Whether you are planning to update kitchen budget or planning for new, what do I need in my new kitchen?
I am former chef to Sir Elton John and have worked in some of the worlds best restaurants.

I would like to brainstorm a few suggestions to give you some ideas for your home kitchen.

Today kitchens are no longer spaces tucked away from living areas but rather serve as family and entertainment spaces.

I am saying what I would have in a new kitchen, and understandably you will have your own taste in the design aspect, so I am only stressing functionality whatever the design. The following are what I consider to be essential aspects.


1. Simple cabinetry

In modern kitchen design, it’s all about simple cabinetry to enhance the clean, sleek lines of the space. Rather than ornate cabinets with feature detailing, opt for uncluttered cabinet design and minimalist hardware with a black, chrome or stainless steel finish. To take the streamlined look to the next level, you can also opt for handle-less cabinetry.

2. Modern appliances

If you’re going for a modern look in your new kitchen, invest in modern appliances to fit in with the overall aesthetic. A modern kitchen is about functionality, and choosing appliances that fit with your lifestyle means you’ll get the most out of your new space. I would always opt for commercial type equipment that can just as easily be incorporated into cabinetry as domestic.

3. Uncluttered aesthetic

Less is more when it comes to the modern kitchen, and you won’t find cluttered bench tops or fussy accessories. Instead, personality is brought into the space through practical features such as colored splash backs or striking bar stools. Additional storage is worked into the design to prevent clutter from accumulating on bench tops and to offer storage for small appliances.

4. Feature pendant lights over center island

With the neat angles and sleek aesthetic of the modern kitchen, you can inject extra personality and interest by using feature pendant lights above the bench top. I would have industrial style lighting for an edgy feel like the striking canopy style lighting featured in the photo below

5. Stainless steel center island bench

Modern kitchens work perfectly with open-plan living, and island benches are a must to complement open spaces. The rest of the kitchen space essentially revolves around this center unit

Some designs feature a center bench with stools but no sink unit. Big mistake! You want a sink right at hand when you are working

Practicality is key, so work in some functional drawers or additional storage.

My unit would be brushed stainless steel but that’s because I want that professional look. I don’t much go for those formica type surfaces but there are many kitchen center island designs with center island seating

Beautiful crisp stainless steel design with one big mistake. No sink on center isle. What were they thinking!

Note the commercial style refrigerator in background.

Regarding kitchen cabinets: Where necessary they would be designed to Gastronorm standards.

Gastronorm (GN), sometimes spelled Gastro-Norm, is a European standard for kitchen trays and container sizes that is commonly seen worldwide in the catering and professional food industry, as well as in certain parts of the high end consumer market. Gastronorm is generally used worldwide except in the United States, which has its own domestic system. The Gastronorm standard was first introduced in Switzerland in 1964, and became an official European standard in 1993 with the EN 631 standard.

So if you are in the USA you would fit to your own set standards

This means that your cabinets would be fitted with rails on the walls, that would accommodate trays that act as shelves (no more having to clean conventional shelves) that equally fit into your oven (discussed later).

So essentially one size fits all

The oven: Long gone are those ovens that lived below the stove top and that you had to bend down to operate.

When I was the executive chef of a top restaurant in Cyprus, we installed a Unox combi oven holding 6 Gastronorm trays. I would install one of these in my home kitchen any day. Inexpensive compared to the Rolls Royce Rational convection oven brand that frankly does much the same; bakes, steams, has computerized cooking programs, self-cleaning and many more features. It can easily be built into a cabinet for aesthetics. Available gas or electric

Kitchen boiling table: I would most definitely go for gas and once again, the commercial style.
Mine would incorporate a minimum of 4 gas rings as well as griddle plate and char broiler.
Once again all nicely incorporated into the design.

Kitchen appliances small:
Top of my wish list would be the Thermomix that essentially fulfills the functions of several other appliances combined

See my review of this machine with brains 

A standing food mixer such as my favorite Kitchenaid reviewed in my article 

The absolute best food processor, I like the Robot Coupe 
You wont need this if you have the Thermomix

A good blender. I like the Waring brand
You also wont need this with Thermomix

As for the other bits and pieces see my article setting up a home kitchen

Please mail me for any help or advice:

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