If you’re in a kitchen that feels like it belongs to a super chef, you should be able to tell. What are the telltale signs? The comments from some gourmands online show that it varies between people. You probably have your own opinion, but see if you agree with other food lovers from far and near.
1. Knife Quality
Knives are one the most essential utensils in every kitchen. However, a pro home chef’s kitchen doesn’t just boast any old knives. You’ll find perfectly sharpened knives and different knife types and sizes. It’s not about owning fancy gadgets. Good chefs know that a great meal starts with a slice, dice, and chop. One commenter writes, “My only judgment is the quality of their knives’ edges. (And the quality of their Teflon coating on their cookware, if that’s all they have.) Literally, everything else can be worked around.”
2. Spice Collection
A good enthusiast must not have every spice on earth, but they sure will have more than table salt. Honestly, it shouldn’t take being a pro home chef to know that spices are the way to flavor nirvana. Sometimes, all you need is cinnamon’s warmth or cayenne’s kick. So expect to spot jars of exotic aromas that could send your senses globetrotting with just a pinch.
3. Easy-to-Reach Pots and Pans
One of the fastest ways to detect a cuisine connoisseur is to check where and how they keep their cookware. In a pro home chef’s kitchen, everything has a purpose and a place. When someone can cook and does so regularly, they’d most likely keep their pots and pans within reach. You won’t find them in a drawer or some distant cupboard. This makes it easy to glide effortlessly around their cooking area and grab the perfect pot for each activity. The pans practically leap into their hands.
4. Different Types of Salts
Most of us use at least table salt for almost every meal. For a skilled cook, it has to be an entire universe of flavor possibilities. You won’t find one shaker. Instead, you’ll find an assortment of salts with their own texture and flavor. From the delicate flakes of sea salt to the robust crystals of Himalayan pink salt that pack a savory punch, culinary specialists know how to use them to enhance taste.
5. A Vinegar Selection
Vinegar isn’t just a condiment; it’s an elixir that adds depth and brightness to dishes. Whether it’s balsamic aged like fine wine or apple cider vinegar with a tart twist, enthusiasts know how to transform them into culinary gold. Their collection might seem like an obsession to the uninitiated. That’s until you taste the wonders they work. One food nerd shares, “My friend recently questioned my collection of homemade wine vinegars. She asked why I had so many.” Well, not everyone loves to cook.
6. Anti-Fatigue Mats
Anyone who’s used an anti-fatigue mat can testify that they make a difference. They provide comfort and support for cooks who must stand for long periods. Do you think these mats are a luxury? Cooks don’t, whether they’re professional or home-based. And their only reason for not having one would be a tight budget. After all, when you’re prepping masterpieces that could wow Gordon Ramsay, you need your feet to be as happy as your taste buds.
7. Multiple Non-Decorative Kitchen Towels
Every kitchen needs at least one towel. They are more than just accessories; they are a must. You can never have too many kitchen towels; that’s why full-time home chefs have multiple backups. Trust us, they aren’t decorative pieces. A good cook is all about utility and efficiency, and that sometimes means being ready to tackle anything — from wiping hands to becoming makeshift pot holders.
8. A Well-Stocked Pantry
From exotic spices that transport taste buds to far-off lands to different types of pasta that could make an Italian mom proud, this pantry is a window into the culinary passions of its owner. It doesn’t have to be stocked like a mini-grocery store, though. Food aficionados love to bring ready-to-experiment with, bringing various recipes to life.
9. Different Cutting Boards
One food enthusiast says, “The cutting board is always the big giveaway.” No true gourmand uses a one-size-fits-all cutting board. They come in different sizes, and each size has a specific purpose. There’s the mighty chopping block for grand veggies, the petite board for delicate mincing, and the slab for carving feats. As an artist selects different brushes for varying strokes, chefs choose various cutting boards for varying chops.
10. Slightly Worn-Out Cooking Surfaces
How do you know if someone cooks regularly? You don’t have to open drawers or cabinets. Just check cooking surfaces for wear. Those are battle scars, badges of honor earned through countless campaigns. Scuffed countertops and well-loved stovetops tell a story of sizzling successes (and occasional mishaps from experimentation).
11. Well-Seasoned Cast Iron
Nonstick pans are great, but well-seasoned cast iron skillets are just as good. For the cooking-obsessed who prefer creating with their nonstick ware, one simple round of “seasoning” is all they need. After this round, the sear on a steak or the crispy crust of cornbread doesn’t stand a chance against the correctly seasoned cast iron skillets.
12. A Tasty Meal
Finally, the pièce de résistance — the ultimate test of a pro home chef’s prowess: the meal they present. The culmination of their skills, passions, and creativity. Their meals are more than just sustenance; they’re edible art. With every bite, you taste the dedication that went into its preparation. And every spoon contains knowledge and culinary excellence.