The Secret Chef's Tool That Turns Your Kitchen Into a Giant Prep Station
Cooking like a chef is a lot easier when you can prep and clean like a chef too, which is exactly why textile manufacturer Chilewich has teamed up with Eleven Madison Park's Daniel Humm—a man who appreciates boardwalk cotton candy and Nathan's hot dogs just as much as smoked-sturgeon cheesecake with caviar—on an innovative work surface that basically turns your entire kitchen into a giant prep station.
Called the Work Top, the kitchen covering was deigned to "address the functional and aesthetic demand" at Humm's EMP as well as the NoMad New York, and NoMad Los Angeles—and now it's available to home chefs. It's made from durable, easily-cleanable woven Chilewich textiles, and can be used for serving (if you're spill-prone), plating (if you want to save your countertops from some ambitious gremolata drizzles), or prep (if you just can't be contained by plates). Oh, and it's antimicrobial, which means while it doesn't kill all bacteria, it at least limits its spread.
While the Work Top is currently available by custom order (meaning you can cover all of you kitchen surfaces, or make a designated prep station), you can also buy a 30” x 72” version (standard commercial kitchen size) for $700 to $770, depending on the textile you choose. While, yes, it's on the pricey side, it'll also extend the life of your countertops (and, since you can wipe it down fairly easily, it'll also reduce post-meal clean-up time).
Of course, you don't have to go all-in on a restaurant-quality prep surface to bring some of Daniel Humm's cooking techniques into your kitchen. Check out our roundup of a few of the chef's go-to recipes—from creamy porcini risotto to roast veal with marjoram—here. And, for more tips on how to keep your cooking space up to top-chef standards, take a look at Food & Wine's roundup of the best kitchen cleaning tips from professional cooks.