Chefs--describe your dream kitchen

I’m a hobbyist chef, and I’m in the beginning stages of planning a total kitchen expansion and remodel. Basically, I’m going to tear out the existing kitchen and expand it into a space next to it that used to be a formal dining room.

What elements would you want in a kitchen if you had unlimited space and money? I’m especially interested in appliances (and which brands you covet) and little conveniences that people might not think of. I don’t particularly care about design elements unless they affect functionality in some way–I cook pretty much daily and almost all day on weekends, so having a kitchen that makes life easier is key.

Pot hangers instead of storage cabinets. I had wall-mounted hangers in my last home, but no room for any in this one. I saw a swing up stand (cabinet based) for a mixer in a magazine on kitchens recently: very cool. If I could have the same thing for the food processor, I’d be much happier. A Jenn-Air grill with a downdraft vent and the griddle top accessory. Had that in my last place, also, and used it quite a bit. A six-burner gas range. Thick floor cushion mats throughout. An island or counter that has a sink and prep area away from the dish sink. Good task lighting and under-counter lighting. When we had our kitchen renovated in Anchorage, I had them put in under-counter lighting. What a huge difference.

This has nothing to do with your OP, rather your username. “Drain Bead”…I know what this is supposed to be, a pun on “brain dead”; however it reads as “beed”. It would seem like this would undercut the novelty of your name. “Drain beed”, what is that, a bead that gets inserted into a clogged drain to clear it?? :wink:

Well, these are my own personal dreams, but may not be suited to anyone else’s situation. I already have a stove I love, so I won’t mention that. I’m not a huge fan of visual clutter, so I prefer pans and utensils and appliances stored out of sight in cabinets, which means LOTS of cabinet space is needed. A much larger refer/freezer, and two dishwashers, would make me much happier. Thankfully, despite having a very small kitchen, there’s a good amount of counter space, and having worked in restaurant kitchens, I don’t need a huge amount, but you can always make use of it if you’ve got more than you need. Make sure the sink is close to the stove so you don’t have to haul too far. And get the biggest sink you can find.

Jamie–it’s an old inside joke dating back to when I was in high school, and yes, it’s pronounced like bead, not bed. Long story, not funny to anyone but those who came up with it. You kinda had to be there. :wink:

I’ve seen undercabinet lighting, but not undercounter. What purpose does the latter serve that the former wouldn’t provide?

Flash freezers are way cool, and while you are at it a professional style gelato maker

Hey Chefguy…how do pot hangers work in a home, where pots aren’t being used and washed every day? Just thinking about my home and my kitchen, if I had pots hanging up in a not-against-the-wall manner, the pots would become dusty and/or greasy over time and then need to be washed before use anyway.

Does this happen, or is it only something that happens if you aren’t really a chef and don’t touch all your pots often enough?

The equipment I miss most when cooking at home vs. the various kitchen jobs I’ve had is a professional box steamer. One of these days I will HAVE one at home, dangit!

Undercabinet is what I meant. :smack:

ZipperJJ: Well, there’s this thing called a sink. . .:stuck_out_tongue: Seriously, I’d rather have to give a rinse or even a quick wash prior to using than to have to dig around on my hands and knees looking for a goddamn pot or pan, which is going to get dusty under your counter as well. And I’m not a chef in the professional sense, but a legend in my own mind.

Don’t waste your time with cabinets and pull-outs in your base cabinets. Just use drawers unless you really have to have cabinets. Nice, deep, full extension drawers. Soft close option is very cheap these days. Go for it.

Have a nice sized island with an overhang for seating. Everyone likes to congregate in the kitchen, so you might as well make it comfortable.

Be sure to get one of those double recycle bin pullout deals. If possible, put it to the left of your sink, with the D/W to the right. Put your sink near an window with a nice view, preferably into the back yard.

Consider skylights, especially operational ones. It’s not to be able to vent the extry heat a kitchen invariably generates thru the roof to let air in.

Consider concrete countertops. They’re pretty cool looking. Or, maybe you do different material on the counters and the island.

Be sure you see your plumbing fixtures IRL and in operation before you buy them.

If possible, keep 42" space between the island and the other base cabinets. You don’t want to go less than 36", but 42" works much better.

Personal preference, for food storage I much prefer pull outs.

Totally agree, if I ever build a house from scratch, it will have this

Depends on the layout of the kitchen. In my kitchen the D/W is to the left of the sink because that is the way the layout works. Trash can is in a 12" base cab just to the right of the sink. Kitchen was done before recycling became big, so no double recycle bin. If I remodel again, I will add a second 12" cab for a pullout recycle center.

I have a pot rack, and except for the big pot on the top that only gets used once in a blue moon, I have no problem with my pots getting dusty.

Figure out where your counter top appliances are going to go, and add extra plugs in that area. Behind my coffee maker I have a quad plug for the coffeemaker, coffee bean grinder, espresso maker, and one open socket.
In fact put in as much power as you can get away with. I have a 17’ long kitchen and along the couter tops I have outlets every 2’

Consider a couple of glass doors with lights in the upper cabinets to show off your nice china.

We had one of those lifting tables for a stand mixer in the house where I grew up. Pretty cool, but you lose an entire base cabinet to have it.

More space. The best kitchen I ever had was the same size as my current living area.

I want enough space to have everything (pots, utensils, appliances, ingredients) easily at hand and enough working space to have prepped ingredients for an “entertaining” level meal spread out on the counters without fretting about shifting things around to continue working, and I want an oven/range that gives me decent control over what’s going on. Generally, I would want a gas range with six spaces, but if I had unlimited resources I would definitely look hard at one of these.

