What is a gourmet kitchen, anyway? It depends on what you love to cook and how you spend time in your kitchen. So the list of must-haves for a gourmet kitchen in a Dallas home will vary depending on your needs.
But in general, a gourmet kitchen will have professional-grade appliances and work surfaces, such as a six-plus-burner gas range, multiple wall ovens, stainless steel or stone countertops, and lots of storage. Here is a list of gourmet-level appointments to think about for your kitchen remodel.
This might be a cliché, but who in Texas doesn’t love barbecue? Because you might not enjoy sweating over the smoker out back, consider installing an indoor smoker in your kitchen, where you have air conditioning and all the tools and ingredients at your fingertips.
Two by Two
If it’s a gourmet kitchen, it should be large enough to accommodate some extras. Double wall ovens put the baking at a comfortable height, and they allow you to bake multiple things at different temperatures for a meal that comes out of the oven(s) at the same time. Another two-fer to think about is two sinks, so more than one person can be prepping food or washing up at the same time. If you don’t have room for two full-size sinks, maybe a small prep sink with a disposal, perhaps in the island, would do the trick. Some kitchens also feature two dishwashers — one of them a small, drawer-style model — to speed the cleanup process.
At Home on the Range
Serious cooks usually prefer the control that a professional-style gas range offers, and buying one with six or more burners will allow lots of simultaneous cooking (although it’s going to be expensive). Others have grown to love induction cooktops, which transfer the heat directly to the pot (as long as it’s made of magnetic metal), heat quickly, aren’t hot to the touch, don’t heat up the air as much, and don’t use as much energy as gas or regular electric ranges.
Cooks who know what they want sometimes will opt for a built-in salamander infrared broiler, griddle on the stove, frying station, or steam oven. With all these extra ways to generate heat and vapor, be sure your exhaust system is up to the task.
Some cooks consider a walk-in pantry the ultimate luxury because of all the shelf space it contains. But pantries put your supplies farther away from where the cooking is going on, and you might not have the space to build one. So a cabinet pantry might be the best answer, because they’re closer to the action, and the rollout and swing-out sections can hold a lot of supplies. Drawbacks: They subtract from your overall counter space and can be expensive.
Your Own Little Bakery
If you love baking, be sure to create a baking center. In this section of your kitchen, build in cabinets and shelves for all your supplies — flour, sugars, spices — and tools — measuring spoons and cups, pans, racks, and utensils. Drawers or rollout shelves with slots to hold baking pans vertically will eliminate rummaging in a drawer. Setting a marble countertop several inches lower than the other counters puts kneading at a more ergonomic level. A slide-out, adjustable shelf for a stand mixer keeps it out of sight but readily available. And of course, place one of your ovens within easy reach of your baking center.
Let There Be Light
Here’s a must-have for every kitchen, gourmet or not: Lots of light. So think about windows, task and overall lighting, undercabinet fixtures, and skylights or solar tubes.