What celebrity chef's kitchens really look like

When we watch most of our favorite celebrity chefs, they're not in their real home kitchens, of course. They're in studios and on sound stages, in kitchens outfitted by TV networks instead of the chefs and their families. And that doesn't really give you a glimpse into the life and style of your favorite chef.

But it's with an undeniable bit of curiosity that we all have to wonder what kind of kitchens they go home to, and where they're really whipping up lunch, dinner, and (probably) all sorts of in-between snacks for their families. What is Gordon Ramsay really cooking with? Does Ted Allen have a kitchen that's as classy as he is? Did Rachael Ray go for fun and eclectic?

Fortunately, many of your favorite celebrity chefs have shared bits and pieces of their lives — and their kitchens — on social media, so with a little bit of searching we can get a peek behind the curtain and see what life is like in the home of a celebrity chef... at least, a little bit.

Bobby Flay

Bobby Flay has been on TV screens for years, and he was one of the first celebrity chefs many of us welcomed into our homes. In 2017, he was the one inviting Today into his home in the Hamptons, and no one's going to be surprised to learn that he actually has two kitchens — one indoor and one outdoor.

The indoor kitchen is set up to have a definite cafe vibe, with plenty of seating at several round tables and more alongside a giant kitchen island. There's a giant white brick fireplace, plenty of storage space, and everything is decorated in an ultra-modern teal, cream, and silver. But, he says, that's not his favorite place to cook and entertain.

That's in the outdoor kitchen, and it's just downright envy-inducing. There's everything he could possibly need to whip up a lunch, and when he cooks lunch, he says it tends to last from 1:30 to 7 p.m. Give or take. There's a fridge and a sink, of course, several grills, and most importantly, a pizza oven that takes a full three hours to heat up. It gets put to regular and good use, too — he frequently entertains dozens of people at a time.

Giada De Laurentiis

When Pop Sugar got a look inside Giada De Laurentiis' home and specifically, her gorgeous kitchen, they found it was exactly what you would expect to see her coming home to. It's ultra sleek and super modern, with a gray, black, silver, and white color palette that's every bit as glamorous, chic, and welcoming as she is.

First, the counter space! There's enough there that it's going to make anyone and everyone jealous, even if you've just designed your own dream kitchen. Sure, white countertops might seem like a bit of a hassle, but that white marble pastry board is perfect for baking. There's a ton of cabinets, from floor to ceiling and still more inside a huge center island that's nothing short of majestic. Also there? A mini fridge, and here's the thing: There's also plenty of plants sitting in the windows, and a massive sofa not too far away from that massive island, perfect for hanging out on while everything's in the oven. And that all means it's the sort of kitchen — although it's super-chic and elegant — where you just know Sunday mornings are spent making French toast and parties of all shapes and sizes are hosted.

Jamie Oliver

Jamie and Jools Oliver didn't spare any expense when it came time to buy a house to raise their brood of children, and in 2016, they purchased a £8.95 million (about $11.4 million USD) home in north London. That price tag and the location is a bit deceiving, as the kitchen looks like it was plucked out of an English country home rather than one nestled in the country's biggest city.

Pots and pans hang from the plain white walls, and plates fill in the unreachable gap up to the high, pitched ceiling. There's plenty of workspace, including a massive, chunky wooden island and a long dining room table with plenty of room for the whole family and more than a few guests. It's more low-key and quiet than you might expect from a celebrity chef, but if there's one thing that definitely looks right at home in Jamie Oliver's kitchen, it's a framed picture on the wall reminding everyone to "Eat Your Greens." That's easy for his family — they have a giant vegetable garden, too.

Julia Child

It's impossible to overstate the importance Julia Child played in shaping the world's culinary landscape as we know it today. On television and through her books, she reached out to several generations of cooks and not only made cooking something much less intimidating than it had been, but she taught everyone how food wasn't just important for nourishing the body, but for the soul as well. And that's why it's not entirely surprising that you can still see and visit her kitchen — in 2001, she donated it to the Smithsonian.

And it's gorgeous and comforting at the same time, even though — according to Bio — she had everything in this kitchen built to her stature. That means the counters are slightly higher than normal, and everything's just a little bigger. Let's be honest, who wouldn't want a kitchen like that?

