It should be no surprise that the 26 chefs who opened their homes to readers of this book value a balance of functionality and aesthetics in their kitchens. This well-photographed volume offers us a peek at the varied range of styles these top American chefs prefer, which run the gamut from warm, cozy, and Provence-esque to high-tech, sleek, and industrial. These kitchens are sure to induce envy as well as inspiration for our own hearths.
These are rooms used to feed and entertain friends and families, not spaces used to churn out meal after meal. Surprisingly, some of these kitchens could easily be the ones we grew up in, despite the name-checked high-end appliances. If you're looking to this book for tips on how to set up your own kitchen, you're sure to find many. From keeping your spices, pasta, and other dried ingredients in glass-topped bento boxes to mounting the dish drainer over the sink, thus saving on counter space, the stylish tricks these chefs employ in their own homes can keep things running smoothly in yours.
Though these may be great kitchens, they are not without flaws. Most of these chefs admit that if they were to redesign their kitchens, some things would be done differently. Alice Waters, the doyenne of California cuisine, admits that her brick oven was created by using brand-new bricks. Certainly not in keeping with the look of her French country kitchen. At the advice of a friend, she thinned down some paint and rubbed it all over the surface. "Suddenly it looked like it had been there forever -- it's perfect," says a delighted Waters. Another thing she admits to is the lack of a pantry. She "loves walk-in storage areas" and would like to create one for her wooden barrels of homemade vinegar.
This insightful book will give all who consider their kitchen an essential part of a warm and welcoming home a realistic look at the kitchen habits of great chefs in their own homes.