This is TQE Cribs, a real and raw look into the homes of our contributors and founders we cover. It’s our homage to MTV’s zeitgeist shifting show, only DTC-ified. Discover which products have earned a permanent spot on our shelves and counters below.
Whether it's for a dinner party or just a normal Tuesday lunch, I love cooking in my kitchen. It has everything I need to prepare a delicious meal or experiment with a new recipe. Below, discover my must-have kitchen companions.
Let’s Get Prepping…
I don’t know a lot of people who enjoy food prepping; I certainly don’t. However, I’ve found using high-quality knives makes the process faster and more enjoyable.
Misen: Starting with what every home cook's cutlery dreams are made of, Misen’s Chef Knife ($75) is a multifunctional tool that combines western and Japanese design elements. What sets the brand apart is its blade. Not only is it made of premium Japanese steel, it’s also perfectly balanced and has a lower angle than standard knives, which makes it easy to maneuver. The knife’s unique shape also ensures that I position my fingers somewhere safe when slicing.
Italic: Italic’s Forge 7-Piece Knife Set ($95) is crafted from high-quality German stainless steel blades that cut through whatever I'm working on with ease. Each knife in the set is designed for a specific purpose. There’s a serrated bread knife, a slicing knife, a chef’s knife, a utility knife, a paring knife, and last but not the least, shears. I like the fact that they come with a magnetic stand so I can grab and go (safely) instead of rummaging in the drawers when I need them.
Benchmade: Benchmade table knives ($600) are gorgeous (albeit an investment) and are some of the highest quality knives I’ve ever used. They feature a stainless steel serrated blade designed for long-term use. Plus, they offer a lifetime quality guarantee and no-cost sharpening.
Pampered Chef: My go-to on days when I don’t feel like crushing and mincing garlic, ginger, and the like is this garlic press ($22). I just pop a clove in with the skin on and press the handles together (all while keeping my hands garlic-free). Cleaning the chamber is easy, too, thanks to the brush that comes with it.
Fab Slabs: I pair my top-notch knives with an equally reliable cutting board that won't dull them. Fab Slabs’ eco-friendly boards ($50-75) have antibacterial properties because they are dried thoroughly and then oil-treated, so I don't have to spend a lot of time cleaning them. Plus, they’re so pretty they can work well as a display piece for a charcuterie board.
Kitchenaid stand mixer: When I feel like unleashing my inner baker, I prefer not to mix and whisk by hand. I rely on my stand mixer ($379) to get the job done. I love how many attachments this stand mixer comes with (like a bread hook, whisk, and more).
Now Onto Cooking
After food prep comes the fun part: cooking. Experimenting with various flavors and creating tasty dishes is an incredibly calming activity for me. Here are my favorite tools and gadgets:
Equal Parts: I’m a huge fan of ceramics. More than the aesthetics, I value the functionality and safety features they offer. The Cookware Set from Equal Parts ($325) features two sets of ceramic coated pots and pans. Food glides seamlessly when I saute and simmer in these pots and pans, and I don’t have to worry about nasty chemicals seeping into my meals. In addition to stovetop use, they are also oven safe.
Breville: Frying with as little oil as possible? Yes, please. Breville’s Smart Oven ($599) ensures healthy meals while making frying easy. Now I feel like crispy fries are no longer a guilt-inducing treat. Aside from air-frying, this smart oven offers nine additional cooking techniques: toast, roast, bake, grill, crumpet, pizza, warm, reheat, and slow cook. You can imagine the multitude of experiments I can perform in my kitchen with just this single tool. On top of versatility, the dual speed convection heat allows me to cook in record time.
Sip On This
If I need a quick energizer, I head to the kitchen for some coffee or tea. It’s also nice to offer guests something warm before dinner during the cold months, so I’m always prepared.
Breville: Breville’s The Barista Express® ($699.95) is the main reason I don’t go to cafes every day. Having ground the beans just before extraction, I always enjoy a rich taste in my espresso. I admit I was a bit intimidated by the cost, but it’s so easy to use and I save *so much money* not buying $6 lattes every day.
Fellow: When I’m not in the mood for coffee, I reach for my Stagg Pour-Over Kettle ($100) to make some tea. The modern design isn’t merely aesthetic – it also adds a touch of functionality. Its long, sleek spout contributes to a drip-free pour. It also has a built-in thermometer so I can monitor the temperature, which is great if I need to heat a liquid to a precise temperature.
Be Home: These earthenware mugs from Be Home ($88 for four) are my favorite for drinking coffee or tea. They may look delicate, but they can withstand high temperatures and are dishwasher and microwave safe. There’s just something about these etched mugs that ground me.
For The Table
The sight of a nicely set table excites me. It feels like everything I’ve worked hard for in the kitchen–the food prep and cooking–is coming together for everyone to enjoy.
Year and Day: Year and Day’s Four People Flatware Settings ($297) features five pieces per set: a big spoon, a big fork, a small spoon, a small fork, and a knife. They can elevate any table design with their gorgeous, matte gold finish.
Fable and Rigby: I get my dinnerware from these two modern, minimalist brands. Fable’s base dinnerware set ($215) includes the four of the following hand-finished stoneware pieces: dinner plates, salad plates, pasta bowls, and breakfast bowls. The simplicity of the style appeals to me because it lends itself to a variety of table setting schemes.
Rigby’s dining essentials set ($540) is an investment because every piece is handmade. There are also more pieces in each set, including four of the following: dinner plate, salad plate, pasta bowl, breakfast bowl, short and tall drinking glasses, and flatware. I love how I can mix and match different plate and bowl colors to put together my own collection.
Onto Cleaning And Storage
Cleaning up after cooking is always part of the process. I find that these three gems make it easier for me to maintain a clean, organized kitchen.
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day: The Geranium Soap collection from Mrs. Meyers leaves my kitchen smelling like a bouquet of fresh flowers. The dish soap cleans my pots and pans thoroughly without leaving greasy residue. I particularly like that the brand only uses cruelty-free formulas and safe ingredients.
KonMari: I’m so glad that The Container Store tied up with KonMari to produce this 2-Tier Flatware & Cooking Utensils Organizer ($44.99). I use this bamboo organizer to house my kitchen tools and utensils. It's a good thing that I can rearrange the compartments so that everything fits perfectly.
OXO: I’ve grown weary of seeing unfinished pasta packs and opened cereal boxes in the pantry. The 10-piece Container Set from OXO ($112.99) has helped me keep my kitchen clutter-free. The transparent containers have also made it a breeze to remember what I already have in stock. Despite the airtight seal of these containers, the lids pop open easily. This comes in handy when I only have one hand free when cooking.
A well-stocked and organized kitchen is the beginning of a calming cooking experience. Shop my favorites, then be in touch! We’d love to know which products are elevating your kitchen @thequalityedit.