Some first-time owner-operators achieve kitchen nirvana—a setup that is well-planned and equipped to meet all their needs—from the start.Many others have to compromise.“When you open, you don’t necessarily have the money or the time to do everything right,” said Paul Kahan, executive chef-owner of Blackbird in Chicago. “It only took us nine years to get the right stove on the line.”Last summer, with Blackbird well established as one of Chicago’s top spots for contemporary American cooking, ...

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