Q: We recently purchased a home that was perfect, except for the kitchen. We plan a complete remodeling and since I love to cook, I want my new kitchen to be more professional. Can you please give me a few tips so my kitchen looks like a pro chef can cook in it?
A: I have worked in many professional kitchens and have been lucky enough to work with some great gourmet chefs across the country. Here are three professional kitchen tips that I can share with you:
1. Install at least two sinks: For residential kitchens, a larger primary kitchen sink and a smaller beverage sink usually works fine. When preparing a complicated meal, a chef can have a few food prep tasks going on at once. Having that second sink can be the difference between success and missing the mark when it comes to preparing a great meal.
2. Accessories, accessories, accessories: Purchase kitchen cabinetry and plumbing fixtures that can be part of a "system" instead of trying to throw in a bunch of add-ons later. For instance, many professional kitchen sinks offer things like custom-made draining racks, sliding cutting boards and drop-in rinsing baskets as part of the package.
3. Install commercial-grade equipment: Top-brand appliances that are built to last is what chefs tell me they want to see in a gourmet kitchen. Also, stainless steel seems to be the material of choice for most of these professionals. Bottom line: Using bargain-basement equipment in a professional kitchen can be a recipe for disaster.
Master contractor/plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of the book "Ed Del Grande's House Call," the host of TV and Internet shows, and an LEED green associate.