Chef Harold Dieterle gives a cooking demonstration for Houston-area Realtors in a Beazer Homes model home.
Photos: Courtesy Beazer Homes USA Chef Harold Dieterle gives a cooking demonstration for Houston-area Realtors in a Beazer Homes model home.

Who knows better how to put a kitchen through its paces than a chef? Beazer Homes USA has announced the addition of chef and restaurateur Harold Dieterle, winner of the Bravo network’s first season of “Top Chef,” to its SmartDesign team of experts. “We’re looking forward to him running our Chef’s Dream Kitchen through a rigorous workout and offering his expertise to our design team,” says Kathi James, chief marketing officer for Atlanta-based Beazer Homes.

Dieterle, who owns Perilla Restaurant in New York City, also is serving up some of his favorite recipes at Beazer communities in selected markets. At the end of July, more than 150 Realtors attended a cooking demonstration with Dieterle at a new community in Houston.

“It was huge,” James says. “Within an hour of sending out an e-blast, we had 100 RSVPs. This was a special way to demonstrate the value of our kitchen. It’s a fun way to bring a large group together, inspire them, and let them see the kitchen being used.”

With ample storage, built-in organizers, chef-grade appliances, and a generous center island, the Chef’s Dream Kitchen is designed to appeal to home cooking enthusiasts. It responds directly to the needs of consumers who were recently surveyed by Market Tools on behalf of Beazer. Seventy percent of the respondents considered such upgraded kitchen features of “utmost importance” in their next home purchase; 29 percent ranked it as their top priority. Nearly half the respondents said that a kitchen designed with the help of a professional chef would increase their likelihood to cook at home.

Dieterle is the second national figure that Beazer has collaborated with on its SmartDesign process, which combines the skills of in-house architects, designers, and builders with vendors and consumers to build houses that match the way people live. Earlier this year, the builder teamed up with professional organizer Monica Ricci, who reviewed floor plans with the in-house architects to add such organizing features as a pet-washing station, a second-floor cleaning supply closet, and extensive garage storage. It also rolled out a set of green building practices called eSmart; those include Energy Star appliances, water-saving plumbing fixture, programmable thermostats, and compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Atlanta, GA.