ma cuisine


Nowhere is remodeling for the faint of heart and although I did, indeed, learn plenty of new words to expand my French vocabulary, along with a few other things that I won’t recount here, let’s just say that if I ever this take on this kind of project again, I’ll do things a little lot differently. The best advice I could pass on was given to me by a French friend – “Be more French, less American” – which you are welcome to interpret any way you want.

cocoa and powdered sugar work area (with peanut butter)

At the beginning of the project, an American friend said, “Please don’t write a book about remodeling in France.” So I promised her I wouldn’t. Which is probably a good thing as no one would believe most of it – and then there’s that pesky issue of the happy ending that we’re still working on : 0

Because Paris is an old city with a lot of history, it’s a challenge to do something that doesn’t work against the city. Modernism hasn’t always been good to Paris (ie: Les Halles), so I went for a very basic kitchen, not in any particular style, but something that was utilitarian first and foremost: I spent most of my life in restaurant kitchens and those are places where I seem to be the most at “home”, not in places with custom wood paneling and fancy design elements. Since light is at a premium in Paris, I went with white cabinets, stainless-steel handles and appliances (although I kept the black, well-used gas stovetop that was there), and wood, for warmth.

I didn’t follow any of the rules. I didn’t read up on where to put the refrigerator in relation to the sink. I didn’t think about work areas, work flow, triangles, circles, squares, rectangles, or tetrahedrons.

my work area

There are no wok burners, designer faucets, wine refrigerators, or any of that kind of stuff. I pretty much kept it to the essentials. (And as you can see, I didn’t clean my kitchen, or the sink, before I took some snaps because I’m always at work in the kitchen.) I did allow myself to get a clothes dryer, which are not common in Paris, mostly due to space and ventilation issues. But a few (American) friends insisted that I get one, and I don’t miss hanging my clothes on a folding drying rack in my apartment and waiting a couple of days for them to dry.

With all the extra time on my hands for cooking, I wanted a big counter to spread everything out on, a lot of light, and open shelves to store frequently used ingredients and cookware on so everything would be within easy reach. I don’t like rifling through drawers for things I use a lot – namely different kinds of flour and sugars, and I dislike going through cabinets of pots and pans searching for the one I want. So I made sure to have things as accessible as possible.

stainless steel shelving

I got my sturdy stainless-steel shelves from Nisbets, a Swiss restaurant supply company. The prices were reasonable and they actually called me to tell me when they shipped them, which was the day after I placed the order. Ah, the Swiss.

flour and salt

I wanted a big, white sink. One without ornamentation that could hold the enormous amounts of pots and pans that I seem to generate hourly. I recounted my sink search in a previous post, and when I was recently in the south of France, a British friend also remarked at how difficult it was to find big, white sinks in France. Yes, Ikea has them. But they are too small for me because I wanted something that could soak a baking sheet or roasting pan in, not one with a half-sized basin that I would have to wrestle with. And because I spend hours over the sink each day, it was important that it “worked” with me, and that I wasn’t working against it. I was looking for what they refer to as “Butler” sinks in England. Or curiously, as “French farmhouse” sinks, in America.

Did I really need to go rip one out of an old French farmhouse?

work area

I searched and searched and searched. And searched and searched and searched and searched. None of the plumbing supply stores had anything that was big, open, and plain. (So if you saw me tweeting at 3:30am, it was because I needed a diversion from my 24/7 online sink-hunting.) I finally managed to find one made by Porcher, which was over €800, plus 19,6% tax. (And I tried to find it again online, and every link that turned up was dead.) So I was thrilled when one day, while I was plugging away, I typed the serial number (P3363) into a search engine and a brand-new one showed up on Le Bon Coin, the great French website where sellers and buyers swap stuff. So we headed up to Lille, I paid €200, and voilà, I had my sink.

It’s hard here to find anything discounted, even online. So I was shocked when I saw how much I’d have to spend for seemingly commonplace items like plastic outlet covers and light switches. I bought standard, normal, plain white ones and the bill was roughly the equivalent to the cost of a brand-new MacBook pro. (But then I wouldn’t have had anything to plug it into, so I guess I made the right choice.) I also had a hard time finding fixtures that were plain and unadorned, without decoration or ornamentation. I wanted a professional faucet with a hose and sprayer. Cheap faucets usually don’t last long, and since the sticker shock of the plastic outlet covers, I was buckling down the budget. A relative was coming to visit and she brought along this Kraus faucet, which had to be modified a bit for Europe, but works well.

