Renovating the kitchen of a professional chef is serious business. Here, architect Robert Miller was charged with creating a workhorse of a space that was at once beautiful, functional, and understanding of cooking as a spectator sport. After all, guests want to see where the magic happens.

The centerpiece of the room is a muscular island incorporating an industrial-strength range, plenty of storage, and a raised stainless “bistro-style” bar for taste-testers. French doors overlooking a vegetable garden and outdoor dining terrace are interspersed with slate panels, upon which shopping lists and menus are routinely updated in chalk.

The central philosophy of the design is that culinary mechanics should not be hidden but rather celebrated. Wraparound upper glass cabinets high above the work zone place the chef’s extensive cookbook collection on display, and a built-in desk serves as a transitional point between the open kitchen and the adjoining living room.

Entrant/Architect/Kitchen designer: Robert J. Miller III Architect, Maplewood, N.J. Builder: Brinton Brosius, Maplewood