Three Star Chefs Open Up Their Home Kitchens
Peek inside the pantries of Ruth Rogers, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Massimo Bottura
The home kitchens of chefs are worlds unto themselves, providing insight into how they think when cooking their own meals, when there’s no staff to chiffonade, baste, and blanch. Using hands-on experience acquired in the trenches, these men and women have designed beautiful, functional spaces where cooking is for fun and family. Here, legendary chefs Ruth Rogers, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Massimo Bottura let us peek inside their pantries.
This chef had an ace in the hole when designing her kitchen: her husband, Richard Rogers, the Pritzker Prize–winning architect behind the Centre Pompidou and Lloyd’s of London. This space was completed in 1984, a few years before her restaurant launched, and Rogers credits it with inspiring her career. “I think that having such an amazing kitchen is why I actually wanted to open River Café,” she says. With a new book, River Café 30 (Knopf), celebrating the restaurant’s third decade, Rogers still cooks at home at least two nights a week.
• The open plan influenced the way the kitchen at River Café was designed, with everyone helping to prep instead of being cornered off in stations.
• The overall design brief was to keep things light, clean, and shiny. The all-stainless counter and cabinet surfaces reflect light from the double-height windows around the room.
• Simplicity is key, so there are only four burners—which are Smeg by Renzo Piano, the architect with whom Richard Rogers collaborated on the Pompidou—as well as two Gaggenau ovens. • For her morning espresso, Rogers uses a La Pavoni coffeemaker designed in 1905, which many consider a piece of industrial art.
Known for flawless open restaurant kitchens, Vongerichten has a similar home environment, designed by Thomas Juul-Hansen. “The kitchen in my New York City apartment is minimal and modern,” he says. “I like to come home to a space that isn’t overcomplicated but has the necessities.”
• Concealed appliances include a paneled 48-inch Viking refrigerator and an Electrolux glass-top induction-cooking surface with a wok station in the center.
• Custom-made pendant lights by Hervé Descottes, of L’Observatoire, illuminate the kitchen workspace, providing enough light to render additional downlights unnecessary while blending into the living area’s overall aesthetic. The French designer created lighting for all the chef’s restaurants.
• A very large (30-inch) stainless-steel Franke sink and a Dornbracht faucet with a hose attachment keep things tidy.
The Italian chef is praised for creating edible works of
art at his Osteria Francescana in Modena, and his most recent projects include the Gucci Osteria in Florence and Refettorio in Paris. His latest book, Bread Is Gold (Phaidon), addresses food-waste issues with recipes for extraordinary meals made with ordinary ingredients.
• Fully equipped with professional steel modules and a large workbench designed by chef Gualtiero Marchesi for Boffi,
the block in his Modena kitchen has a gas cooktop with
five burners (including a large middle one) and a cast-iron grill on the saucepan level.
• Damask-pattern ceramic tiles by Casa Dolce Casa add warmth and a bit of glamour to the steel-clad workspace.
• A classic of Italian design, a Flos chandelier by Gino Sarfatti brings character to the kitchen.
A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2018 Summer Issue under the headline Off the Menu. Subscribe to the magazine.