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Tim Disney’s kitchen reflects his colorful family tree

My Favorite Room | Director Tim Disney takes a page out of grandma’s kitchen

With a resume that includes directing, writing and producing, it’s no shock that Tim Disney likewise takes on multiple roles once he gets home: “I’m the chef of the house — I’m also the dishwasher.”

Disney, 58, has been putting in long hours as both writer and director on his latest project, “William,” which is out now in select theaters. So he heads to the kitchen to de-stress, and make dinner for his 7-year-old daughter.

“She’s super picky, but she’ll eat pasta or salad,” he said. “Amazingly, she loves salad above all else. I’ve never met another kid like that.”

Disney, whose grandfather Roy O. Disney was the brother and business partner of Walt Disney, only recently moved into his 1954 Midcentury Modern home in Silver Lake. But his tailored and contemporary, yet cozy, kitchen has already seen a variety of gatherings — hosting friends, work cohorts and members of his famous family.


Guests at Disney’s renovated 2,500-square-foot residence often congregate in the kitchen, where counter-to-ceiling windows offer expansive views of a garden filled with lemon and avocado trees, and plates are stacked in open cabinets.

It may be hard to imagine a clan as iconic as the Disneys sitting down to a regular family dinner, but Tim Disney remembers many hospitable meals at the home of his grandparents, whom he called “these sweet, direct, loving, beautiful, Middle-American people, in the best sense of the word.”

Why is this your favorite room?


Everything that is most important in life is in this room — food and company.

What kinds of things do you like to cook?

I’m kind of a Mediterranean-ish/California-ish cook. I’m an enthusiastic omnivore; I eat anything. But I find the arguments for vegetarianism to be pretty compelling, so I’m trying to move in that direction.

Do you entertain here often?

I’ve had a couple large dinner parties here with friends, and those have just been wonderful events. This kitchen has been fantastic to lay out a huge feast. The way the space is laid out, with the dining room and the living room connected, and this outdoor space, it’s just great for entertainment.

What’s your design aesthetic?

I have a taste for cleaner, more modern design — but not cold. I think too many contemporary designs are often cold and impersonal. I think I really responded to this house because it’s so warm and homey. The woodwork is so beautifully done, and the tones are warm — it’s very human in scale.

Was cooking important in your family growing up?


Yes, food and home and cooking were a big deal in my family. Both my parents were really wonderful cooks in different ways. My mother’s family is all from New Orleans, so they have a whole Creole thing going on. My dad was a master barbecuer. My grandmother was also a fantastic cook; she loved to have people come over to their home. They’d have family, all of us grandkids running around, and business associates from all over the world, and everyone would be in the kitchen. There was white carpet in the kitchen — could you imagine such a choice? I don’t know how she kept it clean.

It sounds like the kitchen has always been a special place for you and your family.

It has. I have a bunch of funny little kitchen items that I got from my grandmother’s house after she passed that have a lot of strong childhood memories. She had a little needlepoint that said, “No matter where I served my guests, they seem to like my kitchen best.”