Illustration by my sister Elena aka @moussakalin on Instagram

 

As you may know, I’m massively into cooking. I cook every single meal I’m having (well, most of the time!) and I really enjoy the process of making great things out of simple and raw ingredients. But I didn’t used to be like that. In fact, before getting into cooking, I was convinced I couldn’t do anything good because I had no equipment. Indeed, I lived in a tiny room under the roof in Paris with everything in it (bathroom, bed and some sort of teeny tiny kitchen). However I learnt that you don’t need much to do great meals! So here are my top-5 inexpensive kitchen essentials to cook like a pro. No gadgets. Just the mere basics that will change your cooking life!

 

  • One sharp knife: or, should I say one knife and one knife sharpener. If you buy a good-quality knife, it won’t cost you much at all, and you’ll be able to use it to death (i.e. a good 10 years) if you’ve got the right tool to sharpen it. Knives are like pencils. You need to sharpen them in order for them to properly cut things. There’s nothing worse than trying to cut tomatoes with a non-sharpened knife. It just won’t work and you’ll lose so much time and effort!

 

  • A good old chopping board: because you don’t want to damage your kitchen or your table, right? Choose a plain, large wooden one and you’ll be sorted for life!

 

  • Non-toxic pans and wooden spoons: I was so surprised when I realized most pans in the market were made with toxic stuff which necessarily get into the food I was cooking in them. So make sure you get pans free from aluminium and PFAS (poly-perfluoroalkyl substances – learn more here about them). You’ll be way more serene about cooking! Then, I recommend you buy wooden spoons to use with your pans. One: they won’t damage them; and two: plastic spoons are more likely to melt (progressively without you noticing) when mixing hot foods. And plastic is not good to swallow, even in tiny quantities.

 

  • Recycled glass jars for storing: to continue with plastic non being good for you, I replaced all my plastic tupperware with glass jars that I don’t even have to buy since I sometimes buy read-made food packaged in them (like apple purée or organic ratatouille because you never know when you’ll get home with nothing fresh in the fridge). Just wash them once you’ve eaten the food and you’re done! They’ll make perfect containers to store dried food in your cupboards (like flour, cereals, oats and stuff), in your fridge, or even to make your lunch box or any kind of food to go.

 

  • If you’re a beginner, let me tell you that you don’t need a fancy, super-expensive food processor (trust me!). At first, invest in a basic hand mixer which will be so much more affordable. You’ll then see if you actually use it often enough to invest in a high-quality food processor. Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE my food processor and it’s a great investment for life. But don’t splurge on such a thing when you don’t even know if it will be of any use to you.

 

Well, that is all for me today. Hope this was helpful for some of you who would want to get into cooking!