I began searching in catalogs for fixtures used in schools and institutions. I thought the words industrielle and even usine (factory) might be helpful (in the US, I once found great stainless-steel fixtures in a prison catalog), until I learned the word collectivité, which became the most frequently used search word on my computer.

90 cm oven

I am probably the only person in Paris with two ovens. Which means that Thanksgiving is definitely going to be at my place for, well, eternity. I needed a larger-than-usual oven (90 cm/35″) to hold baking sheets, as many standard European ovens are smaller and can’t accommodate a 17- or 18-inch sheet pan. However the larger oven takes a (very) long time to preheat so I am happy that I decided to have a second oven that is a combination microwave and regular oven, which is much faster to heat up and I like to use – in spite of the control pad that I can’t quite master no matter how long I study the owner’s manual.

The oven repairman who came to recalibrate the big oven told me digital ovens are actually more responsive and accurate. He also bemoaned the disappearance of raw milk cheeses in France. Fixes ovens and loves raw milk cheese? I guess that explains why he is my new favorite person in France.

I like restaurant-quality gear, so I stocked up on Cambro plastic containers last time I was in New York City. But man, those square containers are like drugs, and now that I got my fix of a few, I need more, more – more!

whiskshigh sink
sink and faucetantifatigue mat

Because I stand a lot in the kitchen, I wanted an anti-fatigue mat, which restaurant workers stand on and they make us happy. I was only found one website that had them, but they didn’t list where you could buy them in France nor did they respond when I asked about availability. So I found these pretty good mats from England for around €30.

(I wanted one of these GelPro mats, which are rubberized for easier clean up, but I didn’t think I could convince anyone to bring one over for me. They’re not as light as Cambro containers.)

Kitchen cabinets were from that big Swedish company that I went back to a grand total of eight times because of various, um, errors. I used some Ikea pulls, and got nicer pulls for other cabinets at La Quincaillerie in Paris, which is one of those great stores that has every single cabinet pull you can imagine – for a price. But the staff is helpful and the selection is amazing, which counts for a lot. And I only had to go there once.

I had the kitchen counters set to a certain height. Many French counters are quite low as people didn’t seem to mind stooping way-back-when, I guess. But now that the cuisine américain (open kitchen) has become more popular, folks are movin’ on up. And since I spend a few hours a day washing dishes, I wanted my sink to be a little higher than normal, too, to preserve my back.

kitchen counter

I like stainless-steel bowls a lot because they nest easily, they’re lightweight, and are relatively inexpensive. In Paris, one can find them at Indian shops, which aren’t all that sturdy, so I just buy the small ones there sell which are only about €1 each. For larger ones, I am now trying to get ones with rubberized bottoms, which are a bit more spendy but don’t wobble around. I have a few great ones I got at Sur La Table way-back-when in the states, but the ones I ordered online were a little disappointing because they seemed rather flimsy. (And they weren’t all that cheap, either.) I am a firm believer in having a ton of whisks and spatulas.

My whisks are from Matfer and Oxo and my dream spatulas are the ones from Le Creuset. I used to teach classes at Sur La Table and before anyone else arrived, I would raid the sale racks for Le Creuset spatulas as many of the colors were “seasonal”, and at the end of the season, they’d be put out to pasture.


I have a large refrigerator and when Parisian friends come over, they are shocked and it seems a little frivolous. But then I explain that it’s something I use for work and I need the space, and then they get it. And many are discovering ice, too!

Few people in Paris have the space for a regular-sized refrigerator and mine has an ice maker, which I use much, much more than I thought. It’s great for cooling down custards and so forth. And even better, it’s good to have on hand in case you need an emergency cocktail, like I’m going to fix myself after I finish up that sink-load of dishes.

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  • October 7, 2012 8:34pm

    fantastique! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. And the wisdom passed one…fun! “The best advice I could pass on was given to me by a French friend – “Be more French, less American” ” ;-)

  • AnnaZed
    October 7, 2012 8:58pm

    Oh David, that is fantastic, marvelous. I hope it was worth it to you; I think so!!

