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Acclaimed Michelin-starred chef Henrik Ritzén chose Caesarstone Empira White quartz worktops for his hard-working home kitchen.

henrik-ritzen-empira-white-01Swedish born chef Henrik Ritzén is the Executive Chef at Bluebird Restaurants, and he specialises in dishes using locally sourced, high quality ingredients. Excited by the differing seasons, and with his Nordic roots often a reference point in his culinary combinations, Henrik’s approach is focused on simplicity and freshness, in letting the produce speak for itself. It was this elegant and refined approach to cooking that saw his Aquavit London restaurant awarded a coveted Michelin star just 10 months after opening.

henrik-ritzen-empira-white-08Henrik approached Scandinavian bespoke interiors specialists Sola Kitchens with a number of key considerations when planning his new kitchen. The new kitchen was to become a social space, to host and entertain family and friends, so it had to be the welcoming heart of the home. Crucially for Henrik, it also needed to be exceptionally hard-working. As Millie Talbot, of Sola Kitchens, explains:

“A key part of Henrik’s brief was to create a space for experimenting and creating new recipes for his restaurant”.

henrik-ritzen-empira-white-07Given the demands of the kitchen, the choice of worktop surfaces was crucial. Henrik chose the worktop himself, opting for Caesarstone’s 5151 Empira White quartz countertops.

henrik-ritzen-empira-white-02Empira White, from the Supernatural Collection, benefits from the hard-wearing qualities of all Caesarstone surfaces. Non-porous, stain-resistant, and durable, Empira White was a preferable solution compared to a natural marble worktop alternative, which would have required greater maintenance and regular sealing to looks it best.

Empira White also benefits from an authentic organic appearance. Inspired as much by the captivating interplay of shadow and lightness and the diverse structures and patterns found in the natural world, such as in tree branches or roots, as much as it references quarried Calacatta stone in its design, Empira White is a sophisticated modern interpretation of classic marble luxury.

henrik-ritzen-empira-white-04Part of the Whitelight Collection of lighter toned surfaces that explores the richness of the earth with a diverse suite of marble motifs, Empira White’s bright white base is almost luminescent, whilst the shadowy black veins are alive with emotion and movement.

It is this combination of beauty and ease of maintenance that won Henrik’s favour:

“We are very happy with the Caesarstone surfaces, as it’s very nice to look at, very durable and easy to clean.”

henrik-ritzen-empira-white-06The bright appearance of the Empira White worktops contrasts against the Farrow & Ball Hague Blue painted cabinetry, a deep, strong tone that grounds the design scheme. The door panels were formed from ash, whilst the drawers are solid birch. This reliance of natural materials in the kitchen design speaks of Henrik’s personal regard for good quality provenance, a reflection of his culinary focus.

henrik-ritzen-empira-white-03Sola designed the scheme with Gaggenau appliances, including a hob on the central island, ideal for socialising in the open kitchen and dining area, whilst a Villeroy & Boch Farmhouse 80 Double Bowl sink offers extensive room for preparation and washing up.

Given Henrik’s height, and the need for storage of ingredients and accessories, Sola made full use of bespoke, taller than usual cabinetry, vertically orientated appliances and an expansive fridge freezer. The scheme was completed with brass handles for the door and drawer fronts, and co-ordinating electrical plates.