STIRRING IT UP Every kitchen needs:
Every kitchen needs:A gas range, because if you want to cook like a chef you want to cook with gas; granite countertops because they look beautiful, are timeless and require very little maintenance; and a commercial dishwasher, because it has boosters that run cycles in two and a half minutes. It’s a little more expensive, but well worth it if you entertain a lot. If your neighborhood doesn’t have gas lines: Bury a propane tank in the yard. What’s new in kitchen design? In high-end homes I’m encouraging a catering kitchen with a warming oven, some surface workspace and a sink in an area that’s out of the way but close to the main kitchen. At parties, the guests usually end up in the kitchen; use it to display the food, not the mess of cooking. My own kitchen: It’s the largest room in the house, 18 by 24 feet, with a huge six-by-12 island where the range is located. It has granite countertops, mahogany cabinets, stainless steel appliances; a very Tuscan feel. When I entertain at home: Sometimes we’ll do sit-down dinner parties for 10 or 12, but I prefer to make it informal with lots of buffets. With good quality food, good friends and good grog, what else do you need? The one gadget I can’t live without: My 10-inch, stainless steel sauté pan. I can sear steak, pop popcorn if I have a lid, and anything in between.