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Storage space becomes easier to access and easier to organize with the addition of pull-out drawers. )
An island with a range and sink allows the at-home chef to simultaneously cook and entertain guests. )
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Sean Carney is no stranger to the kitchen. His first job was at Madison Beach Hotel when he was 14 years old and he has now been the chef de cuisine for nearly three years. With a passion for cooking, Carney envisions the ultimate at-home chef's kitchen.
"It would be as open as possible with a very large island – 10 to 12 feet so there is plenty of prep space," says Carney. "I'd want it to be 50 percent of my downstairs utilized area including the eat-in kitchen into the living room and dining room. Storage is also key – I'd want all pull-out drawers because it's just easier to access and easier to organize."
Mike Brooks, the appliance sales manager at Page's Hardware in Guilford, has seen technology bring a wide variety of options and conveniences to high-end appliances. He made several recommendations as far as features to look for and brands to consider.
Carney: "I'd put my stove in the island because it gives you room to maneuver and looks better. You can have seating and cook in front of people. It would be an all-gas six-burner. It has to be gas unless you have an induction top."
Recommends: Wolf, Viking
Brooks: "Induction is cool, but gas is still king as far as stovetops are concerned."
Recommends: Dacor, Thermador, Miele
Carney: "Near the sink, you want a vertical wall convection — conventional oven. Any party with more than 10 people is impossible with one oven."
Brooks: "The latest and greatest are combination steam ovens that rehydrate food as you're cooking it. More brands are getting into the home connectivity as well with appliances communicating through WiFi."
Carney: "I tend to not like side by sides. Sub-Zero makes a phenomenal pull-out freezer with so much space for refrigeration. There is no point in having a big freezer in kitchen – if you need more storage, you can do a full freezer in the garage or basement."
Brooks: "The market has gone toward all fridge and all freezers with columns that come in any size – they're two separate appliances that get married together to look like one. Some people who don't need a lot of freezer space will install two freezer drawers in an island. There's also been a little upsurge in glass-door units."
Carney: "You want your dishwasher directly to right or left of the double bay sink – anything with a muted handle and something like it's built in."
Brooks: It's your hardest working appliance. You want an extra cutlery rack up top for cutlery and spatulas. More brands are introducing speed cycles with dishes washed and dried in 25 minutes."
Recommends: Thermador Star Sapphire, Miele commercial
Carney: "Retractable hoods are nice."
Brooks: "When it comes to hoods, they're doing a lot of connectivity where it talks to the cooktop. They're also making them much more artistic and more of a centerpiece with special lighting. It was a utilitarian thing, but now they're trying to turn them into more of a showpiece."
Other Key Appliances:
Carney: "Every person should have a food processor, an upright stand mixer, a decent blender, good knives, a cast iron pan, and really good wooden cutting boards – I'd want a 60-inch table top cutting board built into the counter."
Recommends: Vitamix or Ninja blenders
Chef Carney's Holiday Party Plan
Food: "I'd set all of the food out on the island in front of me. I'm more of a buffet person and people can go through the line and if I'm still cooking, I can interact."
Drinks: "I like to keep them in the area of the food. If I'm cooking, I don't set stuff apart from where I am. If you do, people gravitate toward that and I end up alone."
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