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5 Smart Kitchen Tricks from Chef Sunshine Puey-Pengson

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. For some, kitchens aren't just for whipping up a meal but a living space where people cultivate their culinary creativity. And that certainly holds true for Sunshine Puey-Pengson, owner of Gourmandise by Sunshine, wife to Chef Rob Pengson, and mom to two boys. “I've always been interested in cooking and baking ever since I was a child. I would join cooking classes for the summer and spend so much time in the kitchen growing up. It comes from loving to eat and from a mom who encouraged me at an early age,” Sunshine says.

Walking into their home in the South, you are welcomed by a spacious open flow design that has a simple yet homey feel. Moving on to the kitchen, Sunshine quips, “The kitchen is quite classic in design. After years of working in restaurant kitchens, I like coming home to a more homey kitchen. I also built it with the idea of making it a real working kitchen knowing that I would be home-based eventually.” In her kitchen, no space is put to waste—you’ll find plenty of custom cabinetry, a center island, and hanging pots and pans to add style to the space. “I love that the big center island holds all my gadgets and appliances. It’s an absolute must for me and something I can't live without. Everything is easily accessible and work-ready.” And her favorite part of the kitchen, if you may ask? It’s the refrigerator, and where all her son’s artworks are displayed, which she considers her prized possessions.


Sunshine’s 5 Kitchen Tricks

Professional cook or not, you can build that dream kitchen with these tips:

1. Get a center island. No matter how small, it can make a world of difference. 

2. A cool work countertop, like marble or granite, is perfect for baking and chocolate work. 

3. Get multiple counter-height outlets to easily plug-in your appliances. 

4. Vertical shelves are ideal for all your chopping boards and baking trays so you don't need to stack them on top of each other. 

5. Install a small hand sink aside from the dishwasher sink.


Photographs by Jar Concengco