We recently discovered the massive, two-volume Notes From a Kitchen. A book this is not — it's a photographic journey through the kitchens of some of the nation's most well-loved chefs, including former Jean Georges' pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini; one of the South's best, Sean Brock; and Malaysian-inspired New York chef Zak Pelaccio. Photographer Jeff Scott and chef Blake Beshore have steered away from the traditional cookbook and instead have taken a more private look at what really happens in a restaurant kitchen — and what sorts of thoughts and ideas inspire these chefs. Yet we were left wondering what happens in the chefs' home kitchens — is it a restaurant-worthy meal or something simple and comforting like taco night?
To find out, we asked a number of daring chefs to invite us into their kitchens, the places that inspire and literally feed them when they're not working. Take, for example, California chef Michael Chiarello, whose massive Italian-inspired fireplace not only warms the room, but is also a beloved kitchen tool when gathering with guests around the table.
For New York chef Anita Lo, the kitchen counter multitasks. Cooking aside, it's the place where she sits to work in peace; if guests are over, it's a gathering place for people to catch up while the finishing touches are made to the meal. For Ken Oringer, of Boston's Clio and Coppa, the meals at home are much simpler and focus on family. His kitchen might feature an immersion circulator but one of his favorite nights is taco night — complete with home-pressed tortillas. Can we get an invite?