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Mar 23, 2011 04:53 PM

Dream kitchen - cookware, gadgets, knives?

In a perfect world with no financial constraints what would you have in your kitchen? I'm thinking cookware, gadgets and knives - maybe also counter top appliances. Would you want one of everything or would you be anti-single function items? How close are you to your dream list (i.e. what do you already have that's perfect for you)?

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  1. Hi. olympia:

    I want an open cooking hearth with a smoking locker in the chimney AND a large, institutional woodburning stove with two ovens, a couple of high-output auxilliary gas hobs and a salamander. I want a vent hood that lifts me out of my shoes. I want a Thermomix, a Robot Coupe, a Hobart slicer and mixer on the expansive counters. I want an old-time butcher block about 2 feet thick and 4x4 feet. I want restored vintage cookware--copper and bare cast iron of course--hanging from a rack. I want my own-make carbon-steel knives.

    I want a prep island with sink, dispos-all, platewarmer, cookbook drawer/window; wrap, foil and parchment rollers; and undercounter reefer, freezer, wine, and double DW units. I want a small walk-in with pass-through doors, a dry pantry, and a stillroom for making cheese and sausage. I want an audio system that goes to 11, and a cook's table for set for 6, situated so I can cook *and* visit with guests.

    Alas, with the exception of some of the cookware, the knives and my Hobart, I'm far from this dream.


    3 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu

      Bravo, that was so exciting! You're keeping me happy on this rainy day (and giving me plenty to look up and aspire to)!

      1. re: kaleokahu

        My list seems so lacking in imagination compared to others - but, none the less, it is my list:
        LOTS of counter space of a variety of materials, some butcher block, some marble, some slate.
        Enough of a variety of baking pans so that I never have to improvise
        A Kitchen-Aid counter top mixer.
        Professional expresso machine
        Shelves to easily organize all pots, pans, and other cooking/baking vessels
        A kitchen open to a sitting/lounging room with a BIG flat screen TV
        A huge copper pot
        A spice pantry
        A brick oven for baking bread
        And, of course, no dream kitchen is complete unless it includes the people who fill it up who I love to feed.

        A root cellar (not technically part of the kitchen but you get the idea)
        Storage for kitchen linens because I love old kitchen linens and I have a large collection which I don't use because of access

        1. I've already attempted this exercise and wound up with a kitchen that needed to be a minimum 700 sq feet (1000 if there wasn't a separate pantry and deep cold storage) and had an appliance cost in the six digits (the first digit not being a "1"). I'll get there are some point (perhaps before I'm dead).

          12 Replies
          1. re: wattacetti

            Oh, you tease! How about some details, please? :)

            1. re: olympia

              Among them,
              - placesettings for 12 from Louise Bousquet
              - Demeyere cookware to replace my All-Clad
              - A 360 mm takobiki (great for slicing stuff even if it's not octopi)
              - upgrades to certain knives (I think my next purchase would be a Nenox sujikihi: I liked its feel)
              - 16ga stainless steel countertops (for that abbatoir look)
              - 2 5-element induction cooktops, including one which
              - 2 Miele double-ovens
              - 2 Miele steam ovens (they're great)
              - separate refrigerator and freezer
              - separate refrigerator for drinks
              - Hobart N-50 mixer
              - Julabo immersion circulators and insulated water baths at least 3 of the 33L units)
              - Chambar vacuum unit.
              - Brinkmann micro-rotary evaporator (to extract aromatics but can be used as a still in a pinch)
              - Sorvall superspeed centrifuge
              - Revco -70ÂșC chest freezer
              - electrical system to support everything

              I'm currently working on the Julabo circulator and waterbath.

              1. re: wattacetti

                You mentioned a few that I dared not aspire to (rotavap, centrifuge, low temp freezer). But now that you've got my hopes expanded, I forgot to say below how much I want a Pacojet.

                1. re: cowboyardee

                  I thought about a Pacojet but I'm not huge on desserts (I make exactly 3) and for the moment, I cant' see myself taking one to a block of frozen lardo, so that's on the "nice to have list".

                  That should have read "2 5-element induction cooktops including one which is zoneless".

                  Should have also included laboratory glassware (erlenmeyers, graduated cylinders), pipettors, and Mettler-Toledo fine balances for the molecular stuff. Also forgot to include a plating area with overhead adjustable halogens, warming drawers and Miele LaPerla dishwashers (at least 2). Commercial dishwashers than can do loads in under 5 minutes are okay, but I'd prefer very quiet.

                  CVap might be nice but they're not rated for residential (oddly enough the Sorvall and the Revco use standard 220V connectors).

                  1. re: wattacetti

                    Have you found one of these zoneless cooktops for sale in the States yet?

                    1. re: E_M

                      No, I continue to look longingly at the EU websites of Fagor and others (one prime example: the new Fagor 5-element layout is better than the current one).

                      1. re: wattacetti

                        The absolute best is by BHS, that is, Bosch, Neff, and Siemens all make a version called "FlexInduction." The cooktop is divided into 2 zones, each of which is divided into 4 smaller zones, and they are not limited by how many pans you can squeeze onto the cooktop, or their shape. Here is a link:

                        Youtube shows these in action.

                        Where oh where are these in the States?

                        1. re: E_M

                          I wasn't particularly impressed by the current Bosch, Thermador and Gaggenau cooktops (all similar, slightly different electronics), but obviously haven't seen these new ones so it's "open-mind" time.

