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Rachael Ray on her favorite New York restaurants and tips for cooking in small apartments

Believe it or not, Rachael Ray has a small kitchen.

“When I’m in my apartment in New York, I have two tiny closets and very little storage space, so I have to be smart,” she says before offering some specific tips for cooking efficiently in the quintessential homes. from Manhattan, a useful bit of knowledge given Ray’s recent collaboration with Home Chef, the meal kit and food delivery company.

His first piece of advice: focus on your go-tos. “Specifically tailor your pantry and the things you invest in to what you use all the time,” she says. “If there’s a silverware drawer, for example, that doesn’t mean you can’t store it with spices.”

On that note: don’t buy every gadget you see, she mentions, and think about what and how you cook before spending money on anything.

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Ray also sings the praises of open shelving, going so far as to suggest ripping out part of an apartment’s layout and swapping it out for an open shelving where you “can put a lot more stuff.”

On her favorite restaurants in New York

By Carrot and the bar opposite, [Bar Pisellino]who makes fabulous martinis and negronis,” Ray enthuses when asked about his favorite Italian joints, specifically mentioning the latter’s set of prepared cocktails.

But Ray is also a fan of Mexican food – and she definitely knows where to find great food in town, calling Oxomoco in Brooklyn and Henry’s House in Long Island City, two Michelin-starred restaurants.

Lest you think it doesn’t live up to the latest openings in town, think again: Ray isn’t shy about mentioning the relatively new tin building as one of his favorites too.

Ray’s top food list also includes Ippudo for ramen, pretty much anything from Michael Solomonov (“laser wolf is fantastic”), American restaurant Olmsted and The Fabrics on Howard Street.

On his New York spots to buy ingredients

Although during the pandemic, while staying in upstate New York, Ray became a self-described “big online shopper,” she admits that one of the reasons she chose to live in the East Village was “its proximity to the Strand bookstore and the Union Square Green Market”, where she buys ingredients.

But Ray also spends time in Chelsea buying seafood at Lobster Place (“I know they care about sustainability”), brand “nice quality meats and poultry” at Dickson’s Farmstand Meats and Italian products at Buon’Italia – where she discovered products in the shape of a waterfall Pasta. “It basically looks like a spork,” says Ray. “I bring it to Italy all the time and they say, ‘What’s this cut?'”

On what makes NYC a culinary gem

“What I’ve always liked about New York is that it represents the whole world,” says Ray. “You can eat the world, every cuisine that exists, up-down. Especially these days, with the country so separated and immigration [being an issue], being able to eat high-low is a gift. It’s a gift from all the people who have come here and put their soul into the food business, which is very difficult and labor intensive. »

The chef is also keen to rave about other American cities like St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Detroit.

“What excites me is that more of the country is more like New York,” she says. “I just told my husband the other day that we need to go hang out in St. Louis because I haven’t been there in so long and the food scene is off the hook!”