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What defines a real chef’s kitchen?

Custom chefs kitchen working blur

So the house you’re looking at buying is listed as having a chef’s kitchen but what does this actually mean? Does a chef own the house or just a normal everyday person who likes to cook?

In real estate terms, a house that is advertised as having a chef’s kitchen means that you should expect a certain standard of quality. It also means the kitchen is one of the major selling features of the home. The problem is the term ‘chef’s kitchen’ is bandied around so much — it’s a great way to attract buyer attention — that sometimes that promised chef’s kitchen is little more than an open-plan layout and a fancy fridge. So help you cut through the marketing noise, we looked into what really constitutes as a real chef’s kitchen.

Here are some tips to help you spot the difference.

What features does a chef’s kitchen include?

Restaurant chef glazing salmon features of chefs kitchen

A chef’s kitchen doesn’t necessarily mean a professional chef uses it, but the people who live there definitely appreciate food. They also tend to like cooking gourmet meals and entertaining. A chef’s kitchen is probably the central hub of the home and will have a spacious open layout that allows multiple people to cook and prepare food simultaneously.

Generous countertops are definitely the desired feature of a professional kitchen with a variety of workstations and islands for prepping and cooking functions, including a plate-staging area for adding the final garnish to dishes. There may also be a baker’s station or pastry station.

Multiple deep sinks are a must in a chef’s kitchen for washing food and rinsing dishes easily.  Some kitchens have islands that sport an additional sink for washing vegetables. If you’re cooking up a storm, you’ll want a faucet or ‘pot-filler’ over your stove to easily fill large pots of water directly on the stove so you don’t have to lug the pot from the sink.

Other must-have features that typically appear in a chef’s kitchen are multiple ovens, including convection or steam models, with induction or gas cooktops for faster, more efficient cooking. A microwave and warmer drawers to keep food hot are also must-haves.

Name brand, specialized appliances are usually featured in a restaurant or professional kitchen, and because they add to the designer appeal, you can expect at least one or two. These could include (but are not limited to): twin dishwashers, a high-end fridge with an air purification system and a vacuum seal to keep food fresher longer, a freezer with an ice maker and a wine cooler.

Cooking utensils and gadgets are also high-quality items that appear in a chef’s kitchen and will be super organized, with everything you need in pull-out drawers or within arm’s reach.

Why is a chef’s kitchen so popular?

Pans in a chefs kitchen

If you’re not a professional chef it begs the question: why have one?

A chef’s kitchen is a trend because of reality TV shows, and because people are more aware of the food they eat and how it’s prepared. Entertaining at home is more popular these days as people want to try out the recipes they’ve seen on TV.

For those who only cook for friends and family on the rare occasion, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a kitchen with the wow factor to make your guests envious.

How much does a chef’s kitchen cost?

luxury chefs kitchen

If you’re building a home or renovating an existing one, a house with a chef’s kitchen is worth the money you spend. The appliances and storage components are going to be of high quality overall and have good functionality, so an everyday cook will appreciate it as much as a gourmet cook.

There are endless possibilities for customizing your own kitchen, but, in general, you can expect to pay between $50,000 and $100,000 if you want high-end appliances. These take up a major chunk of the cost.

Yes, a chef’s kitchen isn’t cheap to install, but the good thing about it is that you can never lose money on it (unless you over-capitalize for your market). Kitchens and bathrooms are the two rooms of your house that offer a great return on investment (for the most part). Plus, having a streamlined kitchen will make you more inclined to cook at home rather than eat out, so it could help you save money in the long term!

Hopefully, this article has cleared up any misconceptions about what a chef’s kitchen actually entails. If you’re still on the fence about buying a house with one or installing one, remember that when it comes to selling your home in the future, a chef’s kitchen is definitely an asset that will boost your home’s value markedly.

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Angela Pearse

Angela Pearse is a freelance writer who frequently travels but loves returning home to her Art Deco apartment. She’s also passionate about historical novels, Netflix, hiking and healthy living.