Sure, chefs have shiny, swanky kitchens on TV, but where do they fix their family feasts and midnight snacks at home? Some celebrity chefs use their TV riches to create a super-kitchen, like the drastic renovation Gordon Ramsay recently did on a kitchen that already cost about $820,000 and included a $110,000 stove. But as you’ll see in the following slides, Gordon is not necessarily the norm. We got up in the kitchens of chefs and famous food professionals to point out what was important to each of them and what special features they’ve installed.
Many celebrity chefs and food professionals live in New York City, so they have small kitchens almost by default, including household names like Anthony Bourdain, Tom Colicchio, and two other famous Manhattan residents whose specially designed kitchens you can click ahead to see.
By Colleen Kane
Posted June 3, 2011
Cooking Credentials: restauranteur (The Lady & Sons Restaurant), TV host (Paula’s Home Cooking), cookbook author (The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cooking)
Location: Savannah, Georgia
If you suspect you’ve witnessed this scene somewhere before, except it’s missing a few sticks of butter melting in a pot, it’s because Paula Deen shoots her television show from her Savannah home. It wasn’t always that way—Paula’s Home Cooking was originally taped in Millbrook, NY, but her roomy home kitchen has been the setting since 2005.
Designer Gwyn Duggan described the desired aesthetic to Paula Deen Magazine: “Paula wanted a serious, professional kitchen that didn't feel like one.” Using brick and heavy ceiling beams achieved the traditional aesthetic, but the layout is modern –as is the deep fryer in the island, which was at the top of Paula’s wish list. There’s also a cooking fireplace, soapstone counters, and the double oven is a commercial convection style for baking. Fridge and freezer drawers are located on the island on the far side from Paula, so family members will gather around, but stay out of her cooking zone. To keep the traditional look, an appliance hutch hides modern necessities and provides outlets. And for cleaning up after whipping up another cholesterol bomb, Gwyn describes the 48-inch sink as the size of a small bathtub.
Cooking Credentials: restaurateur (Johnny Garlic's, Tex Wasabi's), cookbook author (Guy Fieri Food), TV host (Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives)
Location: Santa Rosa, California
He’s now the spiky-topped face of the Food Network, but Guy Fieri still lives in the 1,700 square foot home he bought 14 years ago—only now it’s a 3,900 square foot home, which includes a 900 square foot kitchen. Guy’s dad built the kitchen over the course of a year.
The kitchen features his-n-hers refrigerators, a mega burner capable of firing up a 20-gallon jambalaya pot, a 27,500 BTU gas wok burner, a counter made from reclaimed barn wood, and a collection of memorabilia from Guy’s TV travels.
One of the coolest features of this kitchen is the hospital-style foot pedals to operate the kitchen faucet hands-free—“Nothing’s worse than touching a faucet with some nasty raw chicken on your hands,” he told Food Network Magazine.
Cooking Credentials: cookbook author (Mastering the Art of French Cooking), TV host (The French Chef), legend
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts (formerly) / Washington, D.C. (currently)
The home kitchen of the first celebrity chef appears fairly modest compared to today’s chef’s kitchens. As the set for three of her cooking shows, it’s seen four decades of gastronomic history, and it’s now an exhibit at National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.
Julia and her husband Paul designed the kitchen with raised counters (38” instead of 36”) for the comfort of the 6’2” chef. The cooking island, took the place of the kitchen table during TV tapings, has both gas and electric stovetops. Another distinguishing factor is its organization. There is a conveniently located place for everything (using hooks, peg boards, and magnetic strips), and everything is in that place. This was especially important because Julia introduced Americans to French cuisine using a lot of tools, and copper pots and pans.
Good thing the whole room including a Garland restaurant commercial range, 1,200 tools, and the kitchen sink was preserved, because the original kitchen back in the Cambridge house, which sold for $3.7 million, has been completely overhauled and is no longer recognizable (photo here) .
Read more about Julia’s kitchen here.
Cooking Credentials: cookbook author and TV host (The Barefoot Contessa)
Location: East Hampton, New York
The spacious kitchen from Ina Garten’s converted barn in the Hamptons is recognizable as her TV set, and it was also named House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year, then recreated for display in Rockefeller Center.
One unusual element is the easy chairs by the fireplace that look more appropriate for a living room. “The kitchen is the new living room,” Ina explains in a video tour of the kitchen, adding that people stay there all day.
Ina’s kitchen emphasizes the classic work triangle: Sink, stove, fridge. She says they all need to be in proximity “so you don’t need roller skates.” It’s also designed so that no one has to walk through her workspace.
Features include a sink without compartments, a Caesar stone countertop, a Viking range, and a Viking induction range capable of boiling water in 2 minutes Another hallmark of her kitchen: open shelves, simply for the ease of it. Simplicity and ease are key---The kitchen, blending traditional and modern looks, is designed for convenience. “The simpler it is, the better it is.”
Cooking Credentials: cookbook author and TV host (30 Minute Meals)
Location: New York, New York
At first, Rachel Ray’s decidedly NYC-scale kitchen might strike suburban viewers as kind of a bum-o. But Ray Ray is all about the everyday, so a top-of-the-line showroom kitchen wouldn’t really be Rachel’s style. So it’s believable on this video tour when she explains, “size just doesn’t matter.” As with the affable TV cook herself, the space may be pint-size, but it’s big on heart.
“Think of your kitchen as an opportunity to turn your dishes into souvenirs,” she remarks while showing her colorful dishes, including a set obtained near the Italian town where she got married. Coordinating with the dishes is a backsplash made from tiles from Italy, and pulling it all together is a tile bought roadside when traveling in Sicily. The cooking range in Portuguese Blue echoes the fridge that was painted to match at auto body shop. In that tiny fridge are leftovers from Rachel’s cooking shows. A second, even more diminutive fridge is concealed behind a cupboard door, and all countertops are made from butcher block, like on her shows.
Cooking Credentials: cookbook author (The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook), TV host (Martha), being Martha Stewart
Location: East Hampton, New York, and New York, New York
In her Manhattan apartment, space is still an issue, even for Martha Stewart. "I don't want anything sitting out -- this isn't a country kitchen," she says on her website regarding the galley-like kitchen’s floor-to-ceiling cabinets. The sliding doors on the lower cabinets help maximize the space and avoid kitchen collisions with open doors.
But the kitchen in Martha’s Lily Pond Lane home in the Hamptons is the real McCoy, including shelves displaying her collection of (real) McCoy pottery. This room is much more what you’d expect from the lifestyle guru, with metal cabinetry topped with a forest of cake stands, a hanging rack organizing copper pots, Zinc-coated tin countertops, bookshelves full of cookbooks, a table seating 12 and a nearby 16-drawer metal buffet organizing flatware, napkins, and serving items.
Cooking Credentials: chef (Restaurant 301), cookbook author (Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone), TV personality (Top Chef Masters)
Location: Los Angeles, California
Aussie celebrity chef and Celebrity Apprentice alum Curtis Stone bought his $3.1 million 4,200 square-foot mansion in the Hollywood Hills at the end of December 2010.
The commercial-caliber kitchen is outfitted by the sleek, modern and minimal German manufacturer Bulthap. It utilizes stainless steel, glass accents, and walnut cabinetry.