Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Home Kitchens of Famous Chefs

When you want to design a kitchen made for a real chef, don't look to TV shows or commercial kitchens. Instead, take a look at what celebrity chefs have in their own kitchens at home. This is where they prepare meals for their families and it's where they design with their own dime. Four iconic cooking celebrities stand out with iconic kitchen styles.

Paula Deen (Paula’s Home Cooking)

Which cooking show comes to mind when you think of country style home cooking? Paula Deen actually tapes her show, Paula's Home Cooking, in her own home kitchen. This offers you a glimpse into the real home kitchen of a celebrity chef. Gwyn Duggan, the designer of Paula's kitchen, says Paula wanted a serious, professional kitchen that didn't feel like one.” The focal point of this design is a cooking fireplace which is surrounded by soapstone counters and juxtaposed by a center island cook top with a deep fryer. Everything in this kitchen is designed to entertain guests while keeping them out of the way of the cook, right down to the refrigerator placement and double commercial convection style ovens. The result is a wide open and welcoming design which makes guests, and TV viewers, feel right at home in Paula's kitchen.

Guy Fieri (Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives)

A great example of a kitchen designed to match the personality of the cook who calls it home is that of celebrity chef Guy Fieri. Although he chose to remain in the same house after making it big on the Food Network, a kitchen remodel has expanding his cooking space to a very cozy 900 square feet. This lively custom kitchen design was built by Guy's dad and took a year to complete. Many of the appliances here take going over the top to a whole new level. There are his and hers refrigerators, a mega burner that can handle a 20-gallon jambalaya, and a 27,500 BTU wok burner. What do you expect from the host of a show that travels around the country visiting diners, drive-ins, and dives? One of the smartest features of this kitchen is the foot pedal operated kitchen faucet. Also, the reclaimed barn wood counter is a wonderful green design element that also ads a lot of character.

Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa)

Many cultures feel the kitchen is the heart of the home, but this is especially true of Italian homes. This concept was not lost on Ina Garten when she combined kitchen and living room design aspects in her kitchen. The work triangle, which is the centerpiece of any commercial kitchen, is at one end of her kitchen while easy chairs and a fireplace can be found at the other. This ensures guests are comfortable but out of the cook’s way around the refrigerator, stove, and sink. One of the most interesting and modern features of this kitchen is the induction range which can boil water in just 2 minutes. Simple and easy shelves are used throughout the kitchen in order to keep everything open and within arm’s reach.

Rachael Ray (30 Minute Meals)

Many people have extremely limited space and nowhere is this more a reality than in a New York city apartment. Yet, Rachel Ray claims size just doesn't matter if your kitchen is designed right. Her kitchen is full of mementos from her travels. Every plate has a story behind it, doubling as decoration and conversation piece. Even the tiles used in the back splash for her kitchen were sourced in Italy and coordinate with the dishes. The greatest design element to take from Rachel's kitchen and duplicate in any small kitchen would have to be the butcher block counter tops. Why waste space storing cutting boards when you can just make the counter top one giant cutting board?

When designing your dream kitchen, take a tip from the pros….or maybe something from each of them.  Between their love of all things epicurean and their need for practicality, it’s a great place to look for inspiration.

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