WHAT EXACTLY IS A CHEF'S KITCHEN?

Real Estate

Often you see listings that describe the Kitchen as being a Gourmet Kitchen or as being a Chef’s Kitchen.  What exactly does this mean?  Real Estate Agents have a knack for using descriptive wording.  Too often, these words are used to describe a Kitchen that is perfectly nice, updated, and looks great – but falls short of the level of what is considered gourmet or chefs caliber.

What is a nice Kitchen, but not gourmet or chef’s caliber?  Updated in the last few years.  Solid surface counters – quartz, granite, etc. Stainless Steel appliances, and ample Counter Space.  Nice, but not what is considered gourmet or chef’s caliber.

What is a gourmet or chef’s caliber kitchen? There is no one definition, but should offer everything a professional chef – or at least a very committed amateur – would need to reach their cooking goals.

Home Professional Range – There are several brands.  Major brands include: Thermador, Wolf Viking, etc.  Gas is normally considered the standard.  These ranges are larger than the normal 30” range being a single 36” oven range or 48” double oven range up to a 60” range.  These larger ranges will have multiple burners plus a grill or griddle (or both with 60” ranges).  Over the range should be a professional hood to get cooking smells and smoke out of the house effectively.  Some Kitchens will have a Range Top and Wall Ovens versus just the Range.  Both meet the criteria of gourmet or chef’s caliber.  Multiple ovens, including convection or steam for quicker, more efficient cooking can be expected.

Refrigeration – Typically you will see Refrigerator or Freezer Columns.  Sometimes multiple column units.  Wine refrigeration or Beverage refrigeration is also common.  In islands, secondary Refrigerator or Freezer Drawers are common.  Typically, higher end brands such as Sub-Zero, Thermador, Liebherr are seen.

Islands, Ample Work Space, Work Zones – One or two islands are common.  Dedicated work zones are also common. Prep, cooking, and clean-up zones are well definded.  Multiple sinks – prep/cooking and clean-up are required.  Often two dishwashers can be found.

Warming Drawers, Other Appliances – Other built in appliances are common such as Warming Drawers, secondary Wall Oven, Microwave Drawers versus having the microwave above the range.  The microwave may also be above or below a wall oven.

Pantry – A dedicated walk-in pantry can be expected.  Also, in the pantry can be located secondary appliances -such Refrigeration (refrigerator or freezer), Dishwashers, maybe a 3rd small sink, and 3rd Oven.

The term "chef's kitchen" is used loosely, so not all of these features are included in every kitchen and there are some appliances and amenities not listed above.  In general, you should expect to see upscale brands, ample space and something more than just stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.

Doug McNeilly is a REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker Realty in Wayland, Massachusetts.  He specializes in Wayland, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham and the Greater Boston Metro West Area.  He can be reached at doug.mcneilly@nemoves.com or www.dougmcneillyhomes.com