Dearest ChowHounds, I need you. Soon. And a right up there, an apology from the start if I didn't post correctly/in the wrong department. If I did, please give me explicit directons (suitable for the Blonde that I am) on how to correct it.
Here's the poop: We're about to begin a HUGELY long overdue and extensive remodel on my hovel. I am not being modest on this-it's a strange mix of amazing and horrible, situated on primo $1 mil plus real estate in the Silicon Valley (it's just super spendy here).Outside looks like an abandoned meth lab; inside is spacious and getting there. Outside will be rectified!! When we're done, it should be rockin'. (Well, I'm hoping.)
I have five children, one roommate, one husband (sorry Sister Husbands!) and an extended family (it's not at all unusual for me to be cooking for 20+), and I work occasionally as a private chef and caterer. As the economy here picks up, I hope to amp up my business.
Sadly, a beloved relative died, leaving us a small legacy-not enough to go kooky, but enough to invest for the future, and fix up my creepy 70s kitchen. The house is 66 (mark of the beast ROTFLOL)years old.
The space allotted for the kitchen isn't vast, and wall space is at a premium. I'm trying to fit in a 36" integrated frig and a ditto freezer.
I need a stove. I'm specifically looking at a french range and am considering Molteni, Caumartin, Rorgue, and Officine Gullo. I would like performance to meet beauty. Ovens seem to be the sticking point in some that I've checked out. I need something larger, as I do big sheets of things, dehydrate fruit from our garden, make yoghurt etc. (obviously, i'm gonna need a second oven, right?)
I'm open to adding a wall oven, and in a dream scenario would like a two burner induction hob. The ability to clean under the burners is KEY-my old (and I know it's changed) Wolf is a nightmare, though the stove is solid; ditto Blue Star, Culinaire, and a host of others.
I've been able to touch/feel the Molteni and the Gullo(both amazing, but very different), and was hoping that someone, somewhere could give me feedback on any/all of the above(or something else I haven't considered).
One of the biggest problems I'm having is that many of the gorgeous and functional french ranges aren't UL listed. In and of itself, that's not a big deal, but it DOES affect my ability to get finals on my remodel, not to mention insurance issues. So my questions are as follows:
As avid cooks, what do you personally value in a kitchen (I'm pretty clear what I need/use/want, but perspective is awesome).
Any feedback on stoves you've actually cooked on that are wonderful would be bombe.
Things to watch out for? I've been researching and test-driving stoves for months, but I'm sure I've missed something.
Esthetics.I know beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but it needs to be stunning and well-made.the Molteni is, well, a bit clunky to my eye.
Stove depth: I can/pickle and so forth, and my pots for this are large. I need a greater front to back depth that a standard range, but commercial only stoves are ugly and don't always meet code for residential.
Guarantees/reliability/servicing is huge for my husband. So far so good on the brands i've mentioned, but would love input.
French top, aka coup de feu/french plaque. Would like it to NOT be token. Molteni, Rorgue and Caumartin seem to ave the real deal.
Please dearest Chowhounders-opine! You can even come over and cook on the stove I pick!