5 Things in Your Kitchen You'd Never Be Caught Without

Our friend Stefan is such a stellar home cook that he’s earned the nickname “Chef Stef.” While hanging out recently, as Stef mixed martinis and marinated steaks, we started chatting about the five things in his kitchen he’d never be caught without. As if he’d been preparing for this question his whole life, he instantly rattled them off: a hunk of Parmesan, shallots, a bottle of lemon juice, a little jar of minced garlic and Near East Herbed Chicken Couscous.

Everyone has a mini list, right? It’s such a personal thing, and I’d love to hear yours.

Mine would be a rotisserie chicken, fresh spinach (to make a big salad or wilt with garlic), Dijon mustard (the secret to great grilled cheese), Carr’s water crackers and sharp cheddar cheese. Also, a very crisp, acidic white wine.

My friend Gemma, knower of all things, told me that her can’t-live-withouts were: “Trader Joe’s Green Dragon Hot Sauce (it’s amazing). Nutella. Irish porridge oats. Vegemite (even though I eat it once a year). Lindt sea salt dark chocolate.”

And legendary food writer Ruth Reichl told us her list is “butter, lemons, anchovies, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, a couple kinds of vinegar. Eggs! Oh, my God, I would never be without eggs. And milk.”

What about you? I’m curious to hear…

P.S. Another personality test: How would you describe yourself in five words?

(Photo of Jon Hamm for C Magazine.)