Brooke Williamson's Kitchen Must-Have

It's easy to get caught up in the hype of kitchen gadgets but, sometimes, less is more. At the 2023 New York Wine and Food Fest, Tasting Table had the opportunity to sit down with Brooke Williamson during the Sip and Savor event. We asked her if she had a favorite kitchen purchase in 2023, and the answer surprised us. "No," said Williamson. "Honestly, I use very few tools in the kitchen." Opting out of the consumer-minded race to get the next best thing money can buy, Williamson instead said, "I find myself doing everything with a knife and blender."

For those of us who are looking to bring things back to basics without settling for a poorly equipped kitchen, a good kitchen knife makes a world of difference. A cheap, dull knife can have you breaking a sweat just by chopping carrots, while a quality knife can have you soaring through your prep like a pro. When we asked what knives she recommended for the job, she gave two: Korin knives and the new line of Hedley & Bennett knives.

Pro-level kitchen knives

Korin was Williamson's top pick. She told us, "They're some of the highest quality, biggest bang for your buck knives you can get." Korin is a knife and tableware store that has had a brick-and-mortar location in New York City since 1982. Although Korin sells other brands, Williamson pointed out that, "Korin started making their own knives," and those are the ones Williamson recommends. These are high-quality Japanese knives, which is fitting given that New York's East Asian community was originally Korin's primary market. These days, Korin has become a hot spot for many of the city's top chefs, though amateur chefs can certainly get as much out of their products, so don't let that stop you.

Not one to settle for a single recommendation, Williamson also noted that "the new Hedley & Bennett knives are really, really good." More commonly known for their stylish and sturdy kitchen aprons, Hedley & Bennett has branched out to the knife scene to much acclaim. Designed for chefs by chefs, these knives are light in your hand and on your wallet when compared to other top-of-the-line knives. They're made with three-layer Japanese steel and come with a lifetime guarantee. With that kind of confidence, Williamson's faith in the brand is even more understandable.