If there's one kitchen we'd love to raid, it's Kristina Wasserman's, buyer and merchandising manager at Food52. After all, it's her job to research and uncover the best kitchen accessories to feature in Food52's expertly curated shop. If there's a holy-grail cooking appliance, storage container, or accessory out there, chances are, she's tried it. "I started off buying across all categories, but this year have switched to solely focus on the kitchen, which is where my background is strongest," she tells us. "It's been really fun to fully concentrate on my favorite room of the home!"
Anyone who has perused Food52's shop knows that the products aren't just functional and durable—they're beautiful, too. "The first point of entry for me is aesthetic—the product must be beautiful, or so simple and utilitarian that it encapsulates its own special kind of beauty," she explains. "Once it can check this box, we also must prove that it’s useful. Is it an item that makes a task easier?" If the item isn't functional, she uses an approach Marie Kondo would surely approve of. "I like to ask myself if the presence of this item brings joy. Do you feel happy looking at it? It’s a simple, but important question."
Of all the kitchen accessories Wasserman encounters as a buyer, these are the best-of-the-best that she had to take home. Here's why they belong in yours, too.
"I’m obsessed with these bowls from Rosti Mepal—they are often the first product I recommend to anyone when asked. I've been a buyer in the kitchen and home field for about seven years and haven't ever found better food storage. The colors and matte texture of the exteriors are sophisticated-feeling, and the functionality of the clear, leak-proof lids and microwave-safe bases are just so practical. I use them at home and also bring my lunch in them. They are made in the Netherlands in a state-of-the-art factory—the quality is evident when you pick them up, which gives them a really satisfying feeling."
"I love the look of this Japanese-designed dish rack. It's very simple and compact but still holds a lot. I used to have a standard plastic dish rack that was always an eye-sore in my kitchen, and I was surprised to feel how instantly elevated my space became when I switched it out. If you're going to have something so large out all day on your counter, it really should be something you want to look at."
"This is my most essential piece of cast iron cookware. It can do anything! Without the lid, it's a fry pan or baking dish, and with the lid, it's the most amazing braiser. I leave it out on my stovetop since it's so versatile and beautiful. I like the heft and durability of the cast iron lid, but there is a glass version that works equally well for those wanting something lighter weight."
"These skillets aren't coming out until October, but I am so in love with them after testing them for the last few months, that I figured I'd still list them here. We created these because I could never find beautiful nonstick pans in the market after years and years of searching. I really love the look of the brass handle and light interior on these—the blue-green exterior also really pops if hung from a pot rack. The best part though is that their nonstick surface is 100% natural ceramic and will never release toxic fumes if burned (unlike most nonstick pans). The Californian in me makes me really skeptical of traditional nonstick, so these were the first nonstick pans that I could cook on without any hesitation."
"I love this large round cutting board—I haven't bought one yet, but it's the first thing in my shopping cart right now. I just think a graphic pop of black in a kitchen is so chic, and these do that with a hint of brass (which is even better). The material is a recycled wood fiber, so it's all natural but won't warp or crack (like so many cutting boards can). It's also very thin, so it’s incredibly lightweight for the size. I can't wait to have this out on my counter."
"I was lucky enough to receive a set of these as a gift (thankfully, as I know they are bit pricey!), but they've honestly proven to me that they are worth the investment if you're someone that's looking for beautiful, breathable bedding. I love feeling the texture of linen—it's slightly stiffer but gives a crisp, cool feeling. The colors can be mixed and matched in a million ways, and that lived-in rumpled look just can't be replicated in other materials."
"I have the runner in 'Storm' in my kitchen. As an NYC renter of 10 years, the kitchen tiles I've lived with over the years have been a bit scary ('90s vinyl with faux finishes and so on). I love how I can just cover them right up and add a graphic pop to the one area that's hard to make pretty when you're in a rental unit. I love how it's easy to clean, too."
"I bought two of these for bedside tables and have been really happy with them. They're affordable, ship flat, and take 10 seconds to put the legs on. The quality is a step up from IKEA, but they still don't break the bank."
"I've purchased these for my whole family—they are just the perfect glass. They are sturdy, stackable, and super affordable. The mix of sizes makes them great as modern wine glasses, cocktail glasses, or large water glasses. If you don't want a cabinet full of stemware or different drink-specific glassware, I would suggest these."