If you specialise in the food of a specific culture, a remodelling project is a perfect opportunity to adapt your kitchen to the cuisine of your choice. In addition to selecting the best materials and equipment for preparing traditional meals, consider adding some decorative elements that reflect the spirit and style of the culture.
lf you love Mexican cooking, aim for a warm, colourful space. For example, on the backsplash, you might choose traditional Mexican tiles, and on the floors sun-baked saltillo tile (with the footprints of the chickens and cats that roam the yards where it’s dried). A specialised cooktop might include a commercial- strength gas burner for frying homemade tortilla chips, or a simmer burner (a fulI-sized burner that maintains low temperatures and prevents scorching) for cheese sauces and mole. Next, to the cooktop, place a pantry filled with bins of baking essentials. Add a pullout tray to the pantry for bulk jars of your favourite spices.
Imagine your French kitchen centred around a large greenhouse window full of potted herbs. As for equipment, you could certainly make use of a double oven, with enough room to bake an entire meal plus a chocolate gateau. Add a rotisserie rack for meats and poultry and a terracotta baking stone, to cover some of the basics. Make sure the cooktop burners offer plenty of power for searing meats, as well as consistent, low settings for simmering sauces. And don’t forget to include a powerful food processor for puree. A baking centre would be perfect for pastries and bread. This could be an island built to just the right height or a lower section of counter that gives you extra leverage for rolling dough. You could also include a marble slab for making fondant and other confectionery.
There are many kinds of Asian cooking, and much of it is done in a wok. lf you’re an avid Asian cook, you might love having a cook room, a compact cooking space tailored to cooking with a wok. lt should include a high output gas burner, for duck frying and immediate heat control; a powerful vent fan or vent hood, to exhaust the many strong odors and ever-present smoke produced by fry – cooking; and perhaps even a pot filler faucet, as a handy water supply for steaming. Although it’s best to keep it small, a wok room should have space for cooking spices, oils and other ingredients and easy-to-clean counters. To set the mood, consider an aquarium filled with vividly coloured fish. Their gentle, rhythmic movements are calming and remind the cook that the essence of Asian cooking is harmony and balance.