Name: Mara Dearing