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Wylie Dufresne Reveals His Super Functional Home Kitchen

How the former WD~50 chef custom built his kitchen

In honor of this week's relaunch of Eater sister site Curbed, Eater New York headed to Lyme, Connecticut to peek around the kitchen of chef Wylie Dufresne's weekend home. The bright, open kitchen is the first thing you see when you walk through the door, and easily what stays with you the most once you've left. Take a look for yourself below.

When Wylie Dufresne and his wife Maile Carpenter — Editor in Chief at Food Network Magazine — purchased their Connecticut home in 2012, the first order of business for the culinary couple was the kitchen. Prior to moving in, the couple spent months overseeing the kitchen's gut-renovation and overall design.

"We didn't base the design off anything," Dufresne says. "We had a finite amount of space and a good sense of what we wanted." For the James Beard Award-winning chef, it was all about bringing the most practical elements of a professional kitchen into his home.

The kitchen's centerpiece is a stunning island topped with a single piece of maple wood provided by cutting board makers Boos. Despite the source, actually cutting on it would ruin the wood, Dufresne says.

The island — which Dufresne adds is similar in size to the kitchen in his Manhattan apartment — is where dough is rolled to make cake doughnuts. It's where you'll often find a glass bowl filled to the brim with fresh fruit. It's where the couple's two daughters sit plugged into their devices over breakfast. It also happens to have killer storage space.

[The waffle maker used to make chicken and waffles at Alder]

But getting the beautiful centerpiece wasn't easy. On the first attempt, the hole that was carved for the hand sink was cut in the wrong place. It was sent back a second time because there were one too many dings in the wood. Today, after nearly five years of having the piece in his home, it's still one of Dufresne's favorite features.

Dufresne's other favorite aspects of the kitchen are the little details you have to look for. "People in professional kitchens and homes often underestimate the value of garbage cans being close at hand," he says. "You can't have too many garbage cans." Especially when Dufresne is making burgers and Carpenter is baking cakes, the couple gets to work alongside each other as one of their daughters runs in to throw away a juice box.

And don't forget about the sink. This seemingly minor detail is one Dufresne fought for. "The fact that the sink is really big is very satisfying," he says. The stainless steel sink is an extension of the kitchen's equally impressive stainless steel countertops. "It's what restaurants use and just the easiest to clean," he says.

Like Dufresne, the family's kitchen is lovely, inviting, and has a few tricks: The Viking microwave appears from a drawer in the island with the push of a button, a commercial-grade exhaust hood sucks the air right out of the house, and the hand sink is powered by a foot pedal. "I just love watching my little one trying to wash her hands over her head," he says.

But although one might expect to find more gadgets and gimmicks at the home of the man behind innovative restaruant WD~50, the hacks are simple and family-oriented. And it's better that way.

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