1 June 2004
Page 28
Volume 21; Issue 6; ISSN: 07418647


Mark Stech-Novak feels most comfortable when he's whipping up a plate of wild salmon cured in Lapsang souchong tea. But when the 52-year-old former chef isn't actually in the kitchen, he's most likely designing one-on his Mac.

Stech-Novak has been a part of the restaurant industry for more than 30 years, first as a restaurant apprentice in France and later as the executive chef at two San Francisco eateries. seeking a change and dealing with a bad back, the Oakland, California, resident put his culinary expertise to work as a designer. He has since designed kitchens for Wolfgang Puck, JeanLouis Palladin, and Alain Ducasse. You can see his handiwork on the set of Iron Chef America. Recipe for Success Mark Stech-Novak designs these kitchens with a Power Mac G3 and a G4.

Stech-Novak cooks up kitchen designs for his clients on a dual-1.42GHz PowerMac G4 and a 40OMHz blue-and-white G3. His software of choice includes Nemetschek's VectorWorks CAD program (www.nemetschek.com) and Abvent's Artlantis rendering tool (www.abvent.com). Once he creates a design in VectorWorks, Stech-Novak imports it into Artlantis, which exports the design as a QuickTime VR file for a virtual walkthrough of the kitchen before any construction begins.

Stech-Novak believes he'd have a harder time designing a kitchen with a PC. "I've been using a Mac since the early 1980s [and] once you get into it, you don't feel like changing it," he says. "[If you do change,] you're searching for some of the shortcuts that aren't there."

Stech-Novak does own two PC laptops, which he uses for showing clients his creations. But he adds, "Would I design on [a PC]? Not on your life."