The product lines that I love are historical. They’ve stood the test of time,” she says. “I’m always hunting for heirloom products as opposed to something disposable. I want them to hold up. I want the client to still love them 10 years from now.”