Don't laugh. The photo below is indeed my kitchen.

The chances are you're not living in Manhattan and paying rents enough to cover the mortgage of a sprawling five-bedroom suburban home. For what my two roommates and I pay each month, our kitchen is actually not that bad (crazy huh?). No, we don't have a Viking range or a granite top counter (or much counter space, period). A big bonus: our dishwasher, a rare sight for many apartments. But I've seen some places where the "stove" is made up of two burners on top of a mini-fridge.

At school we have nice appliances and tools at our disposal but the work space is not that much. Our chef reiterates time and again that we should get used to that because in professional kitchens - especially ones in New York where real estate is expensive - you'll most likely have a small space to do lots of work.

Sure, I'd love to have more counter space, a stove with more BTU's, a fancy mixer with all the attachments and a bigger refrigerator. But I actually don't mind it too much. It seems as if it's a very American mindset to think more is better. When I've traveled through parts of Asia and Europe, I noticed most kitchens were fairly small compared to Western standards.

A small kitchen hasn't stopped me from cooking dinners for six people, baking bread or practicing my recipes for school. I'll take it as good practice.