While a good cook should be able to knock up a fantastic meal with just a few ingredients and the most basic of equipment, the chances are that if you’re a serious home chef you’re going to want to add a few high-end features to your kitchen to bring your passion up to the next level.
There’s a growing trend of adding restaurant kitchen features into domestic kitchens for budding home chefs and bakers, so now could be the perfect time to upgrade yours. Check out our top tips for the features your kitchen needs to really wow the guests of your next dinner party.
High specification range
Historically the hearth has sat at the heart of the home, being considered one of its most important features — vital for cooking as well as providing warmth and light. While most of us today only use our cookers for preparing meals the chances are, unless your forte is sushi, that the range is still the most used appliance in your kitchen.
It therefore makes sense to spend a bit extra on this particular area of the kitchen to get the best model that you can. After all, it doesn’t matter how culinarily gifted you are, an oven with an uneven heating element could still wreck that twice-baked goat's cheese soufflé!
Most professional kitchens use gas hobs, but induction heating is picking up traction. If you have the space go for a larger range, with multiple ovens allowing to cook different things, at different temperatures, at the same time.
Sturdy, easy clean surfaces
When it comes to worktops and islands, nearly every single professional kitchen in the western world uses stainless steel it’s robust, easily cleaned and relatively inexpensive. It looks great in modern kitchens and it will gain you major kudos among similarly ‘in the know’ guests.
However, some find steel’s aesthetic a bit too cold and clinical to want in their own home. If this sounds like you then feel free to go for something else, granite and engineered stones have many of the same properties of steel, but are more expensive. While it’s unlikely you’d find wood surfaces in any professional kitchen, there’s nothing to stop you opting for it, after all, it’s your home.
A big sink
Dishwashers are an amazing innovation, but they are not perfect. You should never put cast iron cookware in the dishwasher and should avoid putting non-stick items in as well. They also have a tendency to wreck good quality kitchen knives, so put that handcrafted santoku in there at your own peril.
This means it’s worth fitting a deep professional style kitchen sink, in which you can give those items a thorough clean. Go for a industry-style hose tap to really blast away those stubborn burnt on bits.
These first came into mainstream knowledge with The Great British Bake Off but now it’s a feature most avid bakers out there pine after. A warming drawer will not only your dough rise, they’re also useful for keeping food warm while you’re waiting for something else to finish cooking, and they’re a great place to heat up your serving plates.
When you’re cooking up a storm you need all your your knives, pots and pans to immediate hand, so go for pro-style open storage. Hang pots and pans on a rack safely above head height, and install magnetic strips for all of your knives, this means you can see all of your utensils and grab the ones you need in a moment’s notice. It’ll also free up your cupboards for all of those spiralizers, Nutribullets and other gadgets you’re no doubt constantly buying.
Fresh herb storage
While lesser chefs may be able to get by with just a dried pot of herbs de provence, not you. Only the freshest coriander will do for your signature ‘pan seared scallops with zingy lime’. This makes a window seal herb garden a great asset. Go for the four or five herbs you cook with the most to have constant access to them, you’ll find you’ll save yourself a few bob over the year rather than having to constantly buy fresh cuttings from the supermarket.