Kitchen Aid

What to do for the cook with more want-to than know-how (like me)? A few of my favorite local chefs offer some words of advice on making cooking easier on yourself


Everyone needs a good knife, cutting board and tongs! The Joy of Cooking cookbook has every basic recipe you would need to get started, and Culinary Artistry is filled with flavor profiles, foods in season and what pairs well. I still reference both books. It’s always fun to ask the chefs for recipes if you enjoy what they have prepared for you. I always give my email if someone wants a recipe.

Jennifer Maloney

Executive chef, Café Sebastienne


It’s a lot like you see on those fashion makeover shows on TV. You need a few, really good things rather than a lot of mediocre things. A wooden spoon, a heavy-bottomed saucepan and a sharp knife. Those are the tools every novice cook must invest in. They’ll be good for a lifetime.

Ted Habiger

Owner and executive chef, Room 39


Always use a gas stove! It’s more controllable and you don’t get “hot spots” that burn food. Dutch ovens and cast-iron pans are far better than expensive brands, plus they last generations.

Colby Garrelts

Executive chef and co-owner, Bluestem and Rye


The best piece of advice is to set up and get organized. If you’re working with a recipe, read it all the way through (twice) and clean as you go. Worst case scenario, call Johnny Jo’s Pizza and have it delivered.

Patrick Ryan

Chef and owner, Port Fonda


Practice and repetition. Don’t be afraid to try new recipes and different foods. It takes time and doesn’t happen overnight.

Bobby Stearns

Executive chef, Ophelia’s

We think you’ll enjoy Kitchen Color, also by contributing writer Patricia O’Dell Shackelford