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A Napa Chef's Dream Kitchen

An architect steals elements of restaurant design, from a stainless steel island to a superfast dishwasher.

"Most of our friends are chefs or in the wine business, so we wanted a big kitchen where everyone could cook together and hang out without getting in each other's way," says Kimball Jones, the chef at the Carneros Inn in Napa Valley. When he and his wife, Suzanne Groth Jones, the public relations manager of Groth Vineyards, built their new Arts and Crafts–style house, they called on architect Robert Gianelli, the man behind the Groth winery, to create a kitchen with restaurant design elements. The result is a 400-square-foot U-shaped space with enough room for two islands—one built-in, with oak cabinets and bar seating, and the other a movable restaurant-style stainless steel work table with open shelves ($280 from East Bay Restaurant Supply; 800-743-2526). Kimball loves the table because he can put hot pans on it without worrying about scorching. During parties, he uses the built-in island as a buffet, leaving plenty of room on the work table for prepping.

Stove The 60-inch-wide Viking gas range has two full-size convection ovens. The stove sits on casters, and there's a simple way to disconnect the gas line, so the whole thing can be moved easily. Open shelving next to the stove provides ready access to seasonings and cooking oils (from $8,300; 888-VIKING1).

Flooring The quartersawn oak flooring and cabinetry is extra durable and fits in with the Arts and Crafts style of the house. A natural stain on the flooring contrasts with the cabinets' custom dark-honey stain.

Cabinets Because Kimball is six feet four, he installed custom-made base cabinets that are 37 inches high—an inch taller than usual (from Gibson's Wood Products; 707-255-6211). The upper cabinets are 18 inches deep—six inches more than usual—to fit large plates or chargers.

Lighting Incandescent bulbs in the recessed lights are less expensive and give a warmer look than halogen. The three-light pendant from Maxim Lighting hangs 41 inches above the work table so Kimball won't hit his head ($248; 800-486-2946 or maximlighting.com).

Cabinet pulls The hammered, oil-rubbed bronze pulls are from Emtek's Arts and Crafts collection (from $7 each; 800-356-2741 or emtekproducts.com).

Pot filler The T&S Brass and Bronze Works chrome pot filler, to the left of the stove, has a five-foot-long stainless steel hose that can reach all the way to the other side of the range (from $305; 800-476-4103 or tsbrass.com).

Countertops and backsplash The 12-inch-square Tunas Green granite tile costs a fraction of the price of custom-cut slab stone, yet provides the same resistance to heat and stains (from $8 a sq ft from stone sources such as artisangranite.com).

Refrigerators Two 33-inch-wide Amana refrigerators with bottom-drawer freezers stand side by side, one with a left-hand hinge and the other a right, so they don't open into each other (from $1,240 each; 800-843-0304 or amana.com).

Electrical outlets Because they have a two-year-old son, the Joneses used self-locking electrical plugs throughout the kitchen. Two outlets are on either end of the built-in island, while two more are in the floor under the stainless steel table to power small appliances on the work surface.

Published October 2005
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