Peter Salerno’s Top Product Picks

Check out this award-winning designer's favorite products
By Alice Liao
May 03, 2010

Award-winning designer Peter Salerno, CMKBD, of Peter Salerno, Inc., believes that all kitchen designers should take at least one cooking class. In fact, “I think it should be a prerequisite for getting your ‘CKD,’” he said. Salerno speaks from experience, having decided to do so himself midway through his 28-year career in the kitchen and bath industry. He was prompted when a client asked if, given his profession, he cooked. “That made all the sense in the world,” Salerno said. “So I signed up for classes at Kings [a local supermarket].” From there, he went on to take several more, including some at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, where he learned everything from making gourmet breakfasts to barbecuing to creating appetizers and Italian pastas, pizzas and sauces.

Needless to say, his studies have changed the way he designs kitchens. Not only has his coursework provided him with a profound understanding of how a kitchen should be organized for optimum functionality and of practical details such as how many pot drawers one needs—he suggests four—it has also helped grease the wheels when advising his clients. “When I tell them that I take classes and what I made over the weekend, their attitude becomes one of ‘well, of course, he knows because he cooks,’” Salerno said. “It makes a big difference.”

So what products have earned nods from this designer who can whip up a seafood pasta “that will make you weep”? As with professional chefs, a good range is critical and Salerno swears by Wolf. He himself owns a 48-in. dual-fuel model (below, top) with six burners and a griddle. And because Salerno prefers to serve an entire meal all at once, a Wolf warming drawer (below, bottom) is a must in his own kitchen and a highly recommended purchase for his clients. According to Salerno, not only does good food demand quality ingredients, as well as proper cooking technique, it also needs to be served at the right temperature. With different dishes requiring different cooking times, a warming drawer can go a long way toward ensuring that every component of a meal is at its best when served. kitchen product, Wolf range kitchen products, Wolf warming drawer For the freedom it allows him in his design work, Sub-Zero’s refrigeration (below) also ranks high on Salerno’s list. He is particularly fond of the 736 “because it can be completely integrated and concealed” and puts the freezer compartment at the bottom for better ergonomics. kitchen products, Sub-Zero refrigerator For a good farmhouse sink, Salerno often turns to Rohl’s Shaws 30-in. RC3018 (below). The handmade fireclay basin features solid craftsmanship, is oversized and “has nice rounded corners,” he noted. In addition, “it’s great for installation.” kitchen product, Rohl Shaws sink Another staple in Salerno’s design arsenal are Perrin & Rowe faucets from Rohl (below), especially bridge models with lever handles (Model U.4764 shown). A fitting complement to his kitchens, which tend toward the classic and frequently the grand, the faucets combine “elegance, quality, style and great design,” he said. kitchen product, Perrin & Rowe faucets from Rohl Add gourmet-ready functionality and the description could easily apply to Salerno’s kitchens, too.
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