SDMB Cooks and Chefs - Please tell me about your kitchen!

I’m just curious about what a “professional” kitchen is stocked with, and how it’s arranged. Not food, but equipment. How many burners? How many grills? How many freezers? How many square feet is your average kitchen? What kind of stuff do you have in there, that I wouldn’t know about or couldn’t imagine?

Also, I’m curious as to what is the “best” brand of equipment, or at least what brand is prefered by most chefs and cooks. Pots, pans, knives, grills, etc. If there is no “best” or “standard” brand, then which brand do you use? Why?

How many people are work in you kitchen? How many waiters? How many busboys?

One last question? About how many meals do you prepare every night? What about lunch? Or weekends?

Great. Thanks in advance!



I love my kitchen - it’s my very favourite room in the house and I love cooking in it. It’s blue and white tiled and it’s L-shaped covering approx. 12ft by 20ft. There are two decent surfaces for preparing food, two fridges disguised as cupboards and two sinks (one for food washing, one for other stuff).

There are four burners of varying sizes, one of which is heat-senstive and adjusts itself so that pans don’t boil over. One oven and grill combined, which is getting a bit old now but still does the trick.

As for equipment, I find the best is Le Creuset’s cast iron kitchenware, which is expensive but lasts forever. I use a sushi knife I bought at the BBC Good Food Show last year for most of my chopping because, well, it works really well. It has holes in the side which mean that when slicing finely the slices fall away from the knife rather than sticking to it.

I try to cook my evening meal every day and make prepared lunches to take to work. I cook just for me and just because I love to cook. Today I am making a porcini mushroom risotto using the turkey stock I made last night from the leftover turkey bones. Lovely.

My kitchen isn’t fancy - a standard small apartment kitchen, so I had no choice as to the appliances or anything.

The one item I’m currently picky about are knives. I use Henckels, make sure I keep them as sharp as possible, and never use them for those little things like cutting tags off stuff - there’s a pair of scissors in here for just that reason.

I also love my cutting board. I have several, but there’s one I use for any serious chopping - it’s a butcher-block style, about 1’ x 2’. It lives on the counter - that means I am required to keep it both clean and in good condition.

When I (someday) have a house of my own the main thing I really want to have is a gas stove. I’ve used electric in every apartment I’ve ever lived in, while my parents have always had gas, and I really prefer the gas stove. I just feel like there’s more control over the heat level.

It’s too damn small.

Although we love this house very much, we “compromised” on the kitchen, which is too small for even a shelf and two stools. It’s too small for two people to work in together.


Not enough counter space, not enough outlets, not a good “triangle of work” between the sink, the fridge, and the cooking area.

As soon as I’m able, I’m going to get a home equity loan and expand the kitchen to accommodate us. It’s going to be custom-designed to our specs, so we’ll have a kitchen we can live with and work in.

It’s too small.

My mother calls her kitchen a “one-butt kitchen.”
If that’s true of her kitchen, then mine is a “half-assed kitchen.”

Did I mention it’s too small?

Aren’t they all? And the storage space is all wrong.

One solution: a pot rack above the stove or center island. It makes pans more readily accessible and frees up shelf space. It also marks the territory as that of a serious cook!

Best regards,


I’ve got way more kitchen than I’ll ever use. I’ve got an island in the middle because I always thought they looked so neat on cooking shows. I love my kitchen but I only make attempts at preparing real food about once a week.

If anybody wants to come over an cook for me I’m sure we could arrange something! :smiley:

Count me in the “Too damned small” section…


It sucks. We live in a ‘functional’ apartment to accomodate a newborn and an iffy business. Once things settle down at work (and we get the seed money we need) I’m looking for a new place with a kitchen galore.

Main Entry: kitch·en ga·lore
Pronunciation: 'ki-ch&n g&-'lOr, -'lor
Function: noun, adjective
Etymology: Middle English kichene, from Old English cycene, from Late Latin coquina, from Latin coquere to cook
Etymology: Irish go leor enough
Date: before 12th century
1 : a place with tons of space, an island with 4 burner gas range with a side gas grill; 2 ovens (1 large, 1 small with broiler – maybe a micro with broiler), Calphalon cooking pans, large refrigerator and deep freezer in the pantry; my custom made cutting board (0.5 meters X 1.2 meters of restaurant cutting board tabletop); new 8 or 10 inch chef knife and a ceramic paring knife; walk-in pantry; mini-herb garden (I have a design in mind to make a bookcase-sized hydroponics system); storage closet with easy-access to my blenders, mixers, crock-pots and other misc. kitchen stuff; a bar-stool island setup on the side for quick eating and entertaining; large double sink and dishwasher; and lastly, great ventilation and lights.


The kitchen was one of the main selling points for us on our house (which we bought in September. First time homebuyers, yay!) We’re not crazy about the stove, which is electric, but it has tons of cabinet space, is big enough for two people to work together, and has a long counter separating it from the dining area. When we saw the counter for the first time, we looked at each other and yelled “Sushi Bar!”

My kitchen is too small. Way too small. It has enough room for one person to work in, but that’s about it. Not enough storage space, for food or utensils. At least there’s a “sidebar” shelf that I use for some of the food prep area. I rent, but the gas stove is decent enough. The oven seems to take forever to preheat – at least 10-15 minutes, usually.

