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When former Bon Appétit food editor Molly Baz releases her first cookbook today, Cook This Book, it’s safe to say everyone everywhere will be Instagramming their attempts at making the recipes, from the Cae Sal (that’s Baz-speak for Caeser Salad) to the Crispy McCrisperson Chicken Thighs with Herby Peas and Fennel.
But if one person in particular posted a picture of a recipe from Cook This Book, Baz would lose her mind: Mariah Carey. “I have been a lifelong fan of Mariah’s,” Baz says.”She’s the first artist I ever cared about, and I will continue to care about her deeply until the day I die. She’s a legend.”
Baz spent an entire year (while working full-time at the magazine) developing the book’s 100-plus dishes, many of which come with a QR code that links to a video explaining a relevant cooking technique. “I don’t think I saw one friend or ate a single meal outside of my own kitchen during that period of my life. But no regrets. It was worth the social isolation,” she says.
All those hours spent perfecting her book mean that Baz really knows her way around a kitchen. We asked her for the cooking tools she always has on hand, from damage-proof mixing bowls to the best portable speaker for jamming out to—what else?—Mariah Carey.
Kitchen Tool I Used the Most in Recipe Development
A microplane. There is more grated garlic and lemon zest in Cook This Book than you can possibly imagine.
Single-Use Kitchen Item That’s Totally Worth It
A frozen margarita machine. I don’t own one yet, but I know it’s in my future, and I am positive it will be worth every penny.
Kitchen Towels I Buy in Bulk
I use these super-utilitarian restaurant towels for everything, from dinner napkins to oven mitts.
I am sooo excited to have my own apron out in the world. I worked hard to land on a design that is sturdy enough to protect your clothing but still soft and flattering. It’s a cross-back apron with two pockets—one for your phone and another for your lip balm or AirPods.
Mixing Bowls I Always Have on Hand
I like to keep multiple sets of these super-classic, restaurant-quality stacking aluminum mixing bowls, because you can throw them around without damaging them and they come in a wide range of sizes, so there’s always something suitable for the job. They stack together nicely so they don’t take up much space and are super-lightweight.
Kitchen Appliance I Can’t Live Without
This might be an obvious one, but a gas range. I can accomplish almost anything else in the kitchen with just a few simple nonelectric-/gas-powered tools (kitchen knife, cutting board, skillets, etc.), but the gas range is an absolute necessity. I have exactly zero love in my heart for electric ranges. You just don’t get the same kind of control, and you can’t cook as intuitively on an electric range as you can a gas one, where you can see the flame with your own eyes.
My Favorite Condiment Right Now
It’s a toss-up between Red Clay Original Hot Sauce, made with fresh red Fresno chilies (it’s the bombbb paired with eggs), and The Spicy Mamas Garlic Chili Oil, a new oil created by a group of women from a multigenerational Chinese Cambodian family that run a restaurant in California’s San Gabriel Valley. They pivoted to selling chili oil during the pandemic to combat the dip in restaurant sales. It is friggin’ delish.
Best Stereo for Tunes
Sonos and whatever my husband puts on, because he has incredible taste in music. He always knows how to set the appropriate mood, and I am usually too busy and too deeply engulfed in whatever I’m cooking to remember to do it.
The Only Shoes I Wear While Cooking
Forever and always—the Hoka is the most comfortable shoe in the world.