Years ago, as a skinny, 23-year-old line cook, Chris Jaeckle spent almost every cent to his name buying a used commercial stove for his apartment at a restaurant supply store on Manhattan’s Bowery. It was $900. But he was short the $250 delivery fee. So Jaeckle, now the executive chef and founder of an acclaimed made-to-order sushi restaurant in New York City, asked the store to wrap the 480-pound behemoth in plastic. “Then I pushed it all the way home in the bike lane,” says Jaeckle.
As an up-and-coming chef, Jaeckle needed a stove that wouldn’t melt down no matter how hard he tested it. “I used high heat on all burners and kept the oven blasted on 500 degrees,” he says. “I’ve had the range for 14 years now and it still rocks.”
If you’re the kind of cook who daydreams about 22,000 BTU burners and Japanese white-steel knives, researching and designing a kitchen renovation has a certain kid-in-a-candy-store appeal. The challenge? Selecting appliances and kitchen tools with staying power, and avoiding costly bonus features you’ll never use.
That’s why it can make sense to start with a visit to a high-end kitchen showroom, where you can touch, turn and test appliances and hardware. “The appliances are often hooked up to gas, electric and water so you can experience their functionality,” says Tampa Bay, Florida, interior designer Sara Chiarilli.
Before you invest in the next sous vide system, learn more about the features culinary professionals and design experts would add to a devoted cook’s kitchen remodel.