Many people who love to cook also love the idea of a creating a commercial style kitchen at home. Now, with today’s exciting new appliance and design options, it’s easier than ever to create a practical, well-equipped work space for cooking and entertaining — and to create it with style. Let’s take a look.
Professional Style vs. Professional Grade
For starters, there’s an important difference between professional style and professional grade. Professional grade, for example, might mean a boxy, 1,000-pound, stainless steel, dual fuel stove blasting 33,000 BTUs from 10 burners and requiring commercial ventilation and structural reinforcement. Professional style, however, might include anything from an ultra-sleek cooktop and double wall ovens to a red-enameled AGA range.
We can advise you on chef-friendly, commercial style kitchen options that are properly scaled for you and your home.
Photo courtesy Jenn-Air.
Elements of a Commercial Style Kitchen
Your chef’s kitchen should include four system elements:
1. Ranges, cooktops and ovens: Look for dual-fuel models. For burners, many cooks prefer the responsiveness of gas, while convection ovens offer faster cooking times. Continuous stovetop grates give you the flexibility to use griddles, wok rings and other large pots, pans and accessories.
2. Ventilation: Sizzling up a stir-fry or pan-searing steaks without smoking up your gorgeous kitchen makes a powerful venting system a must! This system can be incorporated in styles ranging from a modern glass and metal shaft over an island-mounted cooktop to an antique coppery range hood. Also, make the selection early in the design process so ductwork can be incorporated most efficiently and attractively into your kitchen design.
3. Sinks and Faucets: In a commercial style kitchen, the stove may be your stage, but the sink is command central. It needs to be large, deep and versatile. Add-ons such as protective sink grids and cutting boards can create extra counter space. Stainless steel is a popular choice for a hard-working sink. Faucets need to be equally hard-working, including being tall enough to handle large pots. High-powered sprays and flexible hoses make rinsing vegetables and cleaning up quick and easy. Installing a pot-filler faucet near the stove is a great convenience.
4. Right-sized appliances: Large-capacity refrigerators and dishwashers are key elements of a commercial style kitchen. There are so many options for these — including multiple built-in drawers — that it’s important to match your choices to how you cook and entertain.
Photo courtesy Jenn-Air.
Space Planning and Finishes for Your Gourmet Kitchen
Professional-style kitchens aren’t just attractive, they’re practical. That’s why space planning and finishes are so important:
• Open floor plan: Will you entertain as you cook? Do you want multiple people to use the kitchen at the same time? A good floor plan eliminates unnecessary steps for the cook (or cooks) while creating an open, multi-functional area for sharing the fun of cooking.
• Convenience: What is the best way to keep pots, pans, utensils, dishes and food at hand? For some, the answer may be open shelves. For others, it may be clever storage that keeps what’s needed at hand — while also keeping the kitchen clean and visually uncluttered.
• Easy-to-Clean Surfaces: Commercial kitchens often have lots of stainless steel and tile. These may be easy to keep clean, but they may not be the finishes that you want for your own kitchen floor, counters and backsplashes. Fortunately, we can show you many new flooring and counter materials that are both easy to maintain and attractive.
In fact, we’d love to show you all kinds of beautifully practical elements. Give us a call and let’s talk about how to build or remodel a kitchen that lets you cook with the ease — and fun — of a professional chef.