How to Design a Pro Kitchen

The professionals make it look easy. We watch them cook, talk, and magically pull delicious dishes from their ovens. They also inspire us to see cooking as an art, not simply another daily chore. If you want to bring that kind of cooking experience home to your new kitchen design, we have a few ideas for you that come straight from the pros.

Make it efficient

In a professional kitchen, it’s all about getting the job done quickly and efficiently. Eric Ripert, star of the PBS show Avec Eric, says, “You want everything very close to you, so if you don’t have to move so much. If you have everything you need close to you, you would be more productive with less stress and have more fun in your kitchen cooking.”

  • Create different work zones that contain all the tools you need in a small radius. Extra steps to get tools or ingredients are simply wasted energy.
  • Keep in mind the work triangle of sink, stove, and fridge. Make them within reach so that you don’t have to travel long distances when cooking, and you can access them quickly and easily. Guy Fieri even installed a hospital-style foot pedal on his sink so that he didn’t have to use his hands to turn on the faucet.
  • Put your tools within reach and make it easy with hanging pot racks and well-designed drawers. One of the focal points of Julia Child’s kitchen was her collection of copper pots and pans that hung on the wall. Every item in the kitchen needs a special place to belong.
  • Make traffic flow around your kitchen, not through your workspace. Consider adding a smaller, separate refrigerator drawer for people who want to grab a quick snack without interrupting your workflow.

Make it beautiful

In a home kitchen, efficiency is important, but so is beauty. You want your kitchen to be aesthetically pleasing as well. Professionals see their kitchen as an art studio where beautiful dishes are created and enjoyed.

  • Open shelves or hanging pot racks can add beauty and efficiency to your kitchen.
  • Keep the kitchen counters free of clutter. Open spaces are more pleasing to the eye.
  • Add personal touches that speak about your family heritage. Rachael Ray has tiles from Italy, and Wolfgang Puck displays coffee beans from his mother-in-law’s home country of Ethiopia.

Consider your guests

When they come home, many professional chefs enjoy including their guests in the cooking process. Rachael Ray says, “Think of your kitchen as an opportunity to turn your dishes into souvenirs.”

  • Install the stove in the center island. This allows you to have conversations with guests or family while cooking. You don’t have to turn your back on your guests to tend to a dish on the stove.
  • Consider adding a large island or farm table in the kitchen that welcomes guests to sit and enjoy conversation without isolating the chef.
  • Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, even put comfortable chairs by a fireplace in her kitchen. “The kitchen is the new living room,” she says.

A professional kitchen is one that is carefully designed around the cooking experience of the chef and the guests. When it all comes together, spending time in your kitchen creating and sharing delicious meals will become treasured memories.

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