                          1. re: wattacetti

                            I concur, their current lineup is dreadful. Their European lines, however, are orgasmic-inducing.

                2. re: wattacetti

                  Wow! I haven't even heard of some of those :-) Sounds like a restaurant, but lovely! I would still be thrilled to have a lowered section of countertop because I'm short!

                  1. re: arashall

                    I'm short too, but I'm comfortable on a "standard" cabinet/counter height.

                    I think the only thing that's "restaurant" on that list is the Hobart.

                    1. re: arashall

                      Ive worked in 3 professional kitchens and I've never had anything that nice to work with.

              2. I love good cookware, especially on the knives. That said, I feel my real limitation is on the cooking skill rather than cookware. So while getting nice cookware will be nice, many won't make a huge difference.. That being said, certain cookware and tools will be useful no matter what. For example, I think an anti fatigue mat (e.g. gel mat) will be useful regardless of my skill. So I will like to get one. I like to get a nice polishing stone for my kitchen knife. I also like to get a slightly larger kitchen and a more powerful stove. This is currently on my list and it is definitely within in my financial reach, but I am still deciding which stone to get. To be honest, I think the fun is thinking and acquiring the dream. Once the dream is achieved, then it isn't all that fun.

                12 Replies
                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  I think when you have this kind of addiction/love you never really reach a point where you think you're done! I like your very concrete dream items. I think a gel mat would be particularly dreamy!

                  1. re: olympia

                    "I think when you have this kind of addiction/love you never really reach a point where you think you're done!"

                    I think you are right, and I wonder if we something are chasing a shadow. Somewhere along our kitchen life, we have experienced the unexpected. The "Wow" factor. Maybe it is the first time we get a real good knife. Maybe it is the first time we get a real nice sauce pan. Ever since those "wow" moments, we are chasing for that "feeling". Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to recreate that moment.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Oh no CK I recreate the feeling every time I add to my kitchen! Clearly as addicted as everyone else here and I am not looking fcr a cure ( not yet anyway) I can't have a dream kitchen until I have a dream home but I do worry sometimes that I will run out of things I want to add and places to store them!

                      1. re: knet

                        "I recreate the feeling every time I add to my kitchen"

                        Not the same intense, right? That first car, first great kitchen knife, ...

                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    I"m actually shopping for an anti-fatigue mat right now, i have like 100 tabs open on my browser window of possible candidates.

                    My wife doesn't like the idea, she thinks it will look ugly. She doesn't cook though, so i told her she has no say in the kitchen :P

                    1. re: cannibal


                      Unlike many other kitchen-ware, I think an anti-fatigue benefits anyone from a beginner cook to advance chef. Obviously, the GelPro is the most famous one, but I have heard some good reviews from the less expensive Sublime Imprint mat. I have also seen them in person at bed bath and beyond and look and feel alright:


                      Since you have been looking at many candidates, what other brands look good to you?

                      Agree. If you cook more than she does, then you should have more say about the kitchen.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        I have no idea where to start! haha I am looking at so many. The sublime and GelPro are nice but rather pricey, I've been going more for the traditional rubber ones. I've been looking at the ones available in hardware stores and restaurant supplies. I'm trying to decide if I want to spend the money on a nicer fatigue mat, and it's tempting to just get a cheap one from the hardware store (2 foot x 3 foot, $12) and if I think it makes enough of a difference then i'll spend more money for a gel style mat that won't be as thick...but I am undecided if I want to have a thick foam mat on the kitchen floor even for a little while as it's really thick

                        1. re: cannibal

                          Yeah, I think I have to see if they are worth the price.

                        2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          One of my daughters has one, I don't recall the brand. It's great to stand on, but my wife thinks it's a tripping hazard, she's constantly kicking it. It might be something you just have to get used to. I use some inexpensive fatigue mats in the shop, they definately beat standing on the concrete out there.

                          1. re: mikie


                            I agree. Right now, I have a normal mat and I put some soft material underneath. As such, it is very easy for me to kick the mat. By far the most important thing is to make sure the mat does not have a roll edge. Otherwise, people will just kick the mat and trap.

                            "It might be something you just have to get used to."

                            No, we are not supposed to get used to this. A good mat will not have an rolled edge. Actually we have similar gel mats for the chemists next door from my lab. (Sythentic chemists stand a lot and these mats really help them). Those mats have no roll edges even after years of use. They are high quality but are expensive compare to the residental version. A chemist told me theirs are $1000+ a piece. Now the person I talk to may have exaggerated the price. I don't know.

                            I read that GelPro has this problem. Its edge will slowly roll up as it ages. Supposedly, this is the problem for the earlier version and now it has been fixed.... maybe. Funny enough, I have not read this kind of complaint for the slightly cheaper Sublime Imprint mats.

                            1. re: mikie

                              I think they are a tripping hazard as well and I would rather have some really good shoes. I've always had jobs that required you to be on your feet for a solid 8-12 hours on non resilient floors.

                          2. re: cannibal

                            Hi, cannibal:

                            "My wife doesn't like the idea..."

                            Take her shopping. Walk for an hour. Take her to a restaurant supply store. Have her stand on one. Sale!



                        3. knives are coming along, gadgets are clutter. Give me a big sink (or 2) and a small wood burning fireplace with a spit and room for a dutch oven (OK maybe a pizza oven) and I would be content for a couple of years.
                          I am not close (except for the knives and the skill to use them)

                          1. I want kaleo's dream kitchen.... :-D