For those who love to cook, gourmet kitchens are the ultimate playground. But for gourmet cooks working in a less-than-inspiring kitchen, meal prep can be a challenging environment. Great cooks need great kitchens to inspire creativity and achievement, and kitchen remodeling is a chance to turn a humdrum space into one that supports a chef’s aspirations. The hallmarks of a gourmet kitchen are evident in professional appliances, effective work triangles, large storage and workspaces, and a layout that encourages entertaining. A gourmet kitchen layout should be designed with maximum efficiency in mind, including separate zones for food preparation, cooking, storage, and cleaning. Here are five essentials for gourmet kitchen design to incorporate into a kitchen remodeling plan.
- An Open Floor Plan
An open floor plan allows chefs to easily access the sink, refrigerator, kitchen island, and other food prep areas without obstructions, aisles, or corners to turn. Open floor plans create inviting spaces for entertaining; a cook can engage with guests while putting the finishing touches on the meal. When it’s time to serve food, an open kitchen layout allows easy transport of meals from the kitchen to the dining area.
Open kitchen layouts also allow space for an efficient kitchen work triangle. A work triangle is a set of three imaginary straight lines that form a triangle between the refrigerator, the cooktop/oven, and the sink. Work triangles allow chefs to access all major workstations with ease. They also allow two or more cooks to use the same space seamlessly, as they can easily move from station to station without crowding.
- Large Kitchen Island
Kitchen islands are perfect for homeowners and gourmet chefs who enjoy both cooking and entertaining. A spacious island with a large food preparation area is perfect for a gourmet kitchen. Professional chefs need more than the typical amount of counter space for preparing large or intricate meals, and the kitchen island serves as a location central to other food prep areas, the refrigerator, and the sink, helping to create convenient work triangles.
Gourmet kitchen design should incorporate premium materials for the kitchen island countertop; work surfaces should be easy to clean and durable. Materials such as granite, quartz, and stainless steel are some of the least porous and most stain-resistant choices and work well as island countertops due to their strength and ease of cleaning. Some chefs prefer butcher block for their kitchen islands; wood tones add natural warmth and beauty to kitchens and fit in well with all kitchen styles. Butcher block is softer than stone or steel, muting the noise of cutlery and pans, and won’t crack under the weight of a dropped heavy object, but butcher block does need to be resealed every six months or so to prevent staining.
Installing a cooktop or sink in the kitchen island may be a good idea for several reasons. Having a cooktop in the island separates it from the oven area, creating a convenient work triangle with the oven, cooktop, and sink. It also allows cooks to have conversations with friends or family in an adjacent living room or dining area while meals are being prepared. Similarly, installing the sink in the kitchen island allows the cook or host to clean up after the meal while conversing or entertaining.
Finally, every gourmet kitchen island should include at least one or two electrical outlets on the side of the island so that small appliances such as mixers, blenders, or food processors can be plugged in and used during food preparation.
- Professional Appliances
Gourmet kitchen design requires professional-level appliances. Top-of-the-line stainless steel is a luxurious look and adds beauty to any kitchen, but to rise to a professional level, appliance choices need to be geared toward performance.
Professional chefs generally prefer gas ranges, which allow for superior control over cooking temperature. Double ovens are also chef-preferred so that multiple dishes can be prepared simultaneously. One oven in the set is generally a convection oven that turns out delicate cakes and other treats that are baked evenly throughout. The other oven is used to prepare main and side dishes.
A warming drawer keeps food toasty until it’s ready to be served. Microwaving food can affect the taste, so for reheating, a warming drawer is a far superior option for retaining a prepared dish’s temperature and consistency.
A gourmet kitchen refrigerator should be large enough to accommodate a wide variety of chilled items. French-door refrigerators with a bottom freezer drawer are especially effective due to their space-saving design and convenience, providing ample room to store dairy products, produce, and other perishable goods. Chilled goods stored at eye level can be quickly and easily reached by chefs while meals are being prepared. If given a choice, many professional chefs prefer a separate freezer and refrigerator, and if space allows, this is an excellent option for those who love to cook.
Gourmet kitchens need great lighting. Ample recessed lighting as well as task lighting under counters helps to illuminate important food preparation areas. Lighting should be stylistically and aesthetically pleasing as well. Pendant lights are a great way to add style and ambiance in addition to brightening up the room, especially over kitchen islands and other work areas.
- Ample Storage Space
Gourmet kitchens need more storage space than the average kitchen, and a kitchen remodeling professional in Clarkston can help design storage space to meet the needs of every unique kitchen space. Creating enough storage for pizza pans, cast iron skillets, Dutch ovens, waffle irons, and other small appliances and cookware is an important consideration. Multiple drawers for a variety of kitchen tools are a big plus, as are plenty of under-counter and hidden storage areas.
If the kitchen size will accommodate a walk-in pantry, this luxury provides enough room for extra baking ingredients, a variety of cooking oils, and stored spice rubs, as well as other shelf-stable food items.
Designing a kitchen can be a daunting task, but a kitchen remodeling professional in Clarkston can create the perfect gourmet kitchen design for every home.