These days the James Beard Award–winning chef, TV host, and author is mostly cooking in the Kitchen Studio and Test Kitchen at the office of his production company and restaurant group, Intuitive Content and Passport Hospitality, which has massive firepower. “My favorite features are the flattop griddle on the cooktop in the rear, and the storage island that was designed with capacity to house all our tabletop appliances—and, most important, it contains our wine fridge, plate warmers, and utility cabinets.” Zimmern is in the midst of a home redesign that includes a drool-worthy new kitchen with “Puustelli custom cabinetry and a full Gaggenau suite that includes some incredible features like a wok burner, steam oven, and large baking oven. My favorite feature there is also my island, where I cut out cutting board–sized sections so that my work space is flat all the way across.” The chef has been part of NYCWFF since the start, and this year offers a class making the Brazilian seafood stew called moqueca (October 10 at 6 p.m. ET). “It’s not only delicious, but I hope it will also raise awareness of the massive falloff of seafood sales here in America, where 70% of our seafood is sold in restaurants during a time when many are closed or hampered by limited seating.” He is also cooking a private subscription dinner with a charitable component.
The Chopped star judge and chef loves the layout of her home kitchen for its efficiency. “The island is my favorite part,” says Chauhan, “It truly is the heart of the kitchen so we can prep and cook together as a family. I’d describe my kitchen as homey and relaxed, a place where we can all be comfortable and enjoy being together.” She is celebrating her new book, Chaat, during her October 11 (12 p.m. ET) Goldbelly Presents Cook From the Book With Maneet Chauhan session, which focuses on Indian-inspired cooking. “It’s the same thing that excites me every year—bringing people together,” she says of the event where she’ll be virtually sharing her nostalgic sweet potato chaat recipe. “As a kid it was always one of my favorite street foods in Delhi during the winter,” Chauhan recalls. “It brings back very fond memories, and I’m looking forward to sharing that dish with others during the festival!”
French chocolatier and pastry chef Jacques Torres has very specific needs for his own kitchen, met by having many flat surfaces and both wood and marble countertops. “Using marble-top is great because I can put ice on it, cool it down to work easier with doughs that have lots of butter, or any kind of work with chocolate,” says the Nailed It! personality. Meanwhile, “the wood countertop is a great surface to make pizza or bread.” As someone who’s taught for 40 years and loves sharing the craft and techniques of pastry and chocolate making, Torres finds this year’s virtual forum a wonderful way to connect with even more people than usual. “I’m excited to elevate my famous chocolate chip cookie recipe to a delicious spooky haunted house!” he says of his October 6 (5 p.m. ET) class. “It will be a lot of fun!”