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An Inside Look at This Test Cook's Home Kitchen

No home cook's kitchen is the same. See how Test Cook Alli Berkey has conveniently designed hers for happy cooking.

By Alli Berkey | November 30, 2018

A cook’s kitchen is as much about the equipment as it is about the food. That's why when I had the opportunity a few months ago to renovate my kitchen (a wasted space at the time), I knew I had to organize it in a way where my kitchen tools would have a chance to shine, just as my food does. After all, without their help, I wouldn't be able to create beautiful dinners for my family.

So with little-to-no budget and a few extension cords to get the job done, I got to work and organized my dream rental kitchen. Keeping sensibility and efficiency in mind, I created a space that worked for my style of cooking. As the sole cook in my house, I wanted to both organize my favorite pieces of equipment to cook swiftly but also put them on display without crowding the room. My solution? Create stations.

What are some of the tools on display in your kitchen? Let us know in the comments!

Alli Berkey

1. Quick Cooking Station

Alli Berkey's Kitchen
Alli Berkey's Kitchen

Years of line cooking at a much-loved French bistro in Boston meant learning how to utilize my 2 square feet of cooking space. To make my cooking area useful, I opted to keep the most important tools and ingredients—such as tongs, spoons, small bowls, salt, and my favorite olive oil—close by. 

To top it off, my cutting board and knives are located within the same area. Everything I could possibly need to prepare a quick meal is easily within reach.

Below you'll find some of my favorite kitchen equipment and ingredients I keep in the quick cooking station.

  • OXO Good Grips

    OXO Good Grips 11" Balloon Whisk

    With an ergonomic Santoprene rubber handle and a balanced, lightweight feel, this whisk is like an extension of your hand.

    [BUY NOW]

  •  Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

    California Olive Ranch Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    “Fruity,” “fragrant,” and “fresh,” with a “complex finish,” this top-ranked olive oil is a supermarket standout.

    [BUY NOW]

  • Fante’s Tapered Baker’s Pin

    Fante’s Tapered Baker’s Pin

    This is our former favorite pin, but it still offers superb control and maneuverability.


  • Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler

    Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler

    Don’t be fooled by its featherweight design and cheap price tag. This Y-shaped peeler can easily tackle every task.

    [BUY NOW]

2. Caffeine Corner

Alli Berkey's Kitchen

Mornings for me are all about coffee, because without it, I'd likely wear the wrong shoes to work. I feel just as strongly about my intake of coffee as I do my guests': Whether you regularly reside at my place or are just visiting, you'll find an organized coffee station right by the fridge. It has everything you need to make a good cup of joe.

Here are some of the equipment and ingredients you should keep in the caffeine corner of your kitchen.

  • Bodum Columbia French Press Coffee Maker

    Bodum Columbia French Press Coffee Maker

    This thick, insulated pot is as simple to use as a traditional glass press is, but it keeps coffee hot for much longer.

    [BUY NOW]

  • Technivorm Moccamaster 10-Cup Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe

    Technivorm Moccamaster 10-Cup Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe

    This automatic drip coffee maker consistently meets time and temperature guidelines.

    [BUY NOW]

  • Timolino Icon 16-Ounce Signature Vacuum Travel Tumbler

    Timolino Icon 16-Ounce Signature Vacuum Travel Tumbler

    This sleek mug kept coffee drinkably hot for more than an hour.

    [BUY NOW]

  • Peet’s Coffee Café Domingo

    Peet’s Coffee Café Domingo

    By far the darkest roast in the lineup, this sample came across as “extremely smooth” and “bold-tasting,” with a “stronger finish” than other samples.

    [BUY NOW]

3. The Teaching Shelf

Alli Berkey's Kitchen

There’s no better view than a shelf full of beautifully written and well-designed cookbooks. I love off-the-cuff cooking, but when it comes to baking, the more references nearby, the better. If you go into the pantry area of my kitchen, you'll find some of my favorite cookbooks to flip through for inspiration. I encourage home cooks to keep their top cookbooks in a convenient location, with their favorite recipes bookmarked.

Check out some of the cookbooks from Cook's Country, America's Test Kitchen, and Cook's Illustrated on my shelf.

  • The Complete Cook's Country TV Show Season 11 Cookbook

    The Complete Cook's Country TV Show Cookbook

    Cook along with the hit TV show! This eclectic collection offers foolproof methods for making more than 400 kitchen-tested recipes from all over America. 

    [SAVE 33% NOW]

  • The Perfect Cake

    The Perfect Cake

    America’s Test Kitchen’s first all-cake book is the definitive guide to any cake you could possibly crave.

    [SAVE 14% NOW]

  • The Perfect Cookie

    The Perfect Cookie

    In addition to being jam-packed with foolproof recipes, there are also tips and tricks galore that explain the science behind these popular treats.

    [SAVE 14% NOW]

  • Cook's Illustrated Cookbook

    Cook's Illustrated Cookbook

    The ultimate recipe resource: an indispensable treasury of more than 2,000 foolproof recipes and 150 test kitchen discoveries from the pages of Cook's Illustrated magazine. 

    [SAVE 40% NOW]

4. The Shop Around the Corner

Alli Berkey's Kitchen
Alli Berkey's Kitchen
Alli Berkey's Kitchen

Simple pieces with a bit of color are what I like most when looking for serving ware. They should not only bring some added design to the food but also be functional. I love the simplicity of Dansk serving ware, and having it on display in one place keeps my creative mind working. A quick shopping spree for all your favorite pieces will help take your food to the next level.

See the serving ware we recommend you keep in your kitchen.  

  • HIC Porcelain Lasagna Baking Dish

    HIC Porcelain Lasagna Baking Dish

    This porcelain baking dish has large handles for secure gripping and straight sides for easy serving.

    [BUY NOW]

  • Le Creuset Heritage Petite Au Gratin Dish, 6 ounces

    Le Creuset Heritage Petite Au Gratin Dish

    This wide, shallow dish created a generous surface area that allowed our fresh berry gratin to brown.

    [BUY NOW]

  • HIC 64 Ounce Soufflé

    HIC 64 Ounce Soufflé

    This dish is nearly the same height and thickness as our winning soufflé dish but comes at a more affordable price. It has a shelf-like indentation all the way around the inside rim and a slightly smaller capacity.

    [BUY NOW]

What are some of the tools on display in your kitchen? Let us know in the comments! And if you're looking for more equipment inspiration, check out the stories below from my team members.