Type to search

Does a kitchen designed by a chef make for a better kitchen?

Does a kitchen designed by a chef make for a better kitchen?


As Australia’s capital cities continue to swell, so too does the volume of apartment buildings that are cropping up. Being a highly competitive market, developers seem to be doing everything they can to get the attention of buyers. Hallmark Ivanhoe, designed by Fender Katsalidis and developed by Beulah International, boasts a kitchen designed in collaboration with high-profile chef Adam D’Sylva of CODA.

This begs the question, though can a chef design a better kitchen than a trained and experienced designer or architect?


A render of the kitchen designed in collaboration with chef Adam D’Sylva.

Looking at it from both sides, there are positives and negatives. Chefs spend much of their lives in kitchens, finding shortcuts and workflows that aid efficiency, so they could easily distill some of the tricks they’ve honed over the years into an effective kitchen design. A major point of difference, however, is that they operate at a very different scale. A commercial kitchen is designed to produce large quantities of food with multiple chefs needing space to perform tasks. A domestic kitchen, on the other hand, caters to a much smaller scale, accommodating one to two people. It may be difficult to take those learnings and meaningfully adapt them to a micro level without the input of a designer.

The biggest point of concern, however, is that by brandishing the design kudos of a chef over a designer is that it disregards the years of knowledge and well-crafted skill that goes into design. Just like many professional industries, talent and expertise take years to develop. Architecture is a highly regulated field because of the risks involved in the building process and practitioners spend upwards of 10 years educating themselves on the craft. It could be argued that not many architects go down to the level of designing kitchens, but interior architects and kitchen design specialists also bring a knowledge to design that shouldn’t be neglected.

For the Hallmark Ivanhoe project, D’Sylva advised the design team on which appliances to specify, going with Gaggenau. He also advised on how the appliances should be arranged to ‘maximise workflow’  tasks that any trained designer would be more than equipped to handle. It, therefore, seems to come back to a clever approach to selling apartments.

There’s no doubt that having the name of a noteworthy chef brings a new marketing angle, it may even result in more sales or at the very least appeal to ‘foodies’. But just how much input and insight can a chef bring to kitchen design?


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *