Those of us who love to cook have dreams of the perfect, expansive showplace of a gourmet kitchen, but haven’t won the megabucks lottery, so while we can’t gut the house completely to install a six-range stove and two-door SubZero fridge, there are three simple, but essential elements can transform the kitchen into a space any serious cook would be proud to have: your cookware, knives and workspace.
Your cookware: Invest in quality cookware that will last years, or even generations; cast iron is a never-fail option, and a Dutch oven can shepherd you through even the most challenging of recipes. Le Creuset is high-end and considered the best available, but alternatives like Lodge, Great Jones, and Our Place brands offer quality cookware at affordable prices, too.
Your Knives: All you need is one good knife that’s well-balanced and crafted, and you’ve won half the battle. Gordon Ramsay is a big fan of Japanese-made, Damascus steel HexClad. Other great chef’s knives you can look into include Misen (another great Japanese product), the Swiss-made Victorinox, and the classic Wusthof from Germany. Remember, just like your cookware, it’s an investment, so choose one that you’ll use for a lifetime.
Your Workspace: Lots of countertop space and good lighting aren’t just for show – although that’s a huge benefit that allows people to see your greatness. But they’re also essential for organization and simply being able to see what you’re doing. Consider buying or building a butcher’s block or kitchen island, and add lights under your cabinets and near counter spaces. It’ll make your kitchen not only functional, but warm and inviting.
Whether you’re an foodie or an acolyte with ambitions of becoming the next Nigella Lawson, the most important tool in any cook’s arsenal is your kitchen. This is the place of culinary imagination and creation, where the aspiring gourmet can indulge in experiment that develops into experience and success.