I want another big double-basin sink with ceramic drainboards built into both sides, a hanging rinser, and a good garbeurator. I also want a monster dishwasher so I can cook a multicourse meal for eight people and not have the kitchen still be a disaster when I wake up in the morning.

I have spent over 26 year invovled in every aspect of food and cooking. I can comfotably cook i. Any enviroment. Porry designed kitchens, cramped spaces amd fancy hotel monstosities or a campfire.
I currently live without running water in a small cabin amd with a tiny propaine stove. You would never know.

My dream home kitchen however would have a door on it. I would love a opening with bar seating looking in with shutters to close it off. I would still like a small table in the kitchen and a few stools on the otherside of the bar. The flooring would be washed stained concrete with a significant floor drain. All plumbing would be commerial grade. And i would have commercial restaurant equipment and a big hood vent. All stainless
steel. I would make it pass local food code inspections. Commercial refrigeration bacically a nice homey commercial kitchen that is closed off from the rest of the house. It is kinda intresting as i only cook in open litchens professionally. I hate closed kitchens and wont work or create restaurants with them but want a semi closed one for my home.

My dad designed and built his dream kitchen, which is pretty much my dream kitchen (and now he’s selling the house - boo!)

Some highlights: two dishwashers. That means there’s always somewhere to put your dirty dishes, even if one dishwasher is running. And clean up after a Thanksgiving meal with 50 guests (yes, we’ve done that!) isn’t nearly so bad as it would be otherwise.

Three sinks. One is a double sink near the dishwashers, good for rinsing off plates or doing dishes by hand. There’s a smaller sink near the stove (which is an actual professional model, not a “professional model” stove with 5 gazillion BTU’s, six burners, a simmer burner and a built in griddle) for tossing dirty spoons or draining the pasta. And the piece de resistance: a deep, deep sink with a high arched faucet, big enough to submerge a 25 pound turkey or easily wash the largest stockpot. All the sinks are those kind that sit underneath the countertop, which means there’s no edge to get gunk stuck in, and cleaning the countertops is a breeze.

Two refrigerators. One is for food which is meant for meals, and the other is leftovers, lunchmeat, yogurt and other “free-for-all” foods. This means no one but the cook goes into the Cook’s Fridge, so the bacon he meant for tonight’s dinner doesn’t disappear into someone’s breakfast. Brilliant, especially when you have a house full of guests.

There’s a deep freeze in the garage, since it won’t fit in the kitchen, and a huge walk-in pantry for dry goods.

He put the stove (and it’s associated sink and countertop) facing the Great Room. There’s a bar height counter with stools in front of the stove, so he can be cooking at the stove while carrying on a conversation with guests in front of him. It reminds me of a television set for a cooking show, actually.

Two ovens, and another convection/microwave hybrid. Makes roasting/baking multiple dishes much easier and faster.

What did he put in that, given a do-over, he’d leave out? An instant hot water tap. Turns out it’s not really hot enough to make a decent cup of tea anyhow. It’s hotter than the regular tap, but just not hot enough to be worth it, and yet it’s still hot enough to burn a small child. :frowning: And granite countertops. With a do-over, he’d go for that concrete stuff. Granite is pretty, but he has a little heart failure anytime someone leaves a butter knife on the counter (apparently oil stains granite, or something?)

Uh, if anyone wants this awesome kitchen and the gorgeous house that surrounds it in Hopewell Township in New Jersey, PM me and I’ll put you in touch with his Realtor. And I’ll cry a little inside that it’s leaving the family, but be happy if it goes to a Doper. Especially if you let me come visit. :slight_smile:

A big bay window. We’re building a house and a big bay window is one of the highlights. 2 dishwashers. A cabinet that serves as a “things you use all the time pantry” (as opposed to the big pantry), a nook for an All-In-One computer, and definately get the soft close mechanism.

Note that I said “base cabinets”. It would be an odd kitchen that used base cabinets for food storage.

I long for having a pot filler faucet over the stove. My big stock pots don’t fit into the sink very well, so washing and filling them can get messy.

Speaking of which… a dishwashing sink that’s actually large enough to hold 16-quart stockpots, sheet pans and everything else, without requiring juggling or flood-enticing maneuvers to wash and rinse.

Doubled-up dishwashers and fridges have already been covered, but are on my dream list.

A prep area (could be the back half of an island) with a full-width slot drain. A what? Picture a channel with a small sink and garbage disposer at one end, and the other end is open. This lets you either rinse trimmings and peels down into the sink to be ground up in the disposer, or raked “uphill” and evacuated to the trash can. Whether you’re on septic or city sewer, you don’t want to put 10 pounds of potato peels down the drain.

For cleanup - a “dustpan” connected to the house central vac system. After you sweep the floor, just pop open the hatch hidden in the toespace under a cabinet and the crumbs are sucked away without having to mess with a dustpan. For when things get wet - floor drains.

One thing that has to be there, without question, is SPACE! When we get going with parties, it’s always a juggling fest with people coming in to get dishes, toss salads, put together pickle trays, warm up the casserole they brought, etc. My dream kitchen might have a wall oven out near the fridge to handle those casseroles and rolls without having to disturb me and whatever I may be roasting, and counter space in abundance so people can make their salads and do whatever final steps are needed for their dishes.

Giving this a bump so the weekday crowd can see it.

Then I have an odd kitchen. The large containers of flour, sugar and alike live in one base cab since they are too large for a wall cab. I have another 24" base cab with rollouts which stores oatmeal, juice and misc other items.
Different strokes for different folks.

All I want is a dishwasher, a good oven, and an open flame grill and vent. I’ll never have them, but it would be nice.