How Chef's Entertain at Home Slideshow

James Boyce

When not tending to one of his three Huntsville-area restaurants, including Cotton Row and Pane e Vino, Boyce can often be found at home, entertaining a group of friends and family around his family's large 7-by-11-foot marble island. "It's like a cooking class, wine tasting, and party all in one," says Boyce. It gives guests a great vantage point to watch, and perhaps help, when needed. His favorite part? "I love how open it feels — it makes it easy to work and entertain at the same time."

Zak Pelaccio

He's best known for the Asian-inspired grub served up at one of his many Fatty Crab or Fatty 'Cue establishments up and down the Eastern Seaboard (from New York City to St. John…). Yet after a day running the kitchens, you might find him playing cards with his son and girlfriend around the small table in the center of the kitchen, or perhaps kicking back with buddies (and a drinking game). But more often, it's family.

Come dinner time, "The variety of what gets cooked is larger than your imagination," he adds. He almost always has two old cast-iron pots or griddles on his brand-new stovetop at any given moment. "When I look over there, I smile at the old, heavy, cumbersome objects and new, efficient, shiny equipment living together in perfect harmony..." 

Anita Lo

When not working in the city at her restaurant, annisa, this Top Chef Masters contestant and author of the recent Cooking Without Borders loves to spend time in the kitchen at her home on Long Island, N.Y. "The huge center island is a great place to prep, plate, and to congregate."  When entertaining friends, Lo often offers cocktails there. "It allows me to stay connected while I'm putting the finishing touches on the meal."

Entertaining aside, the light-filled space is also a workspace. "I also like to read and work on my laptop there. I had a bookshelf and stools put in to facilitate that."

Ken Oringer

When this James Beard Award-winning chef isn't running one of his seven Boston restaurant kitchens, from the fine dining destination Clio to the Italian enoteca Coppa, he can be found relaxing in the sunny kitchen overlooking the city with his beautiful wife and daughter, perhaps prepping for an Oringer favorite — taco night — complete with tortillas made at home on his tortilla press.

Michael Chiarello

When we toured this culinary celebrity and restaurateur around Eataly in New York City, it became readily apparent how deep his Italian roots are. So it's no surprise that, like in many Italian villas, Chiarello's kitchen is centered around a wood-burning oven/fireplace, his favorite aspect, if you ask him. "The space is definitely for both cooking and entertaining," says Chiarello.

It has an open layout that makes people feel welcome to "mingle and nosh" while he's cooking. A dinner party at Chiarello's home might include traditional paella, cooked in the oven, and served at the formal dining table just a couple of steps away.

Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier

This James Beard Award-winning duo has three restaurants, including the acclaimed Arrows in Ogunquit, Maine, and authored two cookbooks, most recently, Maine Classics. When not in one of their restaurants, however, the pair loves to entertain in their home kitchen. They'll start the night with a huge platter of local oysters over ice, some Arrows smoked salmon, frosty gin martinis, and chilled champagne — "It's key to have everything ready to go before guests arrive," they add.

Their favorite part of the kitchen? The large, uncluttered windows overlooking the garden — and they're Boos chopping block. "Simple yet essential," they say. We agree.

David Myers

A lifelong surfer and passionate traveler, chef/owner David Myers seeks to bring his food to diners around the world, be it at his L.A. bistro Comme Ça or at the patisserie or cafe at the Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo's glitzy Ginza shopping area. And at home? "I'm always entertaining in the kitchen. It seems to be where everyone hangs out." His cutting board is always out, and depending on what's for dinner, perhaps a selection of cheese and charcuterie from Comme Ça for snacking. "We eat standing up in the kitchen and drink wine."