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We’ve all heard of capsule wardrobes, but why not extend that concept to the kitchen?

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the kitchen goods your favorite chefs (and even your friends that simply love cooking) recommend, but there are only a few things you really need in order to get your kitchen going–let’s call it your capsule kitchen. We spoke to Chef Diana Barnett to get her picks.

#1: Invest in a good knife–and knife care

Almost everything you cook will require a knife, and taking care of them is crucial. In fact, as Chef Di notes “knives must be kept sharp, not only for precision, but also for safety–more accidents happen with duller knives, as the food items are harder to cut!” Use a steel honing rod for quick sharpening, and a stone for longer-term results–simply place it on a towel and swipe your knife from left to right, with the blade on an angle, with light pressure to sharpen. To lubricate the knife and make sharpening easier, use oil or water (Di recommends water for safety reasons).

#2: Do this and your cast iron pan will last a lifetime

A cast-iron pan is an absolutely crucial kitchen pan, especially for searing meats. Care is far simpler than most make it out to be! Di warns kitchen novices not to wash their pans with soap. “Just clean with hot water and a dash of olive oil to protect it.” Et voila! The pan lasts forever.

#3: Don’t underestimate the power of a zester

“I cannot live without my zester!” Chef Di states. “I am always zesting lemon or lime into salads, shakes, sauces, and oatmeal. The subtle addition of zest creates a fabulous ‘pop’ in any dish. Sometimes I even zest apples or carrots into my salads or dishes instead of dicing–you can do the same with grapefruits, clementines, or other citrus fruits–this is the kitchen item you didn’t know you needed.”


Want more of Di’s tips? Order her book via her Instagram @dianaebarnett. And if you use any of her tips, be sure to tag us on social media using #casadesuna

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