How does a top chef like a kitchen?

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Award-winning French chef and restaurateur Michel Roux Jr is a kitchen connoisseur. Picture: Henk Kruger

Award-winning French chef and restaurateur Michel Roux Jr is a kitchen connoisseur. The son of fellow Michelin-starred chef Albert Roux, Michel gives top layout tips, common kitchen mistakes and his personal preferences in kitchen design.

1. What goes where?

Practicality is the first priority and a kitchen works best with three designated areas.

The preparation area is the place where the refrigerator should sit next to a worktop and utensils drawer.

The cooking area is where all appliances should meet.

The cleaning areas (sink, dishwasher and draining board) shouldn’t be too far away from the other two areas.

An island in the centre or breakfast bar is the additional sociable area where all the hard work can be enjoyed.

2. How to customise a kitchen?

The kitchen is very much the hub of the home, so choose the design and layout that makes you feel comfortable in your surroundings. Add personal touches such as large windows and doors to let the light in, plants, personal pictures and photographs. Grow your own favourite fresh herbs for a welcoming aromatic fragrance.

3. Stainless steel or wood?

Stainless steel is very clinical and perfect for professional kitchens, but it’s not my personal choice for a domestic kitchen. My kitchen at home is French-inspired, and is warm and welcoming with a colour palette of cream and pastels. Light wood and large French doors that lead into the garden create a very open, yet comfortable ambience.

4. Open shelves or cabinets?

I prefer fitted cabinets with organised layered shelves so I know where everything is.

5. Show or hide wooden spoons?

It’s a personal choice but I like my utensils to be on show – and to hand.

6. Saucepans – what kind?

I absolutely believe that you need the right tools to make the perfect dish and I wouldn’t be without my GreenPan chef’s pan and frypans. I use these both in my kitchen at home and at Le Gavroche restaurant because they are quality cookware that last longer than other pans I have used. They stand the test of time even in a professional kitchen where pans are thrown around and chemically cleaned daily. They are also beneficial to your health as the non-stick Thermolon coating doesn’t have any of the toxins that can break down and chip off into your food – those flakes aren’t always black pepper in your food.

7. Most common design mistake?

Not enough light and ventilation.

9. What flooring do you prefer?

Tiled or wooden flooring. They are easy to clean and hygienic, and another aspect you can personalise to suit your taste.

10. Choosing kitchen art?

Images of natural landscapes and idyllic outdoors are great pieces to have in a kitchen. Muted colours are calming and add to the “open” feel that I like my kitchen to have. – The Independent

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