Walk into Joy Wilson's (aka Joy the Baker) light-filled New Orleans kitchen and you'll be struck by its beauty. Your eyes will wander from sleek marble surfaces to immaculately clean (and fingerprint-less!) appliances to one giant hunk of a cutting board. That cutting board will stand out — partially because the wood pops against everything else in the room, and also because it's Joy's most favorite thing ever.
Carefully crafted by GoodWood, whose mission is to consciously create pieces that inspire New Orleans to continue rebuilding, this cutting board always lives on Joy's kitchen island. It's beautiful, timeless, and actually practical.
"It's where I put together all my mise en place when I'm baking," she says, reminding us all that organization is the key to yummy cookies. "This is also my sweet cutting board where I chop chocolate and nuts. Nothing savory touches the board so it's free of onion or garlic smells." You don't have to be a professional baker to know that this is a brilliant idea! Keep one cutting board totally separate from the rest of your cooking and you'll never have to worry about accidentally making garlic-flavored brownies.
For more info: GoodWood
Joy had one other secret weapon that she just had to share with us: salt! "Baking is all about finding the balance within the chemistry of the ingredients and the finished flavor," she says. For her, salt is imperative in creating the perfect balance in baked goods. There are two types of salt she leans on: a mild salt, such as kosher salt, for when she's looking for it to blend well with a batter, and a coarse, flaky salt like Maldon Sea Salt, when texture is needed in a batter or to top off a sweet treat.
Buy: Maldon Sea Salt Flakes, $5 for 8.5 ounces
What are your favorite baking tools or ingredients?