From Peter, chef and co-owner of Pousada do Capão, in Brazil:
My pantry is spread out all over the house. Let’s just say that no one plans much ahead in the interior of Brazil, so when you need more room you put up another lean-to or shed, or you put up a few new shelves, or commandeer some space in the china cabinet, whatever it takes. Here is it called a gambiarra, a kind of makeshift, short-term, yet often highly creative solution to a problem.
And so, there are staples like rice, beans, flours, oils, sugars etc. in a small room off the laundry.
There are the most frequently used condiments and spices, baking ingredients, oils and vinegars in use, on a shelf in the kitchen right next to the stove.
Then, more exotic ingredients chocolate, coconut and coconut milk, tapioca, heavy cream, olives, capers, palmitos, and less frequently used spices are stored in the bottom cupboards of the dining room cabinet where we keep glasses and silverware.
In a small, dark keeping room off the living room I stash all my aging liqueurs and fruit desserts.
Then I have 4 refrigerators –- one in the kitchen for general refrigerator stuff; one in a little ell off the guest dining room for breakfast items and already opened jars of jams, jellies, spoon sweets, and cheeses and yogurt, ripe fruits, butter; one in a separate common room for overflow items when the inn is full and there is no room in the others; and the fourth as yet unused, but it is only a matter of time.
I have 3 freezers too –- one next to the pantry fridge with frozen fruit pulps, various ice creams, logs of frozen cookie doughs, an occasional frozen tea bread; one in the laundry with meats, prepared dishes, fresh tomato sauce; and one in a back shed with everything else. And I have a large cooler for beer, still and sparkling water, soft drinks, white wines and espumantes discreetly positioned in the corner of the dining room.
I am really very organized, even though it may not look it. I know where everything is, exactly, in a kind of spatial, visual way. So when my dear staff tries to help me by cleaning up after me, I often have trouble finding things until I gradually get everything back to normal.
On Saturdays, we peek into Other People's Pantries.
Come on -- show us your pantry.
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