Whether he's at home or at the chopping block, Emmy Award–winner Ted Allen knows a thing or two about good food. Longtime host of the Food Network’s hit prime-time competition series Chopped, the culinary influencer has also traveled across the United States in search of the best cuisine, as well as written two cookbooks and won several prestigious awards in the process. Given his adoration for cooking, one can’t help but wonder what Ted’s very own kitchen looks like.
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"I live in an 1879 Victorian brownstone with my husband [interior designer Barry Rice] in Brooklyn." Ted states. "The kitchen is located on the ground floor next to a backyard patio, and was designed by Barry and our architect, Jarek Tresko."
"Barry and I are both fans of a clean, crisp white kitchen. We really love stainless-steel countertops—think restaurant-style kitchens—because you can’t really damage them. While stainless steel can sometimes come across as cold, we weren’t worried since there is so much warmth in the kitchen already from the walnut cabinets."
Through his experience working on various cooking shows, Ted has learned the value of designing a kitchen to not just be aesthetically pleasing, but also efficient in terms of flow, function, and practicality. "Chopped is a bad example when it comes to kitchen design, but that’s on purpose," he says. "The pantry especially is not very logical. The Chopped kitchen is designed inefficiently to make the challenge more difficult."
"Do not design your kitchen like the Chopped kitchen—it will create panic."
"Our kitchen works because it was well thought out," Ted notes. "We wanted it to be a place where we could both cook and entertain, with plenty of room for people to gather. Plus, when you have a kitchen that is very easy to navigate—even if you’ve never stepped foot in it before—it makes it possible for two or three people to cook comfortably and makes it simple for guests to find drinks, plates, and tools.
When creating a space that is functional and efficient, Ted recommends starting your project with Build.com. Offering high-end appliances, trending and stylish home improvement products, and free project advice, the online retailer can serve as a trusted resource for any renovation.
"In our kitchen, a priority was to have a six-burner-plus-grill Viking Range stove with a strong vent-hood above it, which meant the stove had to be at the island, because neither it nor the hood would fit anywhere else," Ted explains. "Having this allows me to do things like pan-fry steaks or roast turkeys without the whole house smelling like food for three days, and it creates a good setup for a class or cooking demo."
Along with the aforementioned stove and hood, Ted notes that when having friends and family over for a meal he also relies heavily on a few other kitchen appliances that help to facilitate easy entertaining, such as his single-serving coffee machine, stand-alone ice maker, and warming drawer.
Open shelving is another important concept in Ted’s kitchen. "To the right of our fridge is a six-inch gap that we turned into a shallow cabinet, now lined with six-inch shelves. We bought glass jars and filled them with pastas, dried beans, and lentils," he states. "Everything is visible—I wish I could somehow find a way to do this for all of my spices!" When asked about how to create more storage and organization in the kitchen, Ted advises: "Look at places along the wall that might otherwise go to waste, as these could be terrific spaces for storing things."
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"A great kitchen will make you want to cook. Not only is cooking at home a healthier option, cooking and eating with family is of course wonderful, too." When he’s not on set filming, Ted concludes that you can find him in his own kitchen diligently trying to master one dish in particular. "I’ve spent my life trying to perfect the roasted chicken, and I’m still working on it."
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