I Love My Kitchen Because: Brian Ray

As co-executive chef of New York City restaurant Buddakan, Brian Ray’s workplace is a culinary playground: the sprawling kitchen is one of the city’s biggest, with a larger footprint than some entire restaurants. At home it’s a different story: the kitchen at his Brooklyn apartment is a compact space, with pint-sized appliances to match. Still, there’s a lot to love. Here’s what he has to say:


Credit: Noah Fecks

• I have a typical very small New York City oven: There's no way I can bake a pie and roast a steak in there at the same time. Our fridge is basically the size of two mini fridges stacked on top of one another. It's not very big, and our landlord thought a fridge this small would give us more room for a table. Originally, the fridge was on this counter, but it was a little too high and my girlfriend couldn't reach the freezer. So we had to build a deck for it.

• One of my prized kitchen tools is a suribachi, a Japanese bowl I used to see on the original Iron Chef. It's basically used like a mortar and pestle. I thought it was so cool, and a friend spent a fortune to get one for me as a gift. I used to watch Iron Chef all the time, and then years later I ended up being on the show.

• My mother gave me our china, but we never use it. It's ugly. She got it as a wedding gift. I guess it looked much cooler in the 60s.

• A lot of chefs don't cook at home, but the way I see it is if I'm going to bust my ass making food night after night for hundreds of strangers, I really should cook for my loved ones. I cook at home at least once a week.


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