Star Kitchen: Donatella Arpaia

Donatella Arpaia's dream kitchen is right in her backyard.

As a longtime New Yorker, Donatella always longed for the impossible: a big home kitchen. So when the restaurateur and frequent Food Network judge bought a Connecticut weekend house with her husband, Allan, a heart surgeon, she built giant kitchens — inside and out. "Our life here is outdoors," says Donatella. "I'm always the one cooking, and I wanted to enjoy it." Her first priority was to put in a pizza oven (a hit with her 4-year-old son, Alessandro) and to install professional-grade Lynx appliances, including stovetops, sinks and an integrated trashcan. Having a complete setup outside allows her to entertain without frequent trips in and out of the house. She has enough to worry about when the couple hosts a party, especially when Allan is in charge of the guest list. "It starts off small," she says, "and then my husband casually invites an extra 50 people!"

Photography by David A. Land

Italian Accents 
Donatella and Allan wanted the space to feel like a villa on Lake Como, where they like to vacation, so they incorporated a pergola and columns into the bluestone patio.

Lake View
It was the scenery that sold Donatella and Allan on the property. "We fell in love with the view," she says of the Candlewood Lake landscape. "This is where we're going to grow old together."