Top Picks From a Cool Chef

 

 My friend Edie introduced me to Rona Economou, a former litigator who switched gears years ago to open Boubouki, her amazing little Greek food spot in Essex Market on the Lower East Side. After that first meeting I often stopped in for her homemade spanakopita and famous orange-kissed chocolate chip cookies, always getting a dose of style inspiration in the bargain (check out this perfect vintage-y dress she bought in Greece). Now she is no longer at the market but is personal cheffing and still cooking for delivery in New York. Because Rona is such an excellent cook and also is a natural, unfussy beauty whose wardrobe is a mix of modern and vintage, I asked her to tell us what we all need in the kitchen and beyond. Follow her on Instagram to check out her yummy meals and DM her for the full menu and any inquiries! 

Wusthof Chef’s knife, sharpening steel and an OXO Good Grips Utility Cutting Board. Having a good knife, sharpening steel (that long rod that butchers use to make comically threatening sharpening moves!) AND a good cutting board is so basic and so essential that I include them under one heading. I use the sharpening steel almost every time I pick up my chef’s knife for the day. I love this one because it sharpens beautifully and it doesn’t weigh a ton. When you’re chopping all the time, a lightweight knife can make your life so much easier. As for the cutting board, a lot of times I’ll chop ingredients for a sandwich on it, assemble and cut the sandwich in half and then use it as my plate. This particular one won’t warp and the edges prevent it from slipping and sliding while I’m cutting or eating.
Korres Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Probiotic Gel Cream My mom and I, working for an awesome company called League of Kitchens, catered an event that Korres organized for their new product line. They loaded us up with goodies and I fell in love with this cream for the face. It’s so hydrating and my skin looks dewy but never ever oily.
Microplane Rasp grater from Williams Sonoma Zested citrus is an AMAZING addition to a lot of savory foods and desserts. Two of my delivery items, the orzo (lemon) and the chocolate chip cookies (orange), would be way ordinary without it. I’ve had this one since 2010 and it’s still sharp and still zests beautifully and easily.
 
 
Essie A List The best red for your toes. No orange undertones and no goth vibes. It’s a slightly muted red but still has some flavor to it. I’ve been wearing it for years and years.
 
 
A good garlic press I think some cooks look down on this as unnecessary equipment. But for a lot of recipes including tomato sauce I just love the shape of the juicy white granules of garlic that a press gives you. Plus, the garlic looks so lovely lightly sauteeing in a few tablespoons of olive oil for sauce. I love this one because it’s straightforward and simple and it’s easy to grip and clean.
 
Brixton Joanna Straw hat (Honey/Black)  It really does keep you slightly cooler on the hottest days. I was in Greece last summer and for the first time I bought a hat like this and I eventually couldn’t leave the house without it. This one has an absolutely classic shape, and I always gravitate towards that. It’s not a statement hat but I think it’s a lovely style for something that has become an ever present accessory.
 
Elta MD Skincare UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 The loveliest sunscreen for your face. Not oily, not gloppy, just perfect. It’s ever so lightly tinted so you never look like you’ve applied sunscreen. I use it after my moisturizer.
 
Williams Sonoma Stainless Steel Restaurant mixing bowls, 6 quart One of my biggest pet peeves is ingredients plopping all over the place when you’re trying to mix them. This bowl is big enough so that never happens, even when I’m mixing lots of spinach, scallions, feta, eggs and dill for my spanakopita pinwheels. It’s easy to clean and won’t break when you’re tired of washing dishes and you accidentally drop it.
Johnson and Johnson Head to Toe Baby Wash and Shampoo I’m constantly opening and closing the oven and am greeted by blasts of heat and steam from the different things I cook. So I love that this is the gentlest of cleansers. I use it to wash my face every morning. It’s gentle but leaves my face clean and calm. And skin never feels taught afterwards. 
 
 
 
 
Winco trigger ice cream scoop This makes portioning chocolate chip cookies so easy and so much cleaner. I use mine multiple times a week. I save time and I know exactly how many cookies I’m going to get out of my recipe, and they’re always the perfect size. They make different sizes, each with a different colored handle. I happened to buy the yellow one a long time ago, loved the size of the cookies it made, and kept it.
 
 
 
The Devil in Winter, Lisa Kleypas (romance novel!!) Sometimes you need to unplug and zone out a little. I interact with people all day, whether I’m doing pop ups or personal cheffing or delivering my food, and while I love what I do, sometimes a chill night with an easy book is perfect. This one fits the bill and someone should make it into a movie. It’s so much fun!
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Comments

  1. I order regularly from Rona, and can attest to her amazing cooking! Her prices are super affordable and what’s better than a personal chef dropping off delicious food to your location?! I get her tray of spanakopita and it’s perfect for my husband’s and my lunches for the week. I highly recommend her butter almond cookies too; they are perfect with coffee.

  2. It’s nice to have a real chef suggesting items that don’t blow the budget that I’ll actually use in my kitchen. And how cool is Rona, to switch careers and go after her passion!?

  3. She’s fresh and lovely! So nice to have practical picks from a pro chef especially during this time when we’re all cooking it seems like all day every day LOL! I ❤️ my Wusthof knives and i’m going to grab a couple of those cutting boards.

  4. I’m a huge fan of the Elta tinted sunscreen — I’ve been wearing it every day this summer and it’s perfect. I also have to weigh in on the zester issue: Mine is in constant use! What doesn’t need a little lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit zest, I ask you. Lemon zest + tomato sauce = perfection.

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