  • Cecile
    October 7, 2012 9:18pm


    I love, love your new kitchen. You took a small space and made it workable. It is simple which makes it very warm and cozy looking. Happy cooking in your new work space.

  • Paloma
    October 7, 2012 9:33pm

    Och it’s gorgeous, chatty and eaty. It was a Belfast sink you wanted ! (Belfast, you know, where they built the Titanic – it was OK when it left us ! ) I live in Belfast, next time you’re looking for a great big white sink, give me a call :)

  • October 7, 2012 9:35pm

    Bialetti coffeemaker. My favourite.
    Your kitchen looks really great!

  • Janice Burgan
    October 7, 2012 9:52pm

    Hi David,

    Congratulations on your gorgeous new kitchen…beautiful and functional!

    As an American married to a wonderful Frenchman (Normandy…butter,cream and apples…Susan H.Loomis/rue Tatin in Louviers) I had the wonderful opportunity of living in Paris for over two years. What an experience! Your posts make me laugh, make me hungry, and motivate me to be a better cook. Your photography is gorgeous and I love your books. I actually wish you would write a book about the remodel experience…I’m sure you’d have us laughing for days.

    I just updated my Paris pastry app in prep for our France visit in May. My daughter and I will be visiting her grandmere/my belle mere in Le Vaudreuil (about 20 minutes from Susan) but we have to spend at least a week in Paris just to get our “fix.” I can’t wait to use your blog as a resource. I just shared it with friends who will be going to Paris for the first time in September.

    Although we have been traveling back and forth to France for over twenty years now, it never seems that far away thanks to you!


  • William Aprill
    October 7, 2012 10:09pm

    You can readily rubberize the bottoms of stainless bowls with liquid multi-purpose rubber coatings available at home-supply and hardware stores. I use Performix Plasti-Dip and it works very well. Simply scuff the bottom of the bowl, thoroughly degrease and clean, then paint on enough layers to suit yourself, et voila! Resulting bowls feel heavy, grounded, and expensive…(:-D)

  • Lorraine
    October 7, 2012 10:15pm

    Isn’t it great when all the hard work designing, shopping and contracting work comes together? You clearly put a lot of thought into it around what you need and want. Great working kitchen – I like how you can cut and chop anywhere on the wooden surfaces (at least it looks like wood) so no need to shlep cutting boards out every two minutes.

    Am reading thru your newest book and enjoying. Soon I will get busy actually baking!

    I’m visiting Paris in late Nov so if you would like foil or whatever from here, just let me know.

  • October 7, 2012 11:23pm

    It’s beautiful, David! Heartfelt congratulations.

  • October 7, 2012 11:49pm

    I love your kitchen design! I am moving in my new house in France this first of November. A lot of renovating and hardwork will be happening! Wish me luck!

  • SandraM
    October 8, 2012 12:19am

    Oh my…that is a wonderful kitchen. Love the work area. That is just perfect. I have kitchen envy. :o)
    Well done and thank you for sharing it all.

  • Linda H
    October 8, 2012 12:48am

    Happy Cooking! I like your new kitchen.

  • October 8, 2012 1:51am

    Dear David,
    I know how much headache you had with your moving and renovation, but believe me, reading your post and looking at your pictures I can totally see a happy ending for your book :D

  • Abbie
    October 8, 2012 2:34am

    Really beautiful kitchen- love the countertops and sink especially. Thank you for sharing with us!!

  • Susan Williams
    October 8, 2012 2:42am

    Wow, oh wow. I just reattached a cabinet door for the third time in a year. I am so envious. Congratulations!

  • Ginger Marks
    October 8, 2012 2:48am


    I think you’re swell and I like readin’ ya… the end.



  • Jeanne
    October 8, 2012 4:03am

    Wow — fantastic kitchen! Wonderful space for everything, which is really a luxury. Can’t tell if you have an overhead pot rack — it looks like your ceiling is tall enough to have one if you like. I don’t have any space for one in my kitchen, but would love to have it — it’s tiring to have to constantly drag pots and pans out of cupboards or the inside of the stove where they are hiding like I have to do now. Thanks for sharing–tremendous amount of work, but a fabulous result.

