Star Kitchen: Pat LaFrieda
Pat LaFrieda, meat purveyor to the stars, shows Food Network Magazine around his Bronx kitchen.
Every year at the New York City Wine & Food Festival, a champion is crowned in the heated Burger Bash competition, but the real winner is Pat LaFrieda: The New Yorker provides all the meat for the event, and he keeps some of the biggest names in food — Alex Guarnaschelli, Danny Meyer, Michael Symon — stocked with steaks and ground beef through his family’s 98-year-old company, Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors. Although Pat’s not a chef, he’s an expert butcher and has spent tons of time in professional kitchens, so he knew just what he wanted in his own home. Most important: creating a space where his kids, Patrick, 15, and Giuliana, 9, can cook safely. To make sure Giuliana is able to prep dishes on her own, Pat and his wife, Jennifer, installed their Gaggenau microwave and warming drawers at knee-height. And they added an induction cooktop: It doesn’t produce an open flame, and once it’s turned off the whole surface cools down in seconds. Check out the rest of Pat’s smart kitchen ideas.
Kid-Friendly Appliances: Pat outfitted the kitchen with a large induction cooktop because it’s safer for Giuliana and her brother.
Custom Knife Set: Pat, who is 6 foot 3, developed his own set of knives (they resemble small swords) so he wouldn’t have to bend down to chop. “Cutting safely is so important,” he says. “Ever since my son and daughter were very young, they’ve known.”
Hickory Floors: Pat and Jennifer brought home 20 different styles of wood planks before they settled on this hickory (pictured above) with a dark stain.
Shades of Gray: Pat and Jennifer painted the whole kitchen white at first, but it looked too bright, so they repainted in a warm gray that echoes the veins in the marble counters.
Serious Venting: Steak is often on the dinner menu at the LaFriedas. To keep the house from smelling like meat, Pat installed a high-powered Gaggenau hood over the range.
Photograph by Winnie Au