How to Create a Kitchen Fit for a Chef
For some people, a basic kitchen is good enough. But if cooking is your passion, your kitchen needs more than a few cabinets, a bit of counter space, and basic appliances—you need clever storage options, a spacious island or peninsula, and high-end appliances to prepare meals productively. Is it possible to achieve all this while including eco-friendly elements into your kitchen? With these design tricks, you’ll find that it is!
The work area of a professional kitchen is divided into three work zones: food prep, cooking, and cleanup. The food prep area should be close to the oven and stove to prevent wasted steps between the prep and cooking areas. Then, the cleanup area should be located around the sink. If possible, install two sinks so one can serve as the cleanup area where dishes pile up while the other continues to function as the prep area for the next round of food.
Of course, the kitchen must serve as more than just a work area for preparing meals. You probably also want space to eat breakfast and read the newspaper, entertain guests, and help the kids with their homework. The overall size and layout of your kitchen should reflect these other uses you have in mind.
Chefs have more pots, pans, and kitchen gadgets than the average homeowner. This makes storage a vital component of a kitchen fit for a chef. Take an inventory of the things you own to help you plan room to accommodate them. Nest pots and bakeware when possible to consolidate space, and keep seasonal and seldom-used items in the basement so your kitchen functions better from day to day.
As for the cabinets themselves, choose closed cupboards for most of your storage needs and a few glass doors to display decorative items and collectibles. Avoid open shelves that gather dust and ornate molding that’s difficult to clean. Consider choosing cabinets made of renewable bamboo, agrifiber, or salvaged wood finished with low- or no-VOC stain and paint.
Easy-to-clean counters are crucial for culinary pros, but the material you choose should cater to how and what you cook. For example:
- Stainless steel is a desirable surface for its stain resistance and ability to withstand abrasive cleaners.
- Recycled glass resists staining, scratching, and scorching—plus, it’s eco-friendly.
- Paperstone is heavy-duty, stain resistant, and non-porous—and it’s made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper and petroleum-free resin.
- Butcher block is ideal for kneading dough and cutting directly on the countertop.
- The coolness of natural stone is ideal if you specialize in confection-making.
All the appliances you purchase for your kitchen should be ENERGY STAR® qualified to ensure the lowest energy consumption possible while maximizing performance. When shopping for appliances, consider these chef-worthy varieties:
- Gas range for fast, even cooking
- Double electric wall ovens to bake high quantities of food in half the time
- Dishwasher with a large, versatile interior to fit as many dirty dishes as possible
- Refrigerator with a top- or bottom-mounted freezer for more efficient performance than a side-by-side fridge/freezer
Sinks & Faucets
The ideal kitchen features two sinks, especially if two or more chefs often share the space. Consider these popular sink and faucet features when comparing your options:
- Large sinks with a single bowl maximize the work area and hide the most dirty dishes from sight. Only if the opening is large enough should you divide the sink into two basins.
- Under-mounted sinks allow you to scoot scraps directly into the basin instead of up and over a lip.
- Gooseneck faucets make filling, washing, and rinsing large pots easy.
- Single-handle levers are easier to operate than dual-handle configurations.
- Pull-out sprayers are a must for fast, effortless cleanup.
If you’re looking to build an eco-friendly kitchen that supports your culinary aspirations in the San Diego area, contact us online now to schedule a kitchen remodel consultation!
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