Chef Joachim Splichal's home kitchen
With a food empire that spans two coasts and includes more than 60 cafes and restaurants, chef Joachim Splichal spends a lot more time these days filling out paperwork than plating diners’ orders. To do what he loves most -- cook -- the founder of Patina restaurant turns to a kitchen in that most personal of spaces: his home.
The San Marino estate that Splichal shares with his sons, 15-year-old fraternal twins Nicolas and Stephane, has two kitchens. The Monterey-style home opens onto a courtyard with an indoor-outdoor kitchen and poolside dining cabana designed with large-scale entertaining in mind. But the weeknight action happens inside the main house.
Compared with the outdoor kitchen, the family space inside is surprisingly minimalist for a chef with a penchant for French farmhouse antiques. But as Splichal prepares dinner for his family, the purpose of the fuss-free design becomes clear: This home kitchen is all about efficiency.
Pictured above: Splichal with sons Nicolas, left, and Stephane. At right, Stephane works by the Kohler vegetable sink. The granite island has 3-foot-wide butcher blocks at both ends to maximize ingredient prep time.
In the top stainless-steel drawer, next to the range: knives that Splichal uses every day. "Knife blocks take up too much space," the chef says.
Rather than keep lots of spices in the pantry, Splichal prefers to clip fresh thyme and oregano from a vertical herb garden outside the kitchen door. The pantry is home to just a few bags of dried beans and pasta and bars of chocolate. "That's really all you need in the kitchen at any one time," Splichal says. "People buy too many things for their pantry."
-- Jenn Garbee
Photos: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times