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'Top Chef' Alum Tiffani Faison on Her Dream Kitchen, Presented by Douglas Elliman

By Gary Duff | December 3, 2018 | Home & Real Estate

Top Chef fans got a glimpse of Tiffani Faison when they tuned into the first season of the food competition and watched as she crafted a plethora of stellar dishes that took her to the show's finale. Now with three restaurants (Sweet Cheeks, Tiger Mama, and Fool's Errand, the latter of which is her latest) in Boston, she's quickly become one of the city's hottest chefs. We chatted with Faison about what sold her on moving into Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood, what her dream kitchen looks like, and where she spends her downtime in Beantown.


On Why She Bought Her Home in Boston

As soon as you walk into our condo in JP, you see the kitchen. It has huge windows that face out to our backyard which has huge trees. So it feels like you’re in an apartment in the country. The kitchen was the reason we actually decided to buy our home. Because it's a loft-style apartment, there aren't very many doors so we put up a few walls and archways over the past five years.

Lofts offer home owners a fluid space to entertain in and out of the kitchen, and Boston's Seaport District houses lofts like this one that provide an open and airy feel. Ten large windows help bring the outdoors in, creating a great entertaining space to help you get your chef on like Tiffani.

On One Home Project She'd Like to Finish

My wife thought she was going to take on the refinishing of all the cabinets last year until I begged her not to. It’s a nightmare of a task and we live in a third-floor walk-up. Just the thought of taking them all down, removing all the hardware, re-sanding all of them, priming them a couple times, painting them, waiting for them to dry, and putting them back up, was too much for me. I didn’t say no to the project, but I did ask for an accurate timeline. I wanted a pie chart, a budget, and a date, because I can't live with things all over my house.

Creating the kitchen of your dreams always takes time. Douglas Elliman's latest Cambridge property offers home owners a versatile kitchen with plenty of cabinet and storage space for the needs of even the most adventurous home cook or chef. And with an open layout, the design possibilities are endless.

On Her Dream Kitchen Must-Haves

For me, I think geographically in the home, my dream kitchen has to open into the rest of the house. It is where I'd spend the most amount of time when I'm not sleeping. I think it’s extremely common to have a get together where everybody gravitates toward the kitchen. We’ve seen that play out in home design for probably about the last 10 to 15 years. Even if you're not entertaining, the idea of an open kitchen makes you feel like you're not ostracized to a corner of the house. That's really important to me.

I've seen a lot of kitchens, especially professional chef's, that have two dishwashers. I get why, but I don't think it's on my list. I enjoy scrubbing everything down and being done with it. I hate unloading the dishwasher. Dual ovens would be huge for me. If I could have an oven where I could use any combination of moist heat and dry heat, that would be epic, because most kitchens aren't set up for that. And then, a built-in coffee suite would be amazing, and a giant farmhouse sink, and a big island, and that's it. I'm a simple girl, haha.

This beachside property in Hull features a luxurious kitchen that opens into an ideal entertaining space. And with views that will have you feeling like you're living on an island off the coast of Massachusetts, your guests will have more than just the kitchen to gravitate to.

On Cooking With Friends

I don't mind people cooking with me in the kitchen. But here's the thing, I don't find that people try to frequently when you're a professional chef. People tend to stand and watch. My mother, for all holiday meals, saves all the prep work for me when I'm blessed enough to celebrate the holidays with her. There's usually a pile of onions, celery, and carrots waiting for me. I'm her personal chopper.

This home in Midtown features a perfect space to cook with friends. And when your meal is ready, you can enjoy it together, overlooking Boston Harbor with unobstructed views from the home's indoor/outdoor entertaining space.

On Her Favorite Dish to Cook at Home

This time of year we start doing larger pots of vegetable-based dishes. We have a Hungarian goulash dish that we do a lot at our house. It's a huge favorite. We also use that dish a lot when we entertain. It's really complex flavor-wise. It's great with good wine, elegant, and rustic enough not to intimidate guests.

If you love to cook, you'll never want to leave the cozy kitchen in this coveted corner waterfront home. Whether entertaining friends or enjoying a quiet meal with family, this space offers a comfort and warmth to make your favorite dishes.

On the Places She Loves to Visit in Beantown

Our area, around Fenway, obviously. We spend a lot of time at the Arnold Arboretum with our dog and the South End a decent amount. We've been the most ardent regulars at Mike & Patty's in Bay Village. We don't typically get a lot of time in the evening, so we try to have a meal together in the morning. Especially this time of year, we go to Pho Hoa in Dorchester before we go to work.

Located in the historic Charleston Navy Yard, this townhome is all about location, location, location! Just steps away from seaside restaurants and cafés, you'll have plenty to enjoy in the surrounding neighborhood.

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