Star Kitchen: Michael Chiarello
Michael Chiarello's Kitchen
Here's the thing about chefs and their home kitchens: They want all the fancy appliances, yet they don't want the place to look or feel like work. Michael Chiarello designed this Napa kitchen with some serious gear — 12 burners, two sinks, a Sub-Zero fridge, a brick oven — and then he made sure it was nothing like the cramped restaurant spaces where he's worked.
A Space Meant for Family
"I spent my whole life with things hanging over my head," he says. "I don't want anything up there now." His bright, sprawling setup is ideal for small family meals and big dinner parties, where he serves wine from his backyard vineyard.
Winemaker's Pot Rack
The chef hangs his copper pots and pans on an old riddling rack, once used to hold champagne bottles in the right position for fermentation.
He uses sturdy French blue steel pots for quick sautes. "You'll see a stack of these in restaurant kitchens. They're awesome — they're cheap as chips and they last forever."
Michael likes to fire this up in the winter and eat homemade pizza on barstools right in the kitchen with his wife, Eileen, and "whichever kids are around." He has three daughters and a son.
Michael's vineyard is right outside this window.
Michael wanted his kitchen to feel bright and open, so he installed cabinets with glass backing to let light from the windows shine through.
He stores his own recipes in a computer database, but he still keeps cookbooks handy. His Joy of Cooking gets the most attention. "In the morning, you know, sometimes you forget how to make waffles."