Do you entertain frequently? Or maybe you run a cooking business out of your house. You could just be a chef or an amazing cook. No matter your reasoning, a chef’s kitchen might just be what you want. Unlike a gourmet kitchen, which features high-end but casual upgrades, a chef’s kitchen calls for professional tools suitable for commercial-grade applications.
If this is what you’re looking for, here are a few key considerations for creating the ultimate chef’s kitchen.
1. Room to Spread Out
The footprint of your kitchen is important if a chef’s kitchen is your top priority. You need not only ample working surfaces but also adequate square footage to accommodate large appliances and allow for easy navigation.
If possible, you’ll want to include a sizable kitchen island that expands your prep surface and delivers additional storage and seating areas. If you don’t have space for that, consider convertible options. You can use a pull-out or drop leaf on the end of the island as needed and stash it the rest of the time.
2. Your Kitchen Triangle
When it comes to workflow in your space, nothing is more important than finding the ideal placement for your kitchen triangle. The points of the triangle represent the refrigerator, sink, and cooktop. These are the areas you will move between repeatedly during meal prep and cooking, so make sure the floor plan allows for a clear pathway between the three.
In addition, consider what the workflow of that triangle looks like if you need a sous chef. Many times creating two triangles or seeing how your work will overlap can help avoid bottlenecks in the kitchen.
3. Commercial Appliances
Residential kitchen appliances are perfectly suitable for the average home cook, but a chef’s kitchen demands more on every level. Commercial appliances are typically large and have extra features meant to accommodate precision cooking.
Ranges may include additional burners (for sauces, griddles, etc.) and a greater BTU rating to accommodate the increased scale of cooking. Refrigerators and freezers might offer vacuum sealing and enhanced ventilation and filtration to keep food fresher for longer. For the ultimate chef’s kitchen, you need commercial appliances.
4. Think in Multiples
Chefs tend to go big, whether they’re churning out massive amounts of food, creating an expansive menu, or both. For this reason, many chef’s kitchens include multiple sinks, ovens, warming drawers, dishwashers, and even fridges.
Whether your kitchen is kosher or not, having multiples improves the function of a busy cooking space. (And it also can help solve for #2, having multiple triangles for more than one person in the kitchen.)
5. Intensive Organization
While most kitchens contain multi-purpose appliances and utensils, a chef’s kitchen will include all manner of gadgets. It’s not enough to have a hand mixer, for example. You’ll need a stand mixer, a blender, an immersion blender, and a food processor as well, not to mention all the accessories that go with them.
With so many items, the organization of your kitchen becomes paramount. When designing your interior, make sure to include cupboards with separation for sheet pans and cutting boards; drawers with slots for dining, serving, and other utensils; spice racks; and even nooks or pull-outs for small appliances. Also, consider open shelving in some areas for easy access to dishware and small appliances.
6. Ample Lighting
No chef’s kitchen is complete without the right lighting to illuminate workspaces. You’ll want to start with a bright wash of overhead light. If you’re opposed to the fluorescent lights frequently used in commercial kitchens, opt instead for LEDs or recessed lights featuring daylight bulbs (4500–5000K) that won’t impact color perception.
Lighting is important for both general and food safety. Don’t forget to add task lighting (under-cabinet and pendants over islands) to eliminate shadows on prep and cooking surfaces.
Get Started on Your Chef’s Kitchen
If you’re ready to start your kitchen renovation, visit Friel Kitchen & Bath Design to speak with experienced and creative professionals and get the planning process underway.