Take a look inside a professional chef’s home kitchen, designed for family-style cooking and relaxed chats
When executive chef Ian Curley comes home, he shifts gears from managing five restaurants, a few bars, a racing club, and other projects, into family mode with his partner Dr. Simone Bamford and their three girls, Cooper, Cassidy, and Cameron. The couple had their kitchen renovated to transform an awkward beige space into a clean and well-organised room, with easy-to-clean surfaces and reliable appliances.
Here, Curley shares the materials and design choices that make a home kitchen comfortable and functional for a professional chef, and shows us how he uses the space to get creative with food.
Creative Space at a Glance
Name: Ian Curley
Occupation: Chef Owner French Saloon, Kirk’s Wine Bar, Kirk’s Cellar Dining, as well as Consulting Chef to Melbourne Racing Club and Craig’s Royal Hotel Ballarat, to name a few.
Location: Brighton, Victoria
What’s made here: Beautiful meals for friends and family
The island is a new addition to the kitchen’s configuration. A 20-millimetre-thick slab of Dekton engineered stone in ‘Zenith’ makes up both Curley’s benchtops and splashbacks. This is an ultra-compact slab material that is resistant to scratches, impact, and heat, making it perfect for a busy family kitchen.Once he had kids, Curley’s focus and practises changed dramatically. He went from spending all of his time in the kitchen on the stoves, cooking and shouting at his staff, to taking a step back, teaching techniques and delegating tasks rather than doing everything himself. “At work everyone says ‘Yes!’. They rely on you to set the direction. At home, I am the fifth wheel, it is Simone and the kids, and then I’m at the end, so I can relax. At home I don’t need to be in charge, that works for me, when I do come home it is my sanctuary.”Curley’s portrait hanging on the wall was captured by photographer Julian Kingma, from where he featured in an article for The Age about high-flying and influential men. His own favourite chef is Fergus Henderson from St. John restaurant in London.