3 Helpful Tips For Chefs Designing Their Kitchen Space

The proper kitchen layout is crucial to the work of a successful chef and his or her fellow staff.

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December 10, 2015 4 min read
The layout of a chef's kitchen is a huge part of his or her success.

The layout of a chef’s kitchen is a huge part of his or her success.

As you progress through culinary academy, you’ll begin to assemble your personalized bag of tricks. That includes go-to recipes, skills with knives and similar kitchen implements, various time-saving hacks and other secrets that can make or break your career as a chef. One key aspect that some young kitchen gurus regularly forget is the importance of a specific kitchen’s layout. If you want to be able to cook meals quickly and efficiently, where you place your sorted instruments and the amount of walking room available matter just as much as the quality of the beef or the freshness of that zucchini. Before you command your own kitchen, here are a few considerations to keep in mind to develop the most perfect cooking space possible:

Lighting the way
Obviously, your kitchen is going to require proper lighting; otherwise you’ll be cooking in the dark. However, as Food Service Warehouse pointed out, the choice of lighting can make all the difference in your kitchen. For example, while T8 fluorescent lights are more energy-efficient than T12 lights found in many kitchens, they do require special disposal in a hazardous waste facility. LEDs are more durable and rather energy efficient, but they can be far more costly than other, more standardized lighting choices. You might want to opt for more natural lighting, but this can often cause the internal temperature of the restaurant and kitchen to fluctuate, which can prove costly. Your best bet, it would seem, is CFLs, or  Compact Fluorescent Lights. They’re long-lasting, relatively low-priced – $30 a bulb, a steal for their sheer durability – easy to install and are much cooler in temperature than most standard incandescent lights.

Always know your role
Interior designer Madeline Stuart’s list of clientele not only includes Hollywood elite but a number of gourmet restaurants and other eateries. Speaking with Architectural Digest, Stuart said that to create your dream kitchen space, you first need to know just what kind of chef you plan to be. That’s because the needs of chefs vary based on their cooking styles and approaches, and your kitchen should reflect the sorts of dishes you’ll be preparing. Are you going to doing to be serving up mostly breakfast dishes, like omelets and cinnamon rolls? Then you’re definitely going to need a sizable griddle and the proper inset – like marble – to roll dough. There are certain items, like double ovens and certain mixers, that almost all chefs will need at one time or another. However, Stuart argued that there are many pieces of equipment that chefs buy and never use. Not only is this a waste of space, but it can also cost funds that might have served better elsewhere in the kitchen.

The little things matter
Over the years, chef Bruce Bogartz has run his fair share of kitchens, including the award-winning RouxBarb restaurant in Knoxville, Tennessee. Speaking with DIY Network, he said that more chefs need to take steps to plan their kitchen properly before design or renovation begins. Regardless of what you think you’ll end up doing in the kitchen, Bogartz noted that there will be a number of tasks you might not have even considered and are thus unprepared to tackle. As such, he said that more chefs need to consider even the most minute of kitchen details. Do you have enough shelf space? Are there little nooks and crannies that also work for storage? How many power outlets does the kitchen have available? Are there enough garbage receptaclees, and can you access them properly from anywhere in the space? By settling on the little things, you can build a kitchen that is prepared for almost anything.

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