Everyone has heard the claim of a chef’s kitchen, but most people haven’t spent time in a commercial kitchen. So what qualifies a residential kitchen as a “commercial kitchen” or a “chef’s kitchen?” To answer that properly, you have to look at what a TRUE (pardon the pun) commercial kitchen looks like, and that may be more complex than it seems.

At True we’ve been building commercial refrigerators for almost 70 years. Our refrigerators have been placed in thousands of restaurant kitchens in dozens of countries. We’ve learned that restaurants and their chefs have unique needs based on their specific menus and styles.

A French café serving crepes, croissants, and quiche faces very different challenges than a sushi delivery sending out carefully crafted bento boxes. Compare those kitchens to that of a 500-seat steakhouse and you’re looking at three very different commercial kitchens. The issues of efficiency, ergonomics, and flexibility all come into play when designing these very different kitchens.

Likewise, the issues you need to think through in a residential chef’s kitchen are similar to those in a commercial kitchen. Who is involved in the cooking? What type of meals will be prepared? How many people will be fed? What about entertaining?

Hollywood kitchen

A mom of four who likes to bake her own bread and involves her kids in preparing seasonally inspired dishes with the produce from their garden has a different perfect kitchen than the barbecue enthusiast dad who has a smoker, grill, and pizza oven. Compare these kitchens to that of the wine-collecting empty nesters who host large family holiday gatherings, and your three chef’s kitchens won’t look anything alike. 

A stainless refrigerator and a gas range alone do not a chef’s kitchen make.  To create a kitchen worth bragging about, one should meet the needs of the specific home chef. Flank your range with demand-based refrigeration for a high-efficiency cooking zone. 

       coffee station

Pair a dual zone wine fridge with a 15” beverage dispenser for the entertainer. Create a coffee station for the latte nut. For the urban farmer, install a set of refrigerator drawers dedicated to precisely preserving produce. Locate a beverage and snack refrigerator out of the way to keep kids out of higher traffic areas. How will you build your “True” chef’s kitchen?