There's all kinds of little touches in the kitchen, decorated in such a brilliantly retro set of 1950s-era colors. Copper pots and pans hang on the wall, each in their spot designated by husband Paul Child, who drew the outlines of the pans in the places they belonged. The kitchen was originally in her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was turned into a set for filming the last of her television shows. She — and guests — used her personal cookware, and it's the same stuff you can still see at the museum.

Gordon Ramsay

Fans and followers of Gordon Ramsay and his family might recognize the kitchen of their London home. According to Ideal Home, it's been featured in quite a few shows, including Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch. In spite of the fact that it's been featured on television, it's still got a definite lived-in feel. It's clearly for family dinners, birthday parties, and gatherings of friends, not for display, and there's all the knick-knacks, books, and family photos you'd expect in any one of our kitchens.

It's open and airy, bright and colorful, and classy, all at the same time. Yes, there's rows of copper pots hanging from the ceiling, and there's also enough counter space to make everyone jealous. The color scheme is sage green and black with other dashes of color, and there never seems to be a shortage of flowers. And here's the thing — it looks like a kitchen that anyone and everyone would feel right at home in, grabbing one of the green chairs and pulling it up to the counter for a cup of coffee. It's the sort of kitchen you'd leave your shoes on in, and lend a hand drying dishes afterwards.

Ina Garten

Ina Garten — better known as the Barefoot Contessa — has a setup in East Hampton that most people can only dream of. According to Blue and White Home, her sprawling estate is both home and office; in addition to their main house, she also had a "barn" built for entertaining and for filming.

And the barn is a gorgeous building decorated in wood and white, one that most people would be perfectly happy to have as their main residence. It's the one you see on TV, with finishing touches like lamps on the counter and a massive butcher block. It's also the one that she shares the most of on her Instagram, but we also want to mention something else that's less frequently shared.

Town & Country reports that she also has an apartment in Manhattan, and in early 2018 she shared a photo of her new stove, complete with pot rack. It looks gorgeous, sure, but it's a huge deal. Garten reportedly partnered with a family-run French company called Lacanche to commission the $15,000 stove, which is one of only a relatively small number of units produced for American customers. It's good to be famous.

Guy Fieri

If there's any celebrity chef you might expect to have flames painted on the front of his stove and racing stripes down his countertops, it's Guy Fieri. And you wouldn't be too far off from the truth... partially. The other part is pretty shocking.

According to CheatSheet, Fieri and his family have lived in the same Santa Rosa home for decades, after he bought the rustic-looking "fixer-upper" without consulting his wife first. Now, they have the best of both worlds — a sprawling home with plenty of wood, iron, and steel, along with a stylish and modern interior. And the kitchen is definitely no exception, with dark wood cabinets, dark green countertops, and a few very cool, special features. Some — like the his-and-hers refrigerators — aren't something most might aspire to having, but other things — like a digital jukebox, a huge flat top, and sinks controlled by foot pedals are pretty cool. He also has a massive 27,500-BTU Viking gas wok burner because he hates waiting for things. We can all relate to that, too.

Rachael Ray

Fans are used to seeing Rachael Ray in the giant kitchen that is the set of her television show, but her real kitchen is the exact opposite. She told The Wall Street Journal, "If I put my arms out, I can reach from my refrigerator to my stove." The next time you think your kitchen is small, just remember that it's bigger than hers.

It's just as quirky and fun as she is, too. The kitchen — which is a part of her 1,800-square-foot home in New York City's East Village — has glass-fronted gray cabinets, dark blue appliances, and fun, funky orange mosaic tiles for a backsplash. She found those while she was in Italy, says Good Housekeeping, and the colorful mosaic perfectly matches the equally colorful dishware, towels, and bright orange kettles. It's tiny, sure, but Ray and her husband, John Cusimano, absolutely love it. She says the home — which features about one room on each of the narrow six stories — feels like a treehouse, and she's not going anywhere, she says, until "[they] carry me out of it in a box."

Emeril Lagasse

BAM! Emeril Lagasse is another one of those celebrity chefs that you can absolutely picture hanging out in his kitchen cooking for his entire family, and he does. Best of all? There's Instagram evidence that his footwear of choice is flip-flops, and while we're pretty sure that wouldn't fly in most commercial kitchens, he's Emeril and he doesn't have to care.