  • Kristine-CA
    October 8, 2012 4:20am

    Thanks so much for sharing the finished kitchen. It’s lovely and looks like a place a baker could get a lot done. I’m a fan of white kitchens and yours appears to be making your kitchen light and spacious. Is your wooden counter top from Ikea as well? I’m planning for a new sink and countertop and am undecided about the butcher block counters from Ikea. Yours look wonderful. I’m looking into Osmo oil.

  • October 8, 2012 4:58am

    Bravo on the remodel — it’s a stunner :)

  • Berit
    October 8, 2012 8:06am

    Congratulations on your inspiring kitchen!

    Being a complete spatula geek myself, I wondered if you ever tried the elevate spatulas ( They’re my absolute favourites. I love that they’re completely smooth – easy to wipe on the edge of a bowl and easy to clean – and that I can leave them on the tabletop without creating a mess. Also, they’re sturdy enough for large quantities and viscous material like caramel.

    I spent years in search of the ultimate spatula, but I’m pretty sure now that my mission is accomplished.

  • sherman
    October 8, 2012 10:39am

    best kitchen ever

  • Eleni in Athens
    October 8, 2012 11:16am

    David, I’m an architect who cooks non-stop and puts up about 600 jars a year of jams, jellies, pickles, tomato sauces, vegetables and eau-de-vie. Also prepares olives and olive oil from our land. all from a tiny 2m x 3m kitchen!

    I also design kitchens for others.

    I totally agree with your choices, bravo.

    I work with a huge marble sink, 2 ovens, a big fridge, marble counters (they are cheap and traditional here). I have 3 wall-mounted poles to hang pots & pans, graters and smaller items (spatulas, whisks etc).

    Trays, oven trays, serving plates are kept on an old fashioned plate rack on the wall.

    Knives wall-mounted on a long magnet.

    A small tray with olive oil, fine & rough salt, pepper mill sits next to the hob.

    Food supplies are stored in the kitchen, plates cups etc are OUTSIDE the kitchen but nearby.

    The 2 worktops are always clear, except for an old Kitchen Aid mixer, the kettle and a toaster.

    Have recently switched to a good induction hob – am in love with it. Have a single portable gas hob for greek coffee and cooking with terracotta pots.

    Thank you for the tip on the kitchen mats!!!

  • October 8, 2012 11:53am

    Ok, I’m willing to do dishes if I can come over for tea and pie! What a stunning kitchen – amazing work! Also, great tip on the kitchen mats. My feet and back are forever fatigued from all the cookies I’ve made – a mat would’ve surely helped!

  • October 8, 2012 12:54pm

    Congratulations, your kitchen looks fantastic! But I kept hyperventilating reading through the post, til I was breathless at the end. I kept wondering why it looks like you are cooking for at least ten people everyday. I feed a household of eight, and your “collections” for a household of one justifies the amount of utensils in my kitchen! ;-)

  • October 8, 2012 2:09pm

    I’m just about to confirm the order for my new kitchen, and I have pretty much gone for the same colourings – white cupboards, wood bench top and stainless steel. I wanted to go further and get an amazing sink, handles etc, but as a future rental I have to leave my dream kitchen for another time. Thanks for sharing your kitchen experiences, it’s been nice to read what you’ve been through :)

  • October 8, 2012 2:24pm

    Love it, David! Congrats on finally finishing!

  • T
    October 8, 2012 4:21pm

    I absolutely love your blog. Thank you for painting a picture of your experiences in Paris. It is wonderful to read of your adventures. You are also a baking genius. I think you are my chocolate soul-mate.

  • What a great working kitchen and tips on efficiency. When you said “let’s just say that if I ever take on this kind of project again, I’ll do things a little lot differently” it rang so true to me from my own kitchen remodel. There are things you have done that I can still incorporate, and I definitely will. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lisa Quattrini
    October 8, 2012 6:10pm

    I LOVE the way you’ve designed this. It looks like a kitchen I could walk right into and be able to cook anything. THANK YOU for sharing – and I love that you didn’t bother with any frou-frou nonsense. :) Also thank you for storing your pans one-deep. I HATE reaching over things too!!!

    What a happy kitchen. It seems well worth the effort from over here in Texas!

  • Carolyn Z
    October 8, 2012 6:38pm

    I love the island workspace in the middle of the kitchen. Have always wanted one. Am glad you insisted on that.

    I have a good amount of counter space, but still need more room for the recipes and notebook that I use when I am baking or cooking.

    Hope you enjoy the new space! It’s nice to spread out one’s work uncluttered.

