Must-Have Features of a Gourmet Kitchen

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Any great cook can whip up a meal with the most basic of tools, but a gourmet kitchen is designed for the cook who uses the finest ingredients and doesn’t want the conditions of a kitchen to thwart the efforts of making a gourmet meal. Inadequate features of a kitchen can be one cause for a potential masterpiece to flop, yet a gourmet kitchen should be more than adequate or beautiful; every appliance and material choice should be ideal for its task in food preparation. If you love cooking and desire a gourmet kitchen to work in, consider incorporating these features to perfect your craft.

High-End Appliances

Aran Cucine MET Collection
Aran Cucine MET Collection
The range is the most important feature in a gourmet kitchen. It’s constantly being used and you want to ensure that it cooks your food exactly how you want it to. Because accuracy and consistency in temperature is so important to achieve delicious gourmet cooking, you’ll want to invest in a range and oven that will satisfy your demands. Gas ranges are superior to electric as you’re able to precisely control the temperature based on the fire emitted, although some cooks like the option of having one electric burner on the range. Induction stoves are also in the market and they offer the best of both worlds that a gas and electric stove deliver – the instant heat and control that you get with a gas stove combined with the flat, easy-to-clean surface of a glass ceramic electric stovetop. Just decide which is the best stove for you and your cooking style. The same goes for the type of oven you want in your kitchen. Steam ovens are all the rage as they are the healthiest way to cook food. Your food will retain its nutrients through the moisture because the oven won’t bake them out. It also uses natural convection to add flavor with heat, liquid, or air, without having to use butter or oil so your food will have a lower fat content. Steam ovens are perfect for cooking delicate foods such as scallops and fish. Speed ovens are another option to have in your kitchen and they work just like a regular oven but they’re smaller and faster. They’re pretty much a combination of a convection, microwave and a grill and by combining these cooking methods, you significantly reduce the time it’ll take to prepare food without sacrificing flavor, color, taste and texture. Refrigerators should be as spacious as the floor plan allows in order to grant the cook ample room for fresh ingredients and storage for large meals and parties. Today, homeowners have many choices, from professional grade walk-in style refrigerators to pull-out units that fit under the counter that are integrated to match the cabinetry perfectly. All other appliances are up to the cook’s needs, but other popular appliances include dishwashers, wine refrigerators and trash compactors.

Ample Storage

Aran Cucine Terra Collection
Aran Cucine Terra Collection
A chef’s next biggest necessity is storage and lots of it. Storage must be plentiful, easily reached and organized so that ingredients are at the cook’s fingertips in the prep area rather than several steps away. Cabinetry is a crucial part of any kitchen design, but a gourmet kitchen needs cabinets that incorporate practicality and luxury. Choosing the right cabinet options can also be the key to making a smaller kitchen suffice for the gourmet enthusiast. There are many options for kitchen cabinets in terms of size and depth but a gourmet kitchen will have tall cabinets that are deep and functional in space. You can even incorporate open kitchen cabinets for a variety in design and ease of use.

Luxurious Countertops

Aran Cucine Bella Collection
Aran Cucine Bella Collection
A gourmet kitchen is designed for frequent usage and materials should be carefully chosen to withstand it. Options abound for countertop materials, but for a gourmet chef, only a few choices will stand up to the slicing, dicing, spilling and staining of the cook’s habits. Some will prefer stainless steel countertops, the material of choice in gourmet restaurants. Other durable options include stone such as granite or quartz, stained concrete and, for the environmentally-conscious, recycled glass. Butcher block can add warmth and old-world charm, and bakers love marble surfaces for rolling out pastries. Every countertop surface has their drawbacks, whether they are susceptible to burns or scratches, or require sealing and other upkeep so weigh out the pros and cons and decide what works for you. Modern kitchen decor allows more than one countertop material to be used, so practicality paired with style can easily be achieved. For instance, a gourmet kitchen might have stainless steel countertops with a butcher block island and one section of marble for pastry prep.

Large Sink

Aran Cucine Masca Laccata Collection
Aran Cucine Masca Laccata Collection
The kitchen sink plays an integral role to gourmet cooking and should never be viewed as merely a receptacle for washing up. Any quality material is acceptable, so long as it is heavy enough not to dent (lightweight stainless steel dents easily) or chip (like porcelain). The size of the kitchen sink is more important. A deep sink will fit large pots easily and an undermount sink – meaning it is installed under the counter material with no protruding lip – allows the cook to sweep food tidbits from the counter straight into the sink to the waiting garbage disposal. Gourmet sinks also have other practical features integrated in the design such as a detachable faucet hose that pulls out for spraying.

Functional Lighting

Aran Cucine Dali Collection
Aran Cucine Dali Collection
A chef’s masterful cooking goes much quicker, safer and expertly when the lighting is adequate over the entire kitchen workspace. Countertops, stovetops and other kitchen prep areas need lots of lighting to ensure that the cook can see everything clearly when cooking. There are many options for kitchen lighting such as under-cabinet lighting that highlights the countertops, pendant lights over a kitchen island or ceiling-mounted fixtures that provide lighting throughout the whole kitchen.

An Island

Aran Cucine Tenes Evo Collection
Aran Cucine Tenes Evo Collection
A kitchen island gives the chef more counter and storage space, allowing them to move about the kitchen with ease and without the feeling of being cramped in a corner. A kitchen island is also a plus if it doubles as a bar where family and friends can hang out and eagerly watch their food being prepared. A gourmet cook wants unobstructed flow in the kitchen and if strategically placed with a proper kitchen work triangle incorporated, the island can offer seamless flow in the kitchen and become the focal point of the room.

Backsplash

Because the kitchen walls between the countertops and the bottom of the upper cabinets are susceptible to the most splattering, this area, aptly named the backsplash, should be a washable surface. Although the backsplash is somewhat recessed, this is one of the most crucial areas of design in the kitchen. The material of choice can be an eye-catcher in an otherwise simple motif, or it can tie other strong design elements in the room together by serving as a focal point. Whatever material you choose – stainless steel, decorative tin, stone, wood, glass, ceramic tile or simply a painted wall – it all has to work together and match the countertops, cabinetry and floor, and most importantly, be easily cleaned. Remodeled or brand new, a gourmet kitchen is one of the best investments to make in your home, especially if you love cooking, be it amateur or professional. These features of a luxurious kitchen are certain to satisfy any cook and are the basic necessities of a gourmet kitchen.