Still Love Your Old Flame? - Page 2

New CA-Modern story celebrates the art of restoring classic MCM ovens and cooktops
Fridays on the Homefront
Fridays on the Homefront
Lauren Sorokolit in her Sacramento kitchen alongside her Chambers AR-9H. Photo: Dave Weinstein
Fridays on the Homefront
Eichler owner Katherine McKenney Shea of Castro Valley keeps her Thermador kitchen original too. Photo: Sabrina Huang

To hear one expert tell it, the Sorokolits caught a bit of luck. Rick Chin is owner of Accurate Appliance in Concord, which for years did good business restoring vintage stoves. They still service Thermador, Bosch, and all the classic brands—but not mid-century models.

"I used to rebuild cooktops for people with parts from other brands," says Chin. "A lot of that equipment was really nice."

Vintage Thermadors, in particular, really "bring back memories" for Chin, who adds, "I know all the Eichlers had those…I used to do a ton of them in Hillsborough."

"Of course, no one manufactures them anymore," he said—and more pertinently, he added, no one makes replacement parts. You can try, like the Sorokolits, to find them online, but that option has drawbacks.

"The problem with that is, you never know what you're getting," said the Concord repairman. For lack of reliable sources for parts, he added, "We're slaves to what we can get."

Consequently, he said, when it comes to repairing vintage stoves, "We're at the Catch-22 of: 'I'd love to but I can't.'"

Of course, the CA-Modern story includes a few people and their stoves that do not have as happy a resolution as the Sorokolits' Chambers range. Nonetheless, the owners see their virtues as well as their flaws.

Rachel Cross lives in an Eichler in Foster City, and its original stove is one such mixed blessing. "The oven has a lot of character, but it doesn't accommodate cooking for a large party," Cross said in our CA-Modern story. "We love the look of it, but it's small. You just can't cook multiple dishes in a small oven."

Such are the trials and tribulations of original cooktops and ranges, as detailed in 'Old Burners Never Die...' Check it out—a sneak preview of our Summer '17 issue of CA-Modern.