  • Dina
    October 8, 2012 6:44pm

    The size of your kitchen is the size of my sister’s apartment in Paris! LOL Thank you for all the tips. I will refer back to your articles when I’d need something done in Paris. (fingers crossed I end up there one day LOL) :) Btw, the kitchen is a dream! Job well done! Cocktail(s) deserved! :)

  • Craigkite
    October 8, 2012 8:06pm

    You seemed to have left out a couple of important elements to the remodel. Did you have to negotiate anything with a partner and what was the bottom line cost of this little slice of heaven? Of course, as an American Ex-Pat, you are allowed to take the fifth on this.

  • Kathy
    October 8, 2012 8:46pm

    Congratulations on your new cuisine! It looks like a great space to work your magic. Many happy recipes!

  • Mary P.
    October 8, 2012 9:42pm

    Love your great working space, especially love the sink – that sprayer!!! I would die for one of those. I am stuck in a townhome condo with a tiny oven and minute sink – more like a mini-bar sink – I mean what the h???!, doesn’t anyone cook anymore? Anyhow, thanks for the update, love it!

  • October 8, 2012 10:03pm

    that is one good lookin’ kitchen! we remodeled our kitchen in san francisco, and it was not easy either. though i can’t imagine doing in it french.

  • Jessika
    October 9, 2012 12:21am

    Always nice to see a kitchen that is being put to use, regardless of it being where you earn your living or not.
    I love the big counter-top in the middle. And the multitude of kitchen tools make it all feel reassuringly real.

  • October 9, 2012 3:15am

    I love how this turned out- what a project! A remodel is tricky anywhere but I can’t imagine doing one in Europe. My Aunt lives in Greece and said “I haven’t check my email in two months, I’m sure work needs things, but even if I wait a few more weeks, they won’t really be late.” Funny how different we can be. I love the American touches with the ice maker and other things you know you’ll love and use even if they aren’t traditionally Parisian. The huge collection of spoons and spatulas is awesome- every time I buy one of the Le Creuset super spatulas from Amazon for way too much I laugh at myself but it doesn’t stop me since they really are the best. Glad someone else agrees!

  • Steve
    October 9, 2012 5:23am

    Congratulations. It sounds like that was a project involving many complications that you never foresaw. May you enjoy that kitchen in good health for as long as you wish. (I seem to recall an earlier post in which you lamented a signal red oven display but I don’t see that in the current photos–perhaps you got rid of it?) It must be extra frustrating to go through a renovation knowing that places like Home Depot exist…just not in proximity to where you need them to be.

    Good luck with the unventilated French clothes dryer or, as I learned to think of them, the ‘spinning clothes oven.’

  • oliverde
    October 9, 2012 6:56am

    Congrats on surviving the remodel and on actually coming up with a very lovely kitchen. It looks great, and I hope it is a joy to work in.

  • Christine
    October 9, 2012 8:24am

    Lovely job on the kitchen! It is the largest I have ever seen in France. Did you do away with the living room?

  • October 9, 2012 8:59am

    I love how many spatulas you have. Wow! I thought I had a bunch, but I only have about 6 or so :)

  • October 9, 2012 2:42pm

    I use the same Italian espresso maker. Love it!

  • Peter
    October 9, 2012 3:27pm

    thanks for the much awaited post and pictures of the epic kitchen remodel… no we’re just curious what ever happened to ‘le toilet’ that was in the middle of the kitchen during the processes! :-)

    oh, I like the stainless steel bowls too, but have found that a rubber/silicone hot-pad placed underneath the bowl on the counter, works just as well (and is multipurpose) as those expensive bowls with rubber bottoms.

    what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger? well I’m certainly glad that this project didn’t kill you!

