10 Culinary Maxims: Kitchen Rules to Live By

On Communal Wine: If a friend comes over with a bottle of wine, and the occasion is not a large gathering, said bottle should be opened and shared with said friend.

On Silver and Flatware: When taking out flatware for oneself, always take out enough flatware for everyone you expect to be joining you for the meal.

On Baguette Butts: If you purchase the baguette, you have earned the right to rip off the end and eat it on the way home.

On Single-Use Gadgets: While sometimes unavoidable, one should strive to eliminate as many single-use gadgets from their kitchen repertoire as humanly possible. The same goes for having an overage of spatulas and flipping implements. For most things, a simple wooden spoon and a shake of the pan will suffice.

On Brown Liquor: If you have to mask the taste, drink clear liquor.

On Clear Liquor: If you have to mask the taste, drink soda pop.

On Teas and Tisanes: Teas and tisanes of myriad varieties must be consumed in the Fall and Winter months. Loose tea is always preferable to bagged.

On Cheese Division: If you are cutting a triangular piece of cheese, make one cut along the edge, always careful to leave a point, yielding a rectangular slice. If you are cutting into a wheel of cheese, make two cuts from the center to the outside of the wheel, and remove a small triangle of cheese suitable for consumption.

On Charcuterie and Cured Meats: Always serve with cornichons, lest life cease to continue.

On Musical Entertainment Whilst Cooking: Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Etta James, Nina Simone and a glass of wine are all acceptable. In fact, they are all highly encouraged.

What are your kitchen rules that you live by?


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About Brett Sandusky

Brett Sandusky is the co-founder of Stuyvesant Supper Club, a clandestine restaurant, in Brooklyn where molecular nouveau American meets traditional French cuisine. He is also a publisher, a knitter, and a French literature scholar. Brett is interested in the cultural impact of food on our lives, food equity, the locavore movement, and making everything from scratch. Follow Brett on Twitter: @bsandusky

  • balletbookworm

    Hmmm…what are your thoughts on flavored/infused clear liquor?

    • Brett Sandusky

      I can get down with infused clear liquor, for sure! We had some jalapeño, coffee and rosemary infused vodkas in our freezer until we didn’t anymore. And they were delicious.

  • Wini Moranville

    No way about the spatulas! I say you can NEVER have too many spatulas. Seriously–I keep about six around so there’s one to grab whenever I need it. Silicone, of course.

    All else I agree with. ESPECIALLY the Cornichons. I once went to a local bistro that served sweet pickle chips with their charcuterie and pâté (rather than the sour gherkins that are cornichons. They were the nicest restaurant owners ever, but that was my first clue that the restaurant wasn’t going to last, and alas, it didn’t.

    Vive les cornichons!

    • Brett Sandusky

      YES YES YES @ cornichons. So so good and needed!

      I still hold that you only need a spatula if you are going to flip something whole (like an omelet or pancake). Otherwise, shake the pan to sauté and/or wooden spoon! But, I’m a minimalist (sometimes!)

      Also, very very sad that this bistro served pickle chips with charcuterie. Such a shame!

  • Teresa

    Whoever finds the other bay leaf that couldn’t be found before serving gets the first piece of dessert…. and whatever size wanted……

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