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Some homes need nothing more than a basic kitchen - just enough cabinets, counter work space and appliances to put meals on the table and clean up in time for the next round. But if you or your spouse really enjoy cooking, there are scores of appliances, storage ideas and design tricks that can make your kitchen a joy to work in. Although many of these ideas are just sound planning and won't cost an extra dime, upgrades like a second sink or a high-Btu range will add to the price of your kitchen remodel. Do you have to have any of this stuff to turn out good meals? No, but if you enjoy spending time in your kitchen - or benefit from the wonderful meals that result - it may be worth the extra dollars to make your kitchen work flawlessly. A COOK-FRIENDLY LAYOUT
To come up with this list of suggestions and opportunities, we asked cooking teachers, chefs, authors and kitchen designers to name the essential ingredients for a kitchen for people who like to cook. Even if cooking isn't a passion, we think you'll want to read on. The professional tips we've gleaned will make any kitchen work more efficiently. That means less time spent preparing, cooking and cleaning up, which means more time doing the things you like to do best. "The best cook's kitchens operate like conveyor belts," explains Jan Weimer, a Los Angeles?based restaurant consultant, former chef and author of Kitchen Redos, Revamps, Remodels and Replacements Without Murder, Suicide or Divorce. "They're organized to accommodate cooking, cleanup and storage without your having to constantly double back." Professional kitchens are divided into work zones defined by those three activities. Catherine Titus Felix, an Asbury, New Jersey, cooking teacher and former pastry chef, suggests creating a separate dry area for storage of baking and cooking items and another for wet preparation, like filling stockpots and cleaning fish. "While cleanup and wet prep can share one space, separate these activities by installing two sinks, if possible," she says. "When you entertain, dishes from the first course won't pile up in the same space you need to plate and serve the second course." Then plan your kitchen according to what you cook and how you work.
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