Scoring the chef's table (and getting a semi-exclusive peek into the inner workings of the kitchen) at one of the hottest restaurants in town—or, let's face it, any restaurant—feels like winning the lottery. So any chance to see a top chef outside of a commercial kitchen and in his or her very own culinary domain is a foodie's dream come true. What cookbooks does Ina Garten swear by? How many pots and pans does Daniel Boulud use? And what's Emeril's favorite olive oil? There are so many questions to ask, and we want answers.
To that end, we've taken a journey into the private homes of 13 top chefs. Read on to get a glimpse of the products they keep at their personal workspaces.
In his house in Southampton, which was decorated by Tom Delavan, celebrity chef Bobby Flay imagined his dream indoor and outdoor kitchens. The list of amenities in his beautiful teal kitchen includes a commercial-grade 10-burner stove, two ovens, a fryer, a griddle, and a salamander. “I love that my kitchen is technically a restaurant,” Flay told Elle Decor.
Pick up a copy of Flay's latest cookbook, Brunch at Bobby's ($17).
L.A.–based Australian chef Curtis Stone, who helms Maude, has outfitted his Hollywood Hills kitchen with vintage dinnerware—like Moroccan glassware and British biscuit tins—that he sources from the Long Beach Flea Market. The well-loved pieces bring character to his sleek culinary space, which is outfitted with a five-burner Gaggenau range, a Sub-Zero fridge, and Carrara marble counters.
Pick up a copy of Stone's latest book, Good Food, Good Life ($26).
>In his apartment his New York restaurant, French chef Daniel Boulud recently gave his kitchen a modern makeover. “It hadn’t been touched since I moved here in 1998,” he told Elle Decor. The renovation gave Boulud and his wife more cooking space and opened up the room so the chef can enjoy his guests while he cooks. The kitchen is outfitted with a sink and drawers from Dada, a Dornbracht faucet, a Gaggenau refrigerator, and knives by Mac and Wüsthof.
>Pick up a copy of Boulud's latest cookbook, My Best ($16).
At his seaside home on Florida's Gulf Coast, New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse’s kitchen is made for entertaining with an oversize Sub-Zero refrigerator, an expansive Azul Bahia granite island (with plenty of seating), and storage for days. The look is airy and traditional, with a distinct European influence.
Pick up a copy of Lagasse's latest cookbook, Essential Emeril ($18).
In his charming 1930s home in South Orange, New Jersey, chef and owner Galen Zamarra of Manhattan’s Mas and Alamanac updated the original kitchen and installed quartz countertops, a DeLonghi stove, new cabinets, and a wide peninsula. The space is decorated with antiques and accents from his family’s travels, as well as a gallery of food photography.
Celebrity chef and prolific author Ina Garten decided to build an entirely new kitchen when she realized she needed a a space large enough for herself and an assistant to test recipes. However, that required that she acquire the property next door to provide more square footage. After a year of building, she had a brand-new dream kitchen, including “two Sub-Zero refrigerators, an eight-burner Viking stove, two ovens, Belgian stone countertops, open shelves, a tall 17th-century Italian cabinet for china and glassware, and a long antique Swiss pine dining table,” according to The New York Times. Better yet, its classic Hamptons aesthetic is one even Nancy Meyers would swoon over.
Pick up a copy of her latest cookbook, Make It Ahead ($22).
New Orleans chef John Besh, who owns a whopping nine restaurants, told The Wall Street Journal that when he renovated his Slidell, Louisiana kitchen in 2011, he wanted “great views, tons of natural light, and lots of space for family and friends.” The result is a calm, spacious, rustic space with a butler’s pantry, cypress wood floors, and a custom cobalt blue Viking range.
Pick up a copy of Besh's latest cookbook, Besh Big Easy ($14).
The kitchen in the family home of Australian chef and author Pete Evans is outfitted with a bewildering, almost 19-foot-long Corian island, which also doubles as the dining room table. "There’s no separation between kitchen and dining and we also chose to have our kitchen and family room laid out in an open plan manner," he told Interiors Addict. "This allows us to always feel close to and communicate with the kids, which generates a nice sense of togetherness."
Charlotte–bred Top Chef Sam Talbot’s pint-sized kitchen in New York’s Lower East Side is living proof that you don’t need tons of equipment or square footage to turn out great food. “I believe that, to be a good cook, you don’t need too many fancy tools or all that crazy equipment,” he tells Esquire. “I don’t really use that stuff. But I do need nice pots and pans in any kitchen where I work: Mine are form Paderno—makers of some really heavy ones. That’s what you’re looking for.”
Pick up a copy of Talbot's diabetes cookbook, The Sweet Life ($21).
The DUMBO, Brooklyn loft of Seamus Mullen, chef-owner of Tertulia, El Colmado, and Sea Containers, is expertly curated with stacks of cookbooks, specialty knives, and rare spirits. True to his antiques-meets-industrial style, he made a pot rack for his Mauviel and Bourgeat copper pots and pans using copper plumbing fixtures. His kitchen is brimming with unusual finds like antique meat grinders, a Spanish mortar and pestle, and English china.
Pick up a copy of his cookbook, Hero Food ($23).
The Paris kitchen of pastry chef Sébastien Gaudard, who owns an eponymous patisserie, is sleek and modern yet notably petite (though not for Paris standards). On two large metal storage shelves, Guard has piles of cookbooks, culinary magazines, and hanging pots. Despite the small square footage, he’s managed to find plenty of room for all of his must-haves, like rare spirits, assorted glassware, and, of course, a bar stool for his adorable dog.
Chef-owner of San Francisco’s Izakaya Rintaro, Sylvan Mishima Brackett has a habit of collecting cookware, plates, and bric-a-brac from Japan. His curated SF kitchen, which is outfitted with a woodburning rice cooker he culled from Japan’s countryside, is brimming with Japanese baskets, bottles, and ceramic cups and plates.
The Brooklyn kitchen of Brad Farmerie, chef-owner of New York’s Saxon + Parole, Public, and Genuine Superette, is swoon-worthy. Both elegant and functional, it’s outfitted with a farmhouse sink, a Lacanche range, a custom-designed hood, and French Carrara marble countertops. “All Clad and Le Creuset are the only two kinds of cookware we have here and I love them both equally,” he tells Saveur.
Whose kitchen would you most like to call your own? Tell us below.