La Cuisine du Chef (the chef’s kitchen)

“This wasn’t designed as a cook’s kitchen, was it?” my husband noted looking at the blank space filled with boxes and boxes of my cookware, spices, oils, vinegars, and jars and jars of staples and preserves.

“It will be perfect!” I replied.

The key to this space is an island, which we found most affordably at IKEA. I loved the restaurant style stainless steel and the drawers and hooks and shelves. This kitchen is about a third of the size of my last but clever planning saved the day.

Doug set up shelves in the garage where I store almost all of my small appliances and entertaining dishes. Stacked two high, the canned goods fit perfectly in the pantry. Staples are lined up in canning jars so I can see exactly what I have.

My fancy salts along with sea salt and pepper and good olive oil are corralled together next to a large cutting board. Oils, vinegars, and cooking wines are on a tray for easy clean up. I use close to fifty different spices and spice blends and those are in easy reach on the shelf of the island. My most used utensils hang from a hook in easy reach of the stove, and on the other side my granddaughter’s aprons await her visit.

The decor is very much paired down from my last kitchen. A simple Farmhouse sign draws the eye upwards. My Farm Fresh sign- a housewarming gift from my friend, Tina- covers unsightly plugs and an old alarm system on the wall. My grandmother’s plants line the window sill framing the spectacular view of the mountains.

Pops of red please me and my collection of thermoses (that we use) are together above the cupboards. My red Nespresso coffee maker is also a statement and provides a most necessary service! I tried to keep the counters as clear as possible.

A gas stove makes cooking a pleasure. I love the appliances in my new kitchen. (I have a dishwasher finally! Hallelujia!) Black and chrome give a nice modern look to the streamlined kitchen.

The last thing I did to make this space complete is turn the plain white sliding doors of the pantry into a blackboard. Maryjane comes over today so I better get some chalk! It will make a magnificent space for menus, drawings, and granddaughter doodles. (Paint makeovers are next week on this blog!)

A kitchen should feel like a cook’s kitchen. It should make you feel inspired to cook a gourmet meal for loved ones, or just yourself. It should be clean, and organized. Mis en place– everything in its place. Buy delicious flavored oils, and good balsamic vinegar. Truffle and smoked salt. Lemon pepper and Chimayo chile. This is your own space to create, nourish, and enjoy a glass of wine while cooking. Bon appetit!


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