I’ve been slowly upgrading my pots and pans, at least. I have nearly all Calphalon now, with a Circulon ~3 qt chef’s pan. The heat conduction on them is wonderful. Things brown much more nicely and evenly. My latest purchase is a Calphalon (stainless steel) 8 qt stock pot with a glass lid and two inserts – one is a deep strainer for pasta, corn on the cob, lobsters, etc., and the other is a shallow steamer basket for vegetables.

I have a number of Pyrex baking dishes, but my favorites are some terracotta dishes that I picked up in Italy on a trip there. I have a covered chicken roaster and a small rectangular baking dish. I also have a round covered terracotta baking bowl that I bought on sale at a Crate & Barrel downtown that fits right in with the other dishes.

Just outside the kitchen, I have a barrister-style bookcase. The bottom two shelves contain the liquor cabinet. The top two have cookbooks galore. At last count I had around 50, and that was after I took perhaps a dozen out to get rid of. This includes two editions of Joy of Cooking (one from the 1960s, and one after the revision; apparently a new revision is due out in a few years and I plan to get that). Perhaps a third of my cookbooks are vegetarian, as that’s how I eat, but all of the cookbooks cover a wide range of specialties and types.

Ok, I am a freak for nice tools and equipment, even though the old people who owned my house last never loved the kitchen! But I got a stove for Xmas so we’re on our way again!

  1. Knives- I must have a great knife set, or at least an excellent 8’ chefs knife. Be prepared to spend at least $50 for a good one, and probably more (that’s per knife, not per set!).

  2. The goddess of the kitchen- the Kitchenaid stand mixer. It will cost you about $300 for the base model.

  3. Emil Henri bakeware.

  4. Stainless steel pots & pans. I hate non-stick. If you want to make a “sticky” pan a non-stick, just heat it up before you put in the butter, oil, etc.

  5. I have an awesome ten piece tempered glass bowl set from Crate & Barrell that cost about $20, with sizes from very small to really huge. Great for setting out ingredients beofre you start (an absolute must).

In terms of the equipment, I would kill for a Viking stove, but I can’t afford one. Yet.

My kitchen is the literal bare minimum that a kitchen can be and still be called a kitchen. It has a certain purity to it. Essense of kitchen.

It has a compact (but thankfully not mini) fridge, a cute little dollhouse oven/stove that just barely fits it’s four burners, a sink and just enough counter space to put a dish drainer on. Someone at some point brought in a freestanding cabinet, so now I have about a foot of counter space to put the espresso machine on.

I’ve got cabinets, but they are only six inches deep and my dishes don’t really fit in them. And my kitchen stuff has to compete with household stuff because those cabinets are the only storage space in the house besides under the bed and in the one foot (!) wide “closet”.

Luckly I don’t have a lot of stuff. All my kitchen stuff is from a restraunt supply store. That was the best idea ever. All my kitchen ware is cheap but sturdy. I got a knife that rivals any expensive kitchen-store knife, for $10.00. Sure, it’s not pretty to look at, but it’s good stuff. My kitchen ware consists of:

2 big heavy knives, one straight, on serrated
1 Chinese cleaver
1 large cheese grater
1 large colander
3 mixing bowls
Assorted wooden spoons
1 large ladle
1 frying pan
1 sauce pot
1 large stock pot
1 pressure cooker
1 muffin tin
1 cookie sheet
2 glass cassarole dishes

And that’s it. Maybe a hundred and fifty bucks worth of stuff (minus the pressure cooker). I’m a pretty avid cook, but I find that what I have is just right. Surprisingly, I only very very rarely find myself wishing I had more pots and pans.

I’ve been slowly (verrrry slowly) rehabbing a big o’l Victorian house. One advantage is a lot of room. I had to totally re-form the kitchen from scratch. I had a carpenter custom build everything. It was almost the same price as stock goods, but the scale and “period” feel are right. All the wood cabinets have 6-panes of glass in the doors. And since I’m tall I had the counter built for comfort, 3" higher than standard. Bliss!

I converted a tiny room into a full pantry, with floor to ceiling shelves. The fridge is in there, and that’s where all the food stuffs are stored. (Except spices and oils, handy to the stove.)

The main kitchen has floor-to-ceiling cabinets along two sides, and the stove has cabinets beside and above it. Great storage for pans, dishes, gizmos, etc. Plenty of counter space. My cookware is All-Clad and some cast iron. I use Global knives: love 'em! Comfortable in hand, hold an edge better and all-metal construction so they’re easy to keep really clean.

My favorite/handiest features? 1.) A round butcher’s block in the center of the room. It’s so easy to swivel from the oven to put hot dishes on it, it holds prepped ingredients ready at hand, etc. 2.) I finally got my vented range hood, placed high! Most range hoods are right at my nose level. I couldn’t bend over a pot without bumping my head into ‘em and they blow hot, greasy air directly into my eyes. This one vents outside and is powerful enough to blast leaves off the driveway. 3.) Two 10’ windows, with interior shutters. The shutters are easy to keep clean and control sunlight, and I can drop the top panes to wick heat right out of the room. It’s a lifesaver in summer.

For me the essentials are convenient layout and comfort.