Cook like a Pro: Kitchens Designed with the Family Chef in Mind

Posted November 8, 2019 by Katlyn Droke

Want a kitchen that really up-levels the cooking capabilities in your kitchen? When homeowners start to dream of a new kitchen, it’s often for the aesthetic design rather than its utility. But smart homeowners consider how their kitchens can boost their cooking potential while also looking good. This post covers the best ways to design a kitchen that any chef (professional or not) would love to cook in — without breaking budgets!

Overall, “professional” kitchens are designed to enhance four areas: Storage, Food Prep, Cooking, and Cleaning. Those are a good place to start when considering how to upgrade a home kitchen for the family chef.

A cabinet drawer open with a spice rack inside with bottles of spices organized.
It’s not about the size of the kitchen, it’s how you utilize your space for the best organization.

Storage (and/or Kitchen Layout)  

Size:

There is a common myth that ‘good’ kitchens have to be huge. Don’t be discouraged if you have a small or oddly shaped space. Have you seen how tight kitchens can be in restaurants? Chefs might be squeezing past each other but they’re still whipping up amazing meals. Your family chef can be just as great in any size kitchen. The only place that space really matters is when it comes to countertop space for food prep, processing, and cooking.

Organization:

Professional chefs don’t have to dig through cluttered cabinets or closets to find what they need — it’s always within easy reach because it’s efficiently placed and highly organized. The home chef should prioritize organization for the same reason. Imagine not having to pull out a plethora of spices just to find the right one, or not having to dig through a hundred tools and utensils for the right spatula. A spice rack can be a gamechanger!


A small modern kitchen with white walls and furniture. The island countertop is clear for maximum storage and food prep.
Features added to your counter tops can add an extra touch of space while making it easier for food prep and looking professional.
Image: Apartment Therapy

Food Prep 

Clever Countertop Features: Knowing how important workspace is, countertops should a focus of the home chef, too. Imagine being able to clear your workspace of food scraps and trash with a sweep of your hand. That’s possible with clever features like a built-in trash chute. Or think about having a waterfall countertop that extends on the edge of your island, protecting the cabinets from spills and splashes (not to mention that it’s an on-trend design feature). It’s tricks like these that professional chefs employ to make their cooking more efficient and, well, professional. 

  • Consider clever countertop features like a trash chute or waterfall countertop. 


Woman cooking in her kitchen at the stove with colorful vegetables and food neatly organized on the counter.
Having surfaces that can withstand cooking heat are important for a kitchen to last a lifetime.

Cooking 

Heat-resistant Surfaces: The manipulation of heat is a chef’s true job, and that doesn’t just apply to the food they’re cooking. For a kitchen that lasts a lifetime, it’s important for it to be able to withstand a chef’s daily ministrations, a lot of which includes high heat.   

  • Consider installing one of the most heat-resistant surfaces available, like Granite or Quartz, to avoid burning or charring beautiful countertops with hot pots and plates.

Commerical-grade or “Professional” Oven: Per the point about heat above, a professional oven is built for the true chef. Your family chef will get ultimate control with a professional oven range that offers more options and capabilities, whether you’re trying to gently simmer a sauce or have a legitimate broiler feature to lock in the juicy flavor of meat.

  • Consider upgrading your oven range to one of the professional brands for ultimate control over your cooking.

Sturdy, Slip-Free Flooring: One thing that often gets overlooked when designing a kitchen for upgraded cooking is actually the floor. Cooking often involves multiple tasks happening at once, meaning you have to move around quite a bit to keep up. The floor needs to support that heavy foot traffic while also preventing slips and slides that could ruin a meal (or even cause an accident!). Plus, spills are an inevitable part of cooking and floors need to be able to handle all kinds of liquids and food products.


A white quartz countertop with gold sink faucet and two stainless steel sinks.
More sinks can be useful for cleaning making the process more efficient.

Cleaning

Durable Surfaces: For those who are cooking a lot and maybe experimenting in the kitchen, it would be a good idea to consider durability over beauty. Professional kitchens are almost 100% stainless steel because of how strong the material is and how easy it is to clean after cooking. That doesn’t mean you need stainless steel, but it does provide a lot of evidence for going with a durable surface.

  • Consider a Quartz countertop for ultimate durability and low maintenance. 

Multiple Sinks: It might seem odd, but having 2 sinks can often be better than 1. One sink can hold all those dirty dishes that get generated while cooking, while the other one stays clear for food prep, filling pots with water, and other needs.

  • Consider adding a second sink to your dream kitchen, even if it’s a small one. 

With any one of the ideas above, the family chef should be more than happy. If you’re ready to take the next step with any of them, visit a Cabinets To Go showroom to see how affordable a top-grade kitchen can really be.