Sabrina Soto is an HGTV celebrity, but that doesn't mean she doesn't like to cook and eat meals at home. In fact, as a recent tranplant from DC, maybe someone will give her the memo that such behavior is rare in New York.
By New York standards, Sabrina has a healthy sized cooking space. Compared to her experience in her former house-sized kitchen, however, Sabrina is struggling to adapt to the size and storage constraints of her luxury rental. She's rising to the challenge by keeping it simple.
When Sabrina moved to New York City, she left almost everything behind. With this fresh start, she stocked her kitchen with the top contenders for what one really needs to cook great, healthy, and satisfying meals. Beyond any utensil, gadget, or appliance, Sabrina is most motivated by the traditions of her Cuban roots — the invaluable warmth and pleasure derived from a home-cooked meal.
10 Questions for Sabrina (& Her Kitchen)
What inspires your kitchen and your cooking?
My kitchen is TINY, so organization is key. I can only store appliances that I absolutely need and use regularly. No fancy gadgets here! My cooking is inspired by my Cuban heritage. Lots of spice and love goes into each meal. I also find cooking to be extremely therapeutic. Anytime I feel stressed, I cook and clean. It's bizarre — I know.
What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
I have a passion for making salad dressings. When I'm making a quick salad for myself, I'll use a milk frother to whip it up. My very first memory of cooking was with my grandmother. The first thing she taught me was how to make a Caesar salad from scratch. To this day, I've never had a better Caesar salad!
What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen?
My sister, Natasha, and her husband, Charlie, came to visit a few months ago, and we cooked what Charlie considers a "very quick, last minute meal". It was fresh Italian sausages with sautéed peppers and onions in a red wine and balsamic reduction, parmesan crusted asparagus and white truffle frites.
Biggest challenge in your kitchen?
It's small and closed off to the rest of the house. I love cooking with my friends and family, but the kitchen has a maximum capacity of 2. I can't wait to have a huge kitchen where I can cook and entertain at the same time.
Biggest indulgence or splurge in the kitchen?
Art and my Shun knife.
Is there anything you hope to add or improve in your kitchen?
More storage — more room.
How would you describe your cooking style?
Healthy comfort food.
Best cooking advice or tip you ever received:
Always blanch your vegetables first and then shock them in cold water. Once your guests arrive, warm them in a sauté pan and they'll stay vibrant in color
What is your favorite cookbook?
I don't use cookbooks. My brother in law, Charlie, is an amazing chef so I call him constantly for guidance, tips and secrets.
What are you cooking this week?
This week I'm on the road for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, so there will be no cooking. It's actually one of the things I miss the most when I'm on the road — home cooked meals. When I get home, I'll probably make Spicy Ahi Tuna Burgers with Asian Coleslaw.
• Breville Die-Cast Blender
• Breville Single Serve Coffee Maker
• KitchenAid Stand Mixer
• Zwilling J.A. Henckels Pro S. 9-Piece Knife Block Set
• Michael Graves Silicone 4" Nib Mini Mitt
• Michael Graves Over The Sink Collapsible/Extendable Strainer — 14
• Giada De Laurentiis™ for Target® Stainless Steel Tool Set
• Aerolatte Handheld Milk Frother
• Kitchen Tour Archive: Check out past kitchen tours here
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(Images: Jill Slater)