  • Charlotte
    October 9, 2012 7:29pm

    David, many years ago I took a cooking class from you at Sur Le Table in Los Gatos; flour less chocolate cake w/tangerine sorbet. I still use the recipe. Fast forward. Good to see pics of the kitchen, as I followed along with the remodeling. Two things you’ve lead me to recently; the Moka pot which is now my go-to above espresso machine, French press, and now Rancho Gordon beans. Thank you. Today I’m going to make your mole sauce for the first time. Charlotte

  • Roc
    October 9, 2012 9:13pm

    Here are a few tips based upon what I could see in your photos & remodelling my own kitchens every time I moved.
    The space above the fridge is a great big potential space IF it is structured properly. Visualize that space as a box, with access from the front. Now imagine that box with a lower space & upper space. If you were to have vertical boards dividing the lower space into sections – say 4 – you can store all your baking sheets, flat pans, trays, & the like and take them out easily from the access in the front just above your fridge height – no step stool, no rummaging. The pans stay neatly b/c the vertical sections keep them from falling sideways.
    I not only store my baking sheets & flat or shallow pans there, but also lids, & 1 section is reserved for the boxes of aluminum foil, baking parchment, plastic wrap.
    Now for the upper section. A horizontal board divides the box high enough to be above the sheets & other items. The big space still available is for your various big pots, roasters, etc. This is accessible probably only with a step stool.
    This organization of the above-fridge space uses it maximally than what is depicted in your photos & I would really urge you to consider it since the kitchen needs all the organized storage possible.
    I can send you a photo of my above-fridge space to show you what I mean if you like, but tell me where to send it so you will receive the photo.

    These are things that I was only able to do in 1 kitchen and it is probably too late to do it in yours. But here they are – if the depth of your counter is more or less the standard 24 inches[60 cm] AND you need to have many items on that counter, you have the photos of your kitchen with a great many things reducing the working counter space. BUT if you design the depth of the counter to be 30 inches, then you have the same amount of stuff our but you still have usable counter space in front of the stuff! If you can afford to have the drawers under that counter be the full depth, you have storage space for much much more in the drawers, something like 30% more in each drawer.

    2nd idea – if you have elevated the counter height, as you describe, and your under -counter cabinets are the standard height, you have a nice space below the cabinet for a shallow drawer which can hold flat items like possibly lids, trays, placemats, towels, a cat dish.

    After a lot of research, I found that the cheapest most efficient & flexible, versatile lights were track lights, with the fixtures taking fluorescents. NEVER use halogens in the kitchen despite what many kitchen designers like b/c halogens are the most heat producing & the kitchen produces too much heat already, especially in the summer. Fluorescents can be “warm” & are low heat producing. Track systems are better than fixed light fixtures b/c you do not need to pay an electrician PER FIXTURE but only for the single ceiling connection. Then wherever you want light, you add the fixture to the track. And of course, once the electrician has departed & you realize that ,oh no, you need light in another spot, you just attach another light yourself. But I dislike the thin wires that constitute the Euro tracks, I prefer the US style which hugs the ceiling & is a rigid track b/c they accept fluorescents whereas the Euro tracks I have seen appear to be only for halogens. The US light fixtures BTW all will work with 220/230v. So US tracks will work in Paris. Under-cabinet lights nowadays are preferably light producing diodes.

  • Rochelle
    October 9, 2012 9:24pm

    Sorry, there is more. The light fixtures I was describing were standard bulb sockets that accepted screw in fluorescent light bulbs. Besides the low heat of fluorescents, they draw little electricity so you can put quite a few onto the track without causing an overload. But I haven’t found the euro wire tracks that versatile. Maybe in Paris they are…

    A more resilient & easy-care & interesting floor is the old style linoleum. It is antibacterial and for a small kitchen can be seamless. This product is natural & the color goes all the way thru. It is a somewhat softer floor so also a little more forgiving to breakables.

    The drawer pulls I use I wanted to be seamless and smooth so that they would not accumulate hard to remove grime in tiny crevices. If they are big enough, they can be used to hang towels or cloths upon.

  • Hillary
    October 9, 2012 9:26pm

    So happy to finally hear the story of your kitchen! And thanks for reminding me that I wanted to buy a silicone whisk. :)

  • Rochelle
    October 9, 2012 11:41pm

    Here is a picture like what I did above my fridge:
    It is the 2nd photo as you scroll down
    This is their more succinct description:

    If storage is a priority in your kitchen, install a cabinet above the fridge. Make it as deep as the fridge and take it all the way to the ceiling.

    And the front of this cabinet is flush with the front of your fridge. Or leave off the door of this cabinet for visible storage.

  • Cynthia Lambert
    October 10, 2012 12:09am

    I have a 36″ Viking gas oven that takes a very long time to preheat like your large oven does.It does not maintain a constant temp. for good baking results.
    What brand of convection, microwave did you buy? I need one.

