I don’t write about food as much as I would like to on the blog – one day! – but those who know me know I am a massive foodie (and even a former restaurant reviewer). Yes, there are those among us who class food simply as fuel and others who obsess over every detail of every meal. The latter (that’s me!) frequently enjoy the discovery of new restaurants and experimenting with different ingredients in the home, introducing their families to foods from far flung lands.
This Christmas there will be dozens, if not hundreds, of seasonal cookery shows on TV and many of us will also find cookbooks waiting to be unwrapped under our trees. Somewhere along the way, food has become a bona fide British hobby and it’s one that is having a real impact on our homes. Kitchen layout and design is heavily influenced by our own individual foodie fascinations, but what are your must-haves for the ultimate foodie kitchen? So let’s run through the three essential ingredients you need to throw into the mix as a foodie…
If you’re going to cook up a storm in the kitchen you need the perfect partner to do it with, but where do your loyalties lie? Would you prefer a large traditional cooker or an up-to-the-minute modern appliance? For those coveting the country kitchen look, fired ranges such as the AGA are still the ultimate. Though if you don’t have the room or the décor to accommodate this classic, you could consider a gas range oven instead. These bastions of restaurant kitchens give great control over temperature, which makes it easier to cook your steak and cakes just right.
If you’re comfortable cooking on gas but aren’t sure what type of features you should be looking out for, this review of gas ranges could come in handy. Another option is induction cooking, which provides instant heat and rings that automatically switch off when your pans are moved off the rings. These two features in themselves are likely to be very appealing if you have little ones around the house. That said, these advantages do come at a cost and while it’s becoming more widespread, induction cooking is still a fairly pricy option.
One of the best things about having a bespoke kitchen that’s designed especially for you and your family is that you can have cabinets and other storage fitted to meet your unique needs. This could mean the inclusion of small touches such as a wine cooling rack or installing large pan drawers under your cooker top or planning in something larger and more traditional such as a larder. A true foodie will have a well-stocked spice shelf that may just be begging to be given the freedom to be turned into a larder area.
The larder has made a real comeback in recent years thanks to foodie trends such as home smoking, curing and baking coming back into fashion. According to the Telegraph “After being usurped by the refrigerator for more than a century, the humble larder is back in favour.” One storage item that’s popularity is apparently moving in the other direction is the kitchen island. Often installed as extra storage and bench space or alternative seating for casual in kitchen lunches, some interiors experts recently predicted the decline of the kitchen island, but are they still on your lust list?
Why is great lighting an essential in the kitchen? Well, aside from ensuring you can see your knives and distinguish between fingers and food while you chop, great lighting can set the ambiance for preparing and serving great food. While we may be seeing the return of many classics in the kitchen such as the larder, many of us still live in homes with open plan kitchens or kitchen diners. In such areas different types of lighting can be used to distinguish between preparation and eating areas.
Backlit cupboards are very common finds in the kitchen these days and they can prove useful if you’re forever losing items in nooks and crannies or don’t want to switch the main lights on every time you fetch a glass of water. Strip lighting and feature lights are still very much in vogue though the effectiveness of both is all in the carefully considered positioning. Your bench space, ovens and eating area should all be illuminated adequately so that you can make the most of your whole kitchen (and snap some insta-worthy foodie photos of your culinary efforts too).
What are your must-haves features in a kitchen fit for a foodie? Do you lust after a larder or would you love a new lighting setup to make your kitchen feel a little more magical? Are kitchen islands on the wane or would installing one be your ultimate gain?
*This is a collaborative post
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