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At home in Camden, Michelin-starred chef Giorgio Locatelli tells Tania Daniels what makes the perfect kitchen
When we bought the house, it was three flats. It was full of 60s decor – all brown and orange swirls, with thick carpet. We couldn’t move in for a year, and even then we had to live with builders for six months. The building itself is over 150 years old: some of the walls are plaster with horsehair. Father Henry Willis built the organ that’s currently in St Paul’s cathedral in this house, while all the workers lived in cottages nearby.
The kitchen is six years old. I was very proud of it then, and I still am. When we finished it, it was very special; very different from all the other ones I had seen and cooked in, especially in Italy. I was really tempted by the old-school style, with pots and pans hanging down, like a lot of chefs have. But Plaxy, my wife, was adamant about having it nice and neat. Now, I love it. It’s so relaxing, when you come down in the morning, to have everything clean and tidy.
This is where we spend all of our time. Although we don’t have a TV in here. We had a big fight about putting one in – in Italy, it’s quite normal to have a TV on in the background all the time – but it’s probably for the best. We can never agree about what to watch.
The first thing we had to put in was a really good extractor hood. My daughter, Dita, has over 800 allergies, most of which are related to pollen or dust. So there was no room for compromise. The extractor canopy, by Gaggenau, is really powerful. The cooker is Gaggenau too. I love the booster hob in the middle, but all the burners are good – they have a fantastic range, from full heat to extremely low. You can leave a stockpot on all night if you want.
The central island is great for parties, when it becomes a buffet table – we cover it with breads and mountains of food for everyone. Plus the kitchen designers at Matrix created lots of storage underneath, so everything can be put away. Of course, inside the cupboards it’s quite messy!
If we had to do anything differently, we’d put in a double sink and a bigger fridge. You always need more storage and preparation space than you think you will. My tip would be, take whatever you think you need, then double it.
We used to live in a tiny little flat, there was stuff everywhere. I’d turn up every night with new pots and pans, and Plaxy would cry ‘where are we going to put everything?’. Once you’ve had two kids in a tiny space and it’s really messy, you never want to go back.
Ceramic knives JKC, from £52, www.japaneseknifecompany.com
Chopping board Typhoon Chop & Store, from £13, www.amazon.co.uk
Coffee machine Francis Francis X6 in white, £250, www.xpresscoffeeuk.co.uk
Index chopping boards Joseph Joseph, £35, www.thecookskitchen.com
Oven Gaggenau BS274 and BO240, £5,262, www.matrixkitchens.co.uk
Saucepans Lagostina stainless-steel pans, from £60, www.stylecookshop.co.uk
Editorial feature from Square Meal Lifestyle Magazine Summer 2009