José Andrés, the Spanish-born, Washington, D.C.-based chef who elevated the South Florida dining scene last season with his Bazaar at the SLS Hotel South Beach, shared a list of five home-kitchen essentials in a recent interview:
• Breville Citrus Press: “We only drink fresh juice in my house. Instead of reaching for a carton from the refrigerator, my daughters [ages 8, 11 and 13] know how to cut the oranges and extract the juice themselves. This is very important to me.”
• Marble mortar and pestle: “A universal Spanish utensil, everyone should have one in their kitchen. It’s a tool that helps you do everything you want, especially with sauces. You can make garlic into a puree for any sauce. You can break down almonds in order to make any sauce thicker. You can even make mayonnaise like they used to in the old days. My daughters also like to use it.”
• Coffee grinder: “I need to have a grinder nearby because I prefer fresh grinds when I make coffee.”
• White wine and champagne: “In the refrigerator, I always have white wine; it keeps me awake after a long day. I’m currently enjoying wine from Virginia wineries. I also love champagne, but I like to keep half-bottles in the house in case my wife doesn’t want to join me!”
• Music: “If I’m in my home kitchen, you’ll see me with my kids listening to Lady Gaga while we cook. If I’m alone and thinking about Japanese cooking, I’m listening to some obscure Japanese music that I don’t even know the name of the musician, let alone what’s being said.”
• On his bookshelf: Andrés reports he’s rereading his first-edition copy of Mary Randolph’s The Virginia House-Wife (1824), considered the first American cookbook. Another favorite: Oishinbo, a 1980s Japanese manga (comic book) series by Tetsu Kariya featuring the adventures of a culinary journalist as he explores Japanese cuisine.