  • Melanie
    October 10, 2012 12:51am

    Your kitchen looks fabulous, worth all the drama. Where did you buy the salt box in the fifth picture? I’ve been looking around for one on Amazon and Ebay and either they’re modern bamboo looking not like a box or antique and too expensive. Any ideas? Thanks.

    • October 10, 2012 8:05am
      David Lebovitz

      I found it at a flea market in the south of France a few years back. I don’t know if it’s a salt box or not, but I use it as that. It’s a little hard to get my hand into, and often when I pull my hand out, it knocks the lid down. So if you’re looking for one, make sure it’s something easy to get in and out with … with just one hand!

  • October 10, 2012 3:50am

    It is gorgeous and functional and seems incredibly work-friendly. Congratulations. I am horribly envious.

  • BelleD
    October 10, 2012 10:21pm

    Congrats! It’s a great looking kitchen. Thank you for sharing the pictures.

  • Martha in KS
    October 11, 2012 1:22am

    I love your kitchen. I spent a few years in restaurant kitchens & appreciate the simplicity of open shelves & everything at hand. I also love spatulas & have purchased several types. I have cannisters that look like yours but they’re made by OXO. You might check into those – love the push-buttons to seal them.

    There’s no place like home…

  • susank
    October 11, 2012 7:02am

    Stainless steel shelves! I want them!

  • October 11, 2012 6:39pm

    I love your new kitchen! The French family I live with in Paris has a sink just like yours, I wonder how they got it. Also as an American I concur with the double-oven question; totally necessary.

  • TominBoston
    October 11, 2012 10:35pm

    If I were to re-remodel my kitchen, I would use yours as a model. Fantastic. Congrats.

  • Sweet
    October 11, 2012 11:49pm

    Please, more pictures of your darling kitchen! It is heaven. I love what you have done and can appreciate the blood sweat and more than a few tearsit took to get there… Well done, Sir!

  • cecille
    October 12, 2012 3:01am

    this is great! love the shelves- and If i find myself planning a trip to Paris- sure, I’ll bring you a gelpro mat!

  • Bebe
    October 12, 2012 4:02am

    Oh geez, blah, blah, blah about how great your kitchen looks, but the real question is… does it work for you, dammit? That’s what it boils down to for all of us… does it work? For you?

  • polly
    October 12, 2012 7:17am

    Hi David! We’re also in the process of renovating our house so I know how hard it can be! I’m also looking for a large sink fitting the needs of my extended family but I’m having a really hard time finding one here in the Philippines. It’s tempting to copy my friend’s concrete version, but it seems a bit too cold and severe-looking – I’m not that desperate yet! Yours look lovely, by the way.

  • Sarah
    October 12, 2012 5:41pm

    Your kitchen looks amazing! Perhaps you’ve already answered this question–I’m reading through the comments though and not seeing it–but is that Ikea countertop? Looks like it might possibly be the 1.5-inch Numerar (as it’s known here in the US, and maybe elsewhere too)? It looks great. I’ve been researching butcher block counters for my own kitchen renovation; trying to figure out if the Ikea ones will eventually buckle or get funky from everyday wear (even if I treat them every 3-4 months). Yours looks lovely. Any tips/advice would be most welcome.

    They are the Ikea countertops. I was, um, incorrectly advised that they could be glued together to make a larger countertop. However they do not match quite up and these is a gap between some of them. They are fine for single countertops, but I would not recommend letting someone talk you into putting several of them together. -dl

  • Danielle
    October 15, 2012 3:01am

    Your new kitchen is beautiful! Congrats on surviving a kitchen remodel – and in Paris, to boot! I hope you get many, many years of enjoyment from it!

    • Cynthia Lambert
      October 15, 2012 5:22am

      Hi David,
      Like your large oven, my Viking 36″ gas one takes a very long time to heat up.
      It cycles & so does not keep consistant temp. for baking. What kind of convection /Microwave do you have & does it do the job?

  • Wee
    October 15, 2012 7:32am

    Dear David,
    so nice to see your kitchen at last! Hauling out my kitchen in Paris as well and i know what a pain it can be. two questions, you could help save me from making a potential hand-wringing error:

    1. did you ever consider granite for the counter top? I’ve always, always loved wood but thought i should go for granite for its smoothness and hygiene. I work with dough a lot but never used a a wooden countertop before. Does flour get stuck in the crevices in the wood?? Does it pick up the pattern of the wood? Is it easy to sanitise? I guess you should know as a pastry chef.

