The Cooking Show Phenomenon, and How It Changed Multifamily

A few years ago, I had no idea what creme fraiche was. I didn’t know beets could be made into foam (or why anyone would want them to be. I’m actually still trying to figure this one out). Actually, to be honest, I didn’t even know how to boil an egg. Seriously. Don’t judge.

But all that changed with the influx of cooking shows such as “Top Chef,” “Iron Chef,” “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives”…the list goes on. Suddenly I don’t just know how to cook, but I want to. And it’s not just me. Everyone watches these shows now, and everyone is yearning to be a foodie.

This gourmet explosion, where everyone thinks they can earn five Michelin stars in their own home, has lead to an interesting multifamily phenomenon: the chef’s kitchen.

A quick Google search for “chef’s kitchen apartment” yields 13,800,000 results. It is a major amenity touted in all the new luxury condominiums and apartments. There is clearly a demand for stainless steel appliances, dual sinks, tons of counter space, multiple burners on the stove…

Will this real estate trend last, or will a chef’s kitchen go the way of the dodo (or, more accurately, the avocado-colored refrigerator) if new shows become popular—after all, the summer Olympics are coming up. Maybe lap pools (or, for the obscenely rich, humongous bath tubs) will become all the rage and the must-have amenity for new developments.

Ultimately, I wonder if these chef’s kitchens are actually being used for their intended purpose by the residents, especially in cities such as New York where it’s just as—if not more—convenient to order delivery as it is to roast a chicken. Honestly, while I may know what molecular gastronomy is now, I’m still more likely to pick up some sushi on the way home than to whip up my own spicy tuna with wasabi foam.

Do you include chef’s kitchens in your buildings? Have you seen an influx of requests for them?

-Jessica Fiur, News Editor