When Lagasse traded New York for the Gulf Coast of Florida, he got a home that completely captured the feel of hot and sunny Florida days, with a kitchen so light, open, and airy that you can almost smell the sea breeze. Everything is white, silver, and cream, save for the blue granite countertops in the center and butcher block along the prep areas. And yes, those are copper dishes within easy reach, and those are a whole bunch of sauces, seasonings, and oils all in a wooden tray also within easy reach. The dining room is just as elegant and chic, with the same color scheme and plenty of French accent pieces. It's Old World charm meets Florida coastal paradise, and it's not a bad place at all.

Ted Allen

Is Ted Allen's home kitchen as classy and as well put-together as he is? Absolutely.

Food & Wine sat down with Allen and his partner, Barry Rice, who also happens to be an interior decorator. And it looks exactly like you would expect a kitchen to look when it's been put together in a collaboration between a designer and a culinary professional.

The house actually dates back to the 19th century, but you would never know it from the ultra-modern kitchen with its stainless steel, granite, and dark wood. The massive stove is built into the kitchen island, and there's a super comfortable-looking bench sitting opposite the island for the lucky person who's just watching the cooking, not doing it. There's a completely separate fridge and freezer (perfect for storing frozen meals they can reheat after a long day), and light fixtures that use xenon bulbs instead of halogen to cut down on the heat. There's also three sinks, and they're all operated with foot pedals because, Allen says, "I'm a fanatic about food safety."

Andrew Zimmern

Andrew Zimmern might be known for eating anything and everything at least once, but when it comes to his own home kitchen it's pretty down-to-earth... at first glance. When he gave a tour of his kitchen, he showed off a space that any one of his fans would feel completely at home in. There was plenty of white, cream, and stainless steel, and — epically — a refrigerator covered with more magnets, papers, and stickers then you probably have on your own fridge. The entire thing — right down to the ceramic Pillsbury Doughboy on the fridge — has a very down-home, country kitchen sort of feel. Surprising, right?

The really interesting stuff is in the cupboards: olive oils smuggled home from around the world, vinegars from just as many countries, a ton of salsa and matzah, and another ton of noodles brought back from his trips. There's dried rare chilis of India, seaweed, honey from Guatemala, Syria, and Iran, teas, duck fat, all sorts of fermented and pickled things, and "indispensable" coffee syrup. While he doesn't explicitly say that he also has the tears of a mermaid from Norway and ground dragon scales... we're not betting against it.

Alex Guarnaschelli

In 2019, Alex Guarnaschelli got to do what many of us only dream of being able to do: Build a brand new kitchen in her home, backed by the experience, know-how, and bankroll of a professional chef. And the results are gorgeous — a kitchen you would never expect to find in a Bridgehampton, New York farmhouse that was originally built in 1925.

She told Food & Wine that she was very, very adamant about what she wanted in her kitchen, and no amount of convincing from decorators was going to change her mind. She wanted a ton of wide open, empty space, and a lot of light — the latter, mostly because she had spent decades working in rooms with no windows and no natural light.

Her other must-haves? A wine fridge (that she also uses for fermenting pickles and sauerkraut), a sink-and-dishwasher combo for food prep dishes and another pair for serving dishes, a ton of outlets, transparent cabinets, and a sink that's close to the stove. All that's wrapped up in a package that's mostly beige and stainless steel with red highlights, a mix of vintage Americana with a super modern feel. And what's in her fridge? A ton of condiments and many, many jars of pickles.

Prue Leith

The Great British Bake Off is a massive hit on both sides of the pond, and watching the most delicious baked goods coming together on-screen is almost therapeutic. You might imagine the judges heading home to their own quaint English countryside homes, and in the case of Prue Leith, you would be absolutely correct.

She's been in the same home for decades, and she describes her gorgeous house in the Cotswolds like this: "It was a big old house with a ramshackle garden with the bones of good design still visible in the trees and hedges." It sounds like something out of the pages of a 19th century novel, certainly, but it's very real. 

So, what about her kitchen? It's very open, lined with shelves and racks where everything sits out in plain sight and within easy reach, from jars and coffee mugs, to pots, pans, and utensils. There's plenty of workspace and a view outside, with wood floors, granite counter tops, and plenty of light — just exactly what you would expect to see in her home.