For American author and television personality Ted Allen, there is only one thing that can top good food, and that’s good company to share it with. No matter how frequently he and his husband—interior designer Barry Rice—host friends and family in their 1879 Brooklyn brownstone for dinner, they never get tired of cooking and eating with their close friends.
While he loves the space they’ve created in their home, Ted cranks up the creativity when envisioning his ultimate dream kitchen.
"Our kitchen is on the ground floor and connects to the backyard patio, so it’s a great place to entertain," Ted says. Although the couple has friends and family over year-round, Ted especially loves to host outdoor dinner parties during the long days of summer. After years of putting on memorable gatherings, he says that proper preparation is key to creating exceptional experiences for his guests.
"I don’t love ‘fast’ dinners," Ted notes. "I like to do everything from scratch, including picking my own fresh ingredients. I also try to prepare the food in advance so that I can spend more time doing other things with my guests when they arrive."
To that end, they created an efficient and beautiful cooking area. Designed by his husband, along with New York–based architect Jarek Tresko, the stylish kitchen in their brownstone features a thoughtful floor plan, along with plenty of modern amenities that promote easy function and flow.
"Efficient placement of the stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, and sink is important," Ted explains, "especially when I’m entertaining friends and cooking a meal at the same time. It’s all about appreciating the different functions of the room." He and Barry even went so far as to install two dishwashers. "If you have the space, it’s not that much more expensive, and it’s super useful if you entertain a lot."
The couple’s kitchen prioritizes easy access to equipment. "We wanted our kitchen to be a space where everyone knows where everything is," he explains. "The coffee maker is readily available and easy to find. Above the dishwashing sink is a long shelf full of plates. Many of the kitchen tools, such as our knives, pots, and cutting boards are on display, which allows people to find what they need without having to ask or hunt for anything. I like that we’ve designed this into a space where any guest can truly feel at home."
Turning to Build.com for his dream-kitchen inspiration, he sets his imagination free by combing through the company’s vast collection of online home improvement products. Featuring trending fixtures and high-end appliances, the e-retailer also offers all the essentials needed for every category—including lighting, plumbing, and hardware.
The only thing missing from Ted's wish list? A butler's pantry and more natural light. "Having a skylight would also be amazing, along with more space to seat people in the kitchen."
Ted also prizes close access to his outdoor grill area. "In my dream space, I would have a live-fire indoor grill," he says, noting that a friend has just that and cooks over a wood fire all winter long. "It is, of course, a luxury to feel passionate about your home space," he states. "It’s wonderful to have a home that reflects your artistic tastes, your interests and passions, and contains the equipment that supports guest comfort and good party flow."
To complete his wishlist, Ted reveals one more item for his dream kitchen: a kegerator. "I’m kind of joking, yet kind of not."
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