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Two Incubator Rental Kitchens Open in Palm Beach County for Want-to-Go-Pro Cooks

Is there a food lover out there who doesn't think he'd like to cater or open his own eatery or bottle his own hot sauce?

Here are two places that will let you give it a whirl before committing to a retail space.

Why rent a kitchen?

Stacey Webb, who with her husband, Mike, runs the Mise en Place Kitchens in Tequesta, says the big holdup for many would-be chefs is all the licensing and inspections and hoops to jump through before you're even allowed to turn on a stove.

Instead, she says, get a business license and a liability insurance policy -- both simple to obtain -- and try out the field before you invest in the headaches of a pro kitchen setup.

Webb has worked in test kitchens for several big corporations, so she has a good deal of experience in guiding others. She also teaches cooking. 

Mise En Place is in the old Cafe Heidelburg, so there was no build-out necessary, just a good scrubbing and updating of some of the appliances. There's both a hot kitchen with four ovens and 18 burners and a cold prep kitchen with a walk-in. A convection oven is a planned addition for those who want to bake in volume, and a library of resources, physical and digital, for chefs/cooks will also be attached.

They've dropped the startup rental fee to $25 an hour -- or kitchens can be rented by the month. Webb teaches classes out of the kitchens; there's a party area and dining room for staging parties or catering here as well. Someone from the staff is on the premises at all times to help out.

Production Kitchen in West Palm

Chrissy Benoit, owner of Havana Hideaway in Lake Worth, and her sister Ginger have opened a 24/7 production-incubation kitchen in West Palm, in an industrial park south of the Kravis Center. A number of cooking classes, winetastings, and other events are already scheduled for the kitchen set in a bank of modern warehouses.

Benoit needed a kitchen of her own to work out of -- the success of her restaurant after appearing on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network sent her volume soaring.

The kitchen will provide a space where "ideas can flow" and startups can try out their products or learn all the basics of food safety, purchasing and so on in a real kitchen before launching a restaurant, she said. Those who want to give cooking lessons could hold classes or party lessons in the space.

A tasting room accommodates up to 20 people for evaluating foods or tastings or throwing small parties and can be rented on its own.

Various fees apply, depending on what time of day or night you rent; it's available by the month too.

Mise en Place Kitchens

150 U.S. 1, Tequesta 33469


The Production Kitchen

1253 Old Okeechobee Road, Stes. B 8, 9; West Palm Beach 33401

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Jan Norris

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