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What I Learned About Kitchen Organization from a Pro Chef

Reader Feature: Silvestro’s Organized, Eclectic Kitchen

Hey guys! I am really excited to share this reader submission with you today, hailing all the way from The Awaiting Table cooking school & wine program in Lecce, Italy! When Silvestro messaged me to share his amazing kitchen transformation, I jumped at the chance. Kitchen organization tips from a professional chef? Sign me up!!

It’s actually a really cool story. It started when Silvestro had a dream one night:

My free hand spun towards a knife and it was right where it should have been. I grabbed down a saute pan, right from the hook. I rested a colander in the stone sink. Edith Piaf drifted through the air. As did the smell of onions sauteing in good green olive oil. A massive herb garden called to me from just outside the kitchen door. It was such a vivid dream that I couldn’t shake it for the rest of the next day.  Each night that winter while drifting off, I encouraged my mind to recall the room again, the feeling of being in such a place. Each night I added little touches. A ready crock of wooden spoons always within reach. A handy place to keep cooking wine, good enough to drink. Pretty enamel pots, groaning to be used.

Here’s a “before” photo of the space that inspired his dream:

Kitchen-Makeover-DIY

The property agent showed me the place with a flash light in late afternoon in the middle of winter. It stank. Things scurried in dark corners. Never a good sign- with no running water- parts of the floor were still flooded. Not only was there no electricity but most rooms weren’t even wired. Never had been. Not only were there no utilities, even the faucets and knobs had been removed.

He had his work cut out for him, but he knew that he wanted the kitchen to be warm, inviting, and efficient.

One of the ways I did this was by putting everything out in the open, both as a way to make everything instantly accessible, but too, to convey a certain spirit, of openness, conviviality and that sort of country simplicity, where decorating is not something you put around your things, but your things themselves.

Can you believe this is the same kitchen??

Kitchen-Organizing-Tips

  • All of his cooking tools are organized by category & within easy reach of his cooking range.
  • His grandmother’s colander collection is multipurpose, showcasing meaningful decor while offering accessible, functional storage that takes advantage of vertical space.

Kitchen-Layouts, cutting boards

  • Cutting boards are displayed like art canvases, once again pulling double duty as decor and storage on an open wall.

Kitchen-Storage-Tips

  • Dried herbs double as fragrant decor and convenient storage as they hang from a clothesline overhead.
  • Everything is labeled in Italian, allowing new students to practice the language while keeping everything beautifully organized.

For more photos and info about his amazing kitchen transformation, check out his blog post, “La Mia Cucina.” Silvestro, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful space! Best wishes on your upcoming adventures as you begin your annual bike tour through Southern Italian Wine Country!!

What have you done in your kitchen to make the workflow easier or less time-consuming?

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2 comments on “What I Learned About Kitchen Organization from a Pro Chef
  1. Kelly @ View Along the Way says:

    Wow, just wow! This is such a cool, personal, unique kitchen, and I’m crazy about the colander collection! So inspiring!

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