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March 17, 2011

All the World’s a Stage Kitchen

One place you can find ideas for your kitchen is on all the cooking shows available on TV now. Many have sets made to look like home kitchens and you can see how they are staged to reflect the personality of the show’s chef, the kind of cooking they prefer and the cuisine they generally represent.

Some caveats apply, however: In a cooking show, the chef can’t move very far from the main camera spot. Rachel Ray grabs things from her fridge on her right and the pantry behind her but many of the shows have the ingredients already laid out. In chef-talk this is called mise en place (Wikipedia: refers to organizing and arranging the ingredients… that a cook will require for the menu items that he or she expects to prepare) and it’s not a bad habit for a home cook either. Also, the TV cook has to deal with cameras (think of them as where your guests tend to sit/stand when you entertain) but generally does not have to contend with nibblers or homework questions while cooking.

Anne Burrell – Love the plank wood floor and the skillet/pan storage is brilliant… it’s out of the way but accessible without a lot of digging or clanking. The frosted-glass cabinets with interior lighting look good too. Overall, a bit edgy but neutral in color.

Alton Brown – Looks like Any-Kitchen, USA! Very approachable, which may be the point as he gets very scientific in his cooking. Use of space is good, especially the tray rack over the ovens. Not sure about the pans overhead but that copper bowl is killer!

Guy Fieri – Very personal for Guy! Centered around his interests with lots of fun additions – a pool table, a band set-up, hubcaps and a large TV. High energy, hot colors. Dislike the wallpaper but it does go with the energy in the room. The higher counter next to cooktop looks like it might be more comfortable – only using it would really tell you though. The open shelving (condiments, sauces??) looks kinda cool but might be a dust magnet. Probably a real estate agent would tell you it couldn’t sell – but if you’re not movin’ go for it!

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