The Surprising Kitchen Habit That Keeps Food Editor Eva Katz Sane

published Jan 28, 2015
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(Image credit: Cambria Bold)

Who: Eva Katz of Cook’s Country and My Front Burner
Where: Jamaica Plain in Boston, Massachusetts
See her kitchen: Cook’s Country Editor Eva Katz’s Homey, Hardworking Kitchen

Eva Katz has been close to food for almost her entire professional career. She’s worked in restaurants, taught cooking classes at culinary school, and written and developed recipes for Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country (her current position).

You can’t have such varied cooking experiences and not acquire a few smart kitchen habits along the way! Here’s one habit she picked up that keeps her sane when she’s in the midst of a dozen cooking projects.

(Image credit: Eva Katz)

Eva completely cleans out and organizes her refrigerator and her pantry every two weeks.

By making a habit of cleaning these two areas every other week, Eva avoids the hefty, all-day-because-you-do-it-once-a-season project that most of us deal with at some point during the year. But more importantly, this habit makes her cooking better, and easier. Here’s what she says about it:

There are a few organizational techniques that I picked up working in professional kitchens that I still practice at home. I label everything. Nothing fancy — I use a Sharpie on masking tape to label and date everything.

I also organize my pantry and clean out my refrigerator from top to bottom every other week. Being organized is the key to accurate recipe development and testing.

Because she really takes stock every two weeks, Eva always knows what foods are past their prime and need to get used right away, what’s in the freezer, what needs replenishing the next time she’s at the store, and where everything is, at all times. Her habit also ensures that fridge spills and pantry crumbs get taken care of before they become scary messes. Now that’s a cooking life we can get behind!

(Image credit: Eva Katz)

Do you share Eva’s kitchen habit and completely clean and clear out your fridge and pantry every week, or other week?