If you’ve ever cooked while camping—with nothing more than a heavy skillet over the campfire grates and a jug of water leaning against the nearest tree—you know that it’s possible to make a homey, functional kitchen just about anywhere.
You can make a kitchen in a college dorm room, with a triple stack of storage bins for a pantry and some thrift-store mixing bowls and spoons. You can make one in a shoebox apartment with a single burner and mini fridge, in a big farmhouse with what feels like an acre of counter space, and anywhere in between. It doesn’t need to be shaped a certain way or have a certain look; you don’t have to install special cabinets or plot out renovations. With a hunger for good food, a roll-up-your-sleeves attitude, and a few key tools, a great kitchen emerges.
We’re here to help you make your own great kitchen, plain and simple—whether you’re starting from scratch or hoping to shake up your well-loved space. We want your kitchen to be somewhere you’ll do a lot of cooking and just as much living. After all, isn’t it the first place we hit in the morning, and the last place we turn out the lights before heading to bed? Not to mention all the time we spend there making toast and tea; putting the finishing touches on a birthday cake; or standing in front of the refrigerator, door open, looking for a late-night snack.
To guide you to that kitchen where you can do all that (and then some), we’ve created this mighty little handbook. It’s packed with tips, tools, and strategies of all kinds, backed up by ten years of smarts from the Food52 test kitchen and our community of trusted home cooks. And since cooking is always more fun with friends, we’ve brought in some longtime favorite voices in food—cookbook authors, chefs, bakers, and more—who are, above all, devoted home cooks. We’ll take a moment to peek into their kitchens, stand at their elbows, and learn just what makes their cheerful, delicious spaces their own.
This is a book for old hands and newbies alike, for the executive and sous chefs among us, for bakers and cooks, for big kitchens and little ones. We hope you’ll turn to it when it’s time to buy your first pan or upgrade your standby; when you’re looking to stock your new home’s kitchen or reignite your love for cooking. We hope this book sends you racing to fling open your cabinets with new determination. Most of all, we hope it helps make your kitchen feel like home.
—Amanda Hesser & Merrill Stubbs, cofounders of Food52
Copyright © 2020 by Editors of Food52. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.