Kitchen Design for a Chef

August 30, 2021

We are going to be starting a series of articles on kitchens that some professions or personalities want and need. First up the Chef, whether a pro or aspiring Master Chef home cook here are a couple things they want out of a kitchen.

For Chef’s it’s all about working in the traditional work triangle (distance from sink, fridge, oven). Professional chefs can make anything work but the thing that allows a kitchen to suit their needs is efficiency. We would also argue that the flow of this triangle also has to incorporate the cutting board. It’s the center of a chef’s world.. It’s where one preps the meat, cuts the veg, lets things rest and more. It is the epicenter of what was, is and yet to happen. The ability to have the cutting board next or right behind you to move it around to where it is needed is a key tactic to staying highly efficient. Chef’s are used to being in a small space, and having everything they need all within an arm’s reach, a bend, or one step. Which then leads to the next point.

Countertop Space

No clutter! Do you really need to have a ton of single purpose cooking utensils out on the counter? Probably not, especially if you are trained in the art of spatula and measuring with your hands like a trained monk. Having just the bare necessities enables you to move that cutting board we were talking about around to where it is needed. To have plenty of space for spices, plates, bowls, all the ingredients of a dish to be out and in front of you so that for

  1. you see what you have available
  2. so that you can see what still needs to be done, and
  3. what the next steps to take. Whether you need the counter to roll dough or to place a pot, having it clear and clean is an anxiety killer.

Lastly, for the most part Chef’s are chatty and there are a lot of people who don’t know what it’s like to cook and serve food in the hospitality world. Being a chef most of the time is not a solo endeavor. It takes a team to put out food in a lunch and dinner rush, you may be given tasks to accomplish by oneself but in the end it takes a group of people. So the other thing you have to consider when designing a chef’s kitchen is how many people are going to be there. Is it one person doing the cooking, one cleaning at the end? Which may lead to just having one big sink. Or is it two people working together and doing a cooking dance? Maybe you want two sinks in that case. What about entertaining and having people watch you cook, listen to your unique cooking stories and see the magic happening by your hands. Then look at island seating or where people will be congregating to watch it happen.

Is a chef’s kitchen for you? Is that your dream kitchen?

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