Last week we were invited to snoop around the shelves of Kelis’s “work fridge”. Yes, the Harlem-raised, LA-based singer/songwriter has two fridges at home: one for the family, and one used exclusively for recipe testing and pregnancy cravings.
This week we asked the classically-trained chef and “saucier” to share her kitchen essentials. We found out that the Le Cordon Bleu graduate is all about “power and severity” when it comes to her essentials. She loves her power tools and her knives, many of which she has multiples of. And leave it to Kelis to own the coolest pair of cooking clogs you have ever seen.
Many of Kelis’s kitchen essentials were used during the recipe development for her first cookbook, “My Life on a Plate: Recipes from Around the World.” which is now available for purchase! Make sure to pick up your copy today.
1. POWER TOOLS
When I think about things I use the most, it’s always my power tools. I am like a construction worker in the kitchen- I need a toolbelt!. I am obsessed. As you see, I have laid out one of each, but I have double of everything. Because usually when I am making something I am making it for an event, or I am making mass quantities of sauce- if you saw my pots, you would die.
I’m super lazy when it comes to garlic. I hate doing garlic. It’s totally cheating, but use the mini Cuisinart to pulse it and then I store it in the fridge.
3. SESAME OIL
I cook a lot of asian food. My mom is half Chinese, so I grew up eating a lot of it. Lot’s of spanish food and lot’s of chinese food.
4. BOUNTY & FULL SAUCES
These are the new bottles we are using for my sauce company. The faces on there are of my family and friends. The newest one for example, is for my best friend from New York who I have known forever. It’s the people who are closest to me.
The idea is that this sauce is for everyone. It’s so good your face will love it. Everything is better smothered, dipped and poured.
I am excited about this because the old bottles were vintage medicine bottles and these are old vintage stout bottles, and since I have such a thing for beer, these was exciting to find.
These bottles are of my mom, my so and my dad. People get really excited when I am picking the sauce their face is going to go on. They almost threaten me. Like, “my sauce better be delicious!”
The sauces usually come out of a need. I started out with stuff I wanted in my kitchen, like the jerk sauce that I couldn’t find in on the West Coast.
With the BBQ sauce, it was a big challenge for me because BBQ is such a man’s world. I wanted to do something that had guts. With some of the others, I wanted to bring my travels into it. I spent some time in Dubai and Israel. I wanted to play around with the flavors I was tasting. And I was obsessed with hot sauce, so I obviously needed one of my own!
I bake a lot, I do a lot of bread and have recently been baking a lot of cakes!
6. EGYPTIAN SALT HOLDER
I got this in Egypt and I have been using it for years. It is pink onyx. I put all my salt in there.
7. HOMEMADE HERB MIX
This is a homemade herb mix. I put it on everything. I put it on meat, fish, literally anything. I added in a little turmeric for come color.
This is my komachi. I love that they come in different colors and they are super cheap. I got this knife when I was in Japan. I love knives. Power and severity. That is important in the kitchen!
9. HAND BLENDER
I make a lot of soup!
I travel a lot and when I do, I always bring back herbs and salts. I was recently in Iceland and got these.
I cook with coffee a lot, whether it’s with cheesecake or sauces. We tend to think of it in one way, but with it’s earthy and smokey flavor, there is so much you can do with it. I just came back from Columbia and they do everything with it. They treat coffee the way we treat wine.
These are my cookings shoes. I was looking for a less hideous Croc. I started out wearing Crocs, but now I have evolved. They have a little touch of me in them, but they are still practical.
I am a huge wine drinker. I am red all the way and love a good sock-it-to-me red, I want a full body, kick me in the gut wine. With my son, I did a natural birth. My doctor told me to get a really good bottle of red wine and save it. She told me that when I feel the contractions, hit it. I literally cracked a bottle of Chateau Margaux open and drank the whole thing in a bathtub.
I eat raw cashews as a snack all the time and I cook with nuts all the time. With my sauces I use cashews, hazelnuts and pistachios. They all have a really buttery consistency.
15. BABY PINEAPPLE
My son saw this and was asked me if I was getting the little pineapple for the baby. So I had to get it, it’s just adorable.
16. COLUMBIAN COFFEE
There is tons of coffee in columbia. On our most recent trip there, we drove to all these amazing coffee farms. In Columbia coffee can go from a couple bucks a bag to a couple hundred bucks a bag. It’s just like wine. This is one of the higher rated coffees that we bought when we were there.