Sir Terence Conran- Restaurateur, retail genius and author of the upcoming Kitchens: the Hub of the Home—names the things he adores.

By Monica F. Forrestall
Updated March 31, 2015


Conran prefers pans with heavy bottoms, because they cook evenly and retain heat well. The new Calphalon tri-ply stainless steel cookware fits both his and the F&W Test Kitchen’s requirements ($40 to $165; 800-434-4314).

Shaker Style

The kitchen at the Hancock Shaker Village in western Massachusetts, a museum and historical working farm, is "quite austere," Conran says, "but it has a great beauty" (junction of Rte. 20 and Rte. 41, Pittsfield; 413-443-0188).

Midcentury Modernism

When Conran was a student, in the late ’40s and early ’50s, he learned about modernism from the now defunct American magazine Art & Architecture:"It was my lifeline to a more exciting design world" (vintage issues from Gallagher’s; 212-473-2404).

Accessible Chic

In the late ’60s, Conran worked on products for a mail-order catalog from Prisunic (France’s Wal-Mart). He sees that mass-market revolution happening in America today: "Some things Martha [Stewart] does are a bit cutesy. But it shows that a person with really strong ideas can make an impact on the taste landscape."

Sound Design

The solid Biblioteque oak kitchen table is Conran’s favorite item of all those he’s designed: "You can cut up a bullock on it, then give it a good scrub afterwards" ($4,700; 212-755-9079).


For those contemplating a kitchen renovation, Conran recommends collecting catalogs from favorite manufacturers, such as Bulthaup, the German design company (212-966-7183 or


Conran predicts white dishes will never go out of style: "Food is beautiful enough by itself." His newest London restaurant, Almeida (his 28th), serves everything on white porcelain (30 Almeida St.; 011-44-20-7354-4777).


Conran says that in Britain people think of him as "the man who brought us stripped pine tables and chicken bricks"—covered terra-cotta roasters. "I make practical things that slip into your life," he says. "I’m not likely to create a great icon of modern design."


Conran can’t do without beech spoons. "I keep a big jar of them next to the stove," he says. "I don’t believe in fancy gadgets. They just clutter one’s life" ($2.50 from Broadway Panhandler; 866-266-5927).