The kitchen’s airy open plan makes it a pleasant space for both cooking and entertaining.

Walnut cabinets by Henrybuilt provide plenty of storage. The marble countertops are not only beautiful but also make a smooth, cool surface for rolling out pasta, pie or bread dough. Stephen Kent Johnson for The Wall Street Journal

The thing most people notice first about my kitchen is: the light. And the openness. When we redid the space, I wanted it to have a lot of storage and drawers, something simple and functional. My walnut cabinets are by Henrybuilt, a company from Seattle.

The kitchen tool I can’t live without is: a Japanese knife I bought in Amsterdam 20 years ago. The writing is in Japanese, so I don’t know what the brand is. It was all I used until recently, when I got a gift from [Japanese cutlery and tableware store] Korin in Tribeca, called the Togiharu Hammered Texture Santoku. The knives are sharp on both sides, which makes them perfect for left-handers like me! I also couldn’t live without my Vitamix blender, for making nut milk.

Amy Chaplin’s Recipe

Roasted Acorn and Delicata Squash Salad With Wheat Berries and Bitter Greens

The pot I reach for most is: my two-quart Le Creuset. It has a heavy lid so it cooks grains beautifully [with minimal moisture loss]. The other one is my Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker. I’ve had it for 16 years. It looks like hell, and I’ve changed the rubber ring, but it’s a great investment. Once you try chickpeas cooked in a pressure cooker, simply, with olive oil, you really can’t eat them out of the can again.

My refrigerator is always stocked with: flax oil, almond milk and pumpkin and black sesame seeds. I’m told that sesame seeds are really nutritious and good for your kidneys; in Chinese medicine, they always recommend them. I toast them in a skillet until they pop and smell fragrant.

When I entertain, I: set my table with Astier de Villatte tableware, and anything from John Derian Company. I think food looks best on white—dishes that are natural with a little bit of whimsy and delicacy. Beeswax candles smell good and they’re not polluting. I love the glow, and if you do a big group, it’s almost like a little fire. I often use Mason jars for flowers, and I collect old jam jars from England.

The best advice I ever received was: from my best friend’s mother. She said, “Creativity is in the process, not the outcome.” I’m still learning that.


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