Buying kitchen supplies can be intimidating. If you don’t know what you’re doing, or exactly what you’re looking for, you might spend hours wandering the store or deep diving online, searching for answers—should I buy this avocado slicer? Will this salad spinner made my life easier? Then you get into the heavy-duty equipment, like mixers, food processors, and pressure cookers. What is the difference between these five models? Which blender will make my smoothies perfectly creamy? Doing your homework makes a whole lot of sense for this shopping conundrum, but the research itself can be daunting too.
In an effort to help soothe the kitchen supplies shopping process, we’ve asked 14 fashion designers about their go-to gear. Below, a few of the most stylish, useful kitchen must-haves from the aesthetes who love to cook.
“I find The Vitamix product to be very easy to use. I use it almost every morning after my workout to make smoothies or juices. It's also great to make soups and sauces with and it’s very easy to clean. I find most mixers and juicers a pain to maintain and clean.”
JJ Martin, Founder and Designer, La Double J
“My number one essential in the kitchen is a fleet of olive oil; at least 4 different kinds, with different strengths, fragrance and quality levels. When I first moved to Italy 18 years ago, I avoided olive oil like the plague and believed like most Americans that it would turn me into a 300 pound housewife. Now I’m a maniac about it. I dump at least a cup of raw oil over sauteed vegetables, rices, pastas and soups every single day. If a salad doesn’t have enough oil on it, i won’t eat it. Eaten raw, poured on top of cooked food, it moves through you like water— trust me.
When you cook it, that’s when it becomes fatty and problematic from a digestion standpoint. In Italy I learned you only cook with certain olive oils and never the expensive good ones. The best oils can be sniffed out a mile away; just take the top off and give it a good deep wiff. If it’s fruity and delicious or spicy and woody, you’re good to go. Just try, try, try. You should smell something very strongly. If you don’t smell anything, it’s a bottle of crapola and you can use it to sautee your sauces or vegetables in.”
$22.00, MONTE LATTAIA
“My kitchen essential is the Instant Pot given to me by my friend Tina Leung. It’s very versatile, especially in the winter when I like to make a lot of soups and stews-it cuts down the cooking time for a completely satisfying home cooked meal!”
$280.00, WILLIAMS SONOMA
“I’m a very big roaster, especially this time of year! These oval dishes from Le Creuset are one of the kitchen items I brought back home after living in Paris — I’ve had them for over 10 years now, and use them once a week if not more. I love and use these dishes all the time!”
$34.00, LE CREUSET
"I love my Nakii Water filter. I find other ones on the market bulky and unattractive. With its streamlined shape and wood handle this water filter saves space in my fridge and looks great on my counter."
“My favorite thing in my kitchen is my large, Smithey cast iron pan. I literally cook everything in it, it’s never put away and lives on the stovetop. It’s perfect for roasting a chicken, veggies, anything. I’ve tried a few different sizes and brands and this is the best.”
“I cook every day, and the kitchen is my favorite place to be. My all-time, can’t live without item, is the Le Creuset stoneware casserole. It was given to me last year from my parents during our Hanukkah and Christmas celebrations and it’s changed my life. I can slow cook short ribs and chicken during the day and just add chopped veggies when I get home from work and an hour later we have dinner cooked perfectly.”
$110.00, LE CREUSET
“I think it would be my zester microplane. I love it for the brightness and life it brings to all things sweet and savory! Also, a silicon spatula because I hate to waste even a drop!”
$15.00, WILLIAMS SONOMA
Zoe Latta, Co-Founder and Designer, Eckhaus Latta
“My mom gave me her old food processor when I was in college and my partner and I use it more than anything in our kitchen. We make pestos, salsas, sauces, dressings, pates, pickles, salads, tabouleh, turn cauliflower or broccoli into "rice," nut butters, icings, soups and smoothies.
It’s easier to clean (and more effective) than a blender because it is wider and all comes apart, so it’s easier to get your hands in there. I'm trying to think of something cute about it, but my love for the object is 100% for its utility. It's my most beloved tool.
As they have been made for decades and are pretty hard to break, many can be found used. Also, very easy to replace parts if you do need a new blade or something.”
Elza Wandler, Founder & Designer, Wandler
"My number one essential kitchen item is a cheese slicer. As a real Dutchie, I love cheese and eat it everyday - I put it on almost everything. My favorite cheese is Old Amsterdam, even my dogs adore it!"
Margherita Missoni, Creative Director, M Missoni
“Although I don’t cook much, I do collect aprons, and La DoubleJ ones are both fun and stylish; they make for a perfect holiday gift."
$80.00, LA DOUBLE J
Ditte Reffstrup, Creative Director, Ganni
“My all time favorite kitchen product is our espresso machine. We have three kids and have lots of sleepless nights, so it’s literally my life saver. I can easily have two cortados in the morning before I leave the house.”
$1735.00, ESPRESSO COFFEE SHOP
Aurora James, Founder and Designer, Brother Vellies
“A stove is like the heart of your kitchen; everything magical originates from there. There is nothing better than taking a warm batch of banana bread out of a pistachio colored La Cornue and sharing it with your friends and family.”
$11025.00, WILLIAMS SONOMA
Alejandra Alonso Rojas
“I bought the Breville Fast Flow Pro Pressure Cooker two years ago and I use it constantly. I love it because it is electric and for someone who has a busy schedule it allows you to still eat healthy and cook very special meals. In my case, we cook for us and for our baby and it’s amazing to be able to do it all at once. My favorite things to make are bone, fish, or vegetable broth. I also make vegetable soups as well as lentils, short rib, roasted pork, you name it. Most days I leave it on before going to bed and when we wake up everything is ready.”
Originally Appeared on Vogue