What’s the tool prep cooks swear by?
Ever wonder which olive oil makes a.o.c.’s romesco a revelation? Chef Suzanne Goin of Lucques, a.o.c., Tavern and The Larder opens up the back-of-house and shares her must-haves (and new obsessions).
1. EVERYDAY OLIVE OIL California Olive Ranch Arbequina Oil. $16.69, shop.californiaoliveranch.com.
2. AND VINEGAR Sánchez Romate sherry vinegar. chefshop.com.
3. ON COOKING SALT VERSUS FINISHING SALT I started out cooking with kosher salt, and sometimes those habits do not die. Your fingers get used to a perfect pinch, and it’s so hard to switch. For a finishing salt, I like a Portuguese Flor de Sal we get from Mitica. forevercheese.com.
4. DAIRY Nothing beats real French butter, but I also love Straus Family Creamery in Tomales Bay. strausfamilycreamery.com.
5. THE BEE’S KNEES I’m sort of obsessed with honey. When a friend goes somewhere exotic and asks if I want anything, I always ask for a local honey. I love thick, creamy, white honey. My fave of the moment is Star Thistle Honey from Bee Raw Honeys in Colorado. $14/10.5 oz., beeraw.com.
6. UNDER THE SEA Anchovies. Always in salt and always whole. I like Agostino Recca brand. $14.25, amazon.com.
7. CELESTIAL SEASONINGS Le Sanctuaire has wonderful spices. Also, The Spice House in Chicago is available online. Seek out a small local purveyor, if you can find one. Shichimi Togarashi, $9, le-sanctuaire.com.
8. FLOUR POWER Giusto’s flour mill. Organic Whole Wheat 00 Flour, $12/5 lb. bag, giustos.com.
9. DO YOU FEED A WILD YEAST STARTER? Yes, our wholesale bakery supplies The Larder. larderbakingco.com.
10. NUTS FOR… Hazelnuts from Trufflfflebert Farm in Oregon (life-changing!); Santa Barbara Pistachios (mind-blowing!) and S.B. walnuts by La Nogalera (try their delicious walnut oil, too). trufflfflebertfarm.com; santabarbarapistachios.com; lanogalera.com.
11. LEGUMES Zürsun Idaho Heirloom Beans. We don’t even soak them because they are so fresh. Calypso beans, zursunbeans.com.
12. CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT A cast-iron pan.
13. MOST USEFUL KNIFE FOR KITCHEN PREP Two: a chef’s knife and a paring knife.
14. KEY TOOL I always love a mortar and pestle. Magnus Lundstöm mortar and pestle, quitokeeto.com.
15. BAR ESSENTIAL A bartender!
16. WOOD WORKS Spoon (Blackcreek Mercantile for March sugar maple ladle, $150, marchsf.com). lucques.com; aocwinebar.com; tavernla.com; larderatburtonway.com.
Written and edited by Alison Clare Steingold.