Kitchens Go Pro

In recent years, cooking has often been an obligatory, soulless activity conducted largely in solitude over white or bisque stoves of no particular style. There has been little sense that art is being created. Now, spending time wearing an apron and wielding a spoon is back in style.

There are two types of home owners who want kitchen equipment that has what it takes to whip up a gourmet meal. Some, according to kitchen designers, want their kitchen to look as if a serious cook lives there—even if it’s the caterers who do all the work. Others really do take their cooking to heart. Both groups are fueling the popular commercial look typified by stainless steel, high-quality appliances. So big is the trend that mainstream manufacturers like KitchenAid and Electrolux have launched professional lines of products. You can get ovens as large as 48 inches with range hoods to match. Glass-front refrigerators and dual-fuel cooktops are among the growing array of upscale, commercial grade cooking equipment that’s showing up in new homes. To match them, you’ll also find plenty of professional-quality cookware along with upscale countertop appliances, such as blenders, mixers, bread makers and the like. Not only do they promise to stand up to rigorous use, their bright new colors also spice up your kitchen space.

Part and parcel of this cooking trend is the need for specialized work space and tools that only a chef can truly appreciate. A very practical trough sink, for instance, allows several people to work without getting in each other’s way. An increasingly must-have fixture is the arching spout that accommodates tall pots, says Patricia Dunlop, a certified kitchen designer with Peterson-Dunlop Interior Design in Boise, Idaho. “We’re doing more of the pot fillers,” she says. “nother useful addition is a second sink, which is a chef’s area rather than a dish-cleaning space. That’s the first thing I recommend if there’s room.”

Better Kitchens A plethora of new products aim to excite wannabe chefs. Among the offerings are Sub-Zero’s glass-front refrigerator (left). Jazzy countertop appliances making a debut include the 450-watt, multi-function mixer by Electrolux (middle top) and KitchenAid’s Pro Line Chef’s blender (right).
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