Molino Arbequina Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Brosseau’s secret to cooking restaurant-level food at home is using high-quality oil. “This one is evenly flavored and suited to many applications, from salad dressings to sautéing,” he says. $20 for 500 milliliters. Order at regalisfoods.com
Dexter Russell Chinese Chef’s Knife
Lao Peng You
To precisely chop veggies like Wat does for his dumplings, you need a great knife. He prefers a high-carbon steel cleaver. “This knife will hold a sharp edge for a long time and is efficient for cutting vegetables because of its size and shape,” he says. $38. Order at amazon.com.
Fresh Masa and Estrella Tortilla Press
For tortillas like you’ll find at Carnitas Uruapan, start with fresh masa. Carbajal picks it up daily at El Popo Tortilleria (1854 W. 21st St., Pilsen). You’ll also need a good tortilla press to go along with it. Carbajal recommends the Mexican-made Estrella one and offers this tip: “Put the masa between two sheets of wax paper or two plastic bags so it doesn’t stick to the tortilla press.” Then just toss the tortillas into a pan to cook. $23. Order at amazon.com.
Misen Carbon Steel Pan
Cleo’s Southern Cuisine
This sauté pan, which Harper has in the 8-, 10-, and 12-inch versions, is the workhorse of her kitchen. “They come with a removable beeswax coating, so they feel fancy,” she says. $75 for the 10-inch. Order at misen.com.
Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Paste
There are many reasons Mayden’s pastries taste so good, but one of her secrets is this paste. With flakes of real vanilla bean, it’s also her go-to for coffee and tea. “I use half a teaspoon for an eight-ounce cup,” she says. $20 for four ounces. Order at amazon.com.
Photography: (Knife) Courtesy of Dexter Russell, Inc.; (Oil) Courtesy of Williams Sonoma; (Tortilla Press) Courtesy of Sandysimports.com; (Pan) Courtesy of Misen.com; (Vanilla) Courtesy of Nielsen-massey