    2. first time i’ve heard of these anti-fatigue mats. Do they make a difference, i.e., will my calves feel less sore after a day’s standing :))? What are they made of and how to clean?

    Sadly i kinda already regret my kitchen – layout and flooring – but it’s too late. The only thing i havent committed to yet is the countertop…

  • AmyH
    October 16, 2012 12:53am

    I have been waiting for this post. Your kitchen is beautiful and so large! What a shock that must be to your Parisian friends! Thanks for a peek inside!

  • Terry
    October 16, 2012 2:10am

    I have been waiting with such anticipation to see how your kitchen turned out! Thanks for the whole story and all the pictures. I even put that faucet in my amazon Wish List. I just got back from my little week’s vacation in Paris, and learned that I couldn’t get the microwave to do *anything* except 30-second cycles. Their control pad IS very different than ours.

    Congratulations on your wonderful new kitchen! In a few weeks you won’t even remember all the headaches. And your French friends might just start copying and talking about the “American kitchen”!

  • October 19, 2012 8:02pm

    Great and funny post.

    Congratulations on the new kitchen. :)

  • Bill Lee
    October 20, 2012 7:57pm

    David – I’ve been waiting for a picture post of your new kitchen. Looks great! I hope you enjoy cooking in it as much as we all enjoy hearing about it. Best of luck from the East Bay!

  • October 21, 2012 12:30am

    I have been waiting to see your new kitchen. Thanks for sharing it with us. The sink is perfect and all of the counter space is , I’m sure, well used. We rented an apartment in Paris last June and the kitchen left a lot to be desired, but I was able to cook good stuff because it was Paris and I loved being there. I have a feeling the glow would have passed after a few weeks.

  • Nick
    October 21, 2012 2:38pm

    Having followed your testing times previously, its good to see it all came together so well.
    I use the Nisbets here in UK and find them very helpful, didn’t realise they were Swiss, which would explain a lot.
    You can get Belfast/butlers sinks here along with industrial spray taps, although I think the double bowl version is called a hospital sink. Still you don’t want to be redoing it, do you?
    Looks really nice, the place to enjoy making lots of great food – and of course entertaining.

  • October 23, 2012 11:26am

    I totally, utterly love your new kitchen! Well done on all the hard work! It’s huge by Parisian standards, what a luxury! I can’t wait to see all the delicious things you create in the new space :)

    xox Sarah

  • October 25, 2012 11:44pm

    Beautiful kitchen! Love the airy quality and how well organized it is.

  • October 28, 2012 10:15am

    I would love a kitchen like that here! I’m missing counter space. Also, my kitchen only has one outlet, and its behind/for the fridge. I have to use the living room outlets for the toaster oven and kettle. Lol!

  • November 1, 2012 9:44pm

    Ooooh those gel pro mats look wonderful! I think I just found my Christmas list. :D

  • Marylin Parkin
    November 1, 2012 11:43pm

    Oh David, I can relate to your travel making plans, I do the same. Your kitchen is the best I have ever seen. I love getting your monthly newsletters, any chance of you visiting Australia? My little kitchen would give you the horrors!

  • violette kogut
    November 2, 2012 1:37am

    J’aime lire vos articles ,ils sont amusants et pleins d’humour…. I can imagine the difficult time you had to get all the things you needed for your kitchen, but we have just about everything in France if you have the money,

  • November 2, 2012 1:57am

    Hello David,
    I am just starting to remodel my kitchen and seeing and reading about yours gave me some great ideas.
    By the way United airlines is putting back their non stop Paris to San Francisco next spring.
    So please do come home,

  • November 2, 2012 5:16am

    What a wonderful kitchen, David!

  • Mani Niall
    November 2, 2012 7:17am

    emergency cocktail
    love that phrase!

  • Donnie Maunakea
    November 3, 2012 2:08pm

    I am so thrilled to finally see it finished, it was a lot of work, but your kitchen turned out beautiful, enjoy!

  • November 5, 2012 5:38am

    Beautiful! Thanks for explaining everything in such detail. Very interesting and helpful. I hope to one day have such a beautiful kitchen.