Elise Wiggins, chef and owner of the six-month-old restaurant Cattivella, loves the color red. The hue defines her personality: bright, energetic, and full of moxie. But when it came to designing the kitchen in her Stapleton home, she chose more neutral tones. “At work, I turn it on. But I can’t always be on,” she says. Much like her signature Italian dishes (she spent 12 years at Panzano before opening Cattivella), which strike a balance between innovation and comforting familiarity, Wiggins’ home kitchen is a professional-grade space punctuated with inviting details. Here, she shares her top tips for designing a kitchen.
Caesarstone countertops:
“Everyone gathers at the island and Caesarstone is modern, minimalist, and clean. Mine is a small home, so white counters help it feel open.”
Six-burner Wolf range with griddle and grill:
“I love to cook for large groups of people. A typical stove is built for smaller numbers.
Textured backsplash:
“I wanted white tile, but I know my cooking. With this, you really don’t notice the grease spatters.”
Infrared temperature gun:
“You just point the laser and it reads the temperature. It’s especially great with a wood-fired oven [Wiggins has a pizza oven in her backyard] because you need to know the exact temperature when you put in a pizza or bread.”
Vintage ice-chipper:
“Mine is red and from the ’60s, and I got it in Memphis. It chips and shaves ice for drinks like mint juleps.
Wolf convection steam oven:
“This guy locks in flavor because it injects steam. You don’t have to put a bowl of water in the oven to get crusty bread, and you can cook perfect prime rib because it steams it first and then caramelizes the exterior. Reheating leftovers: The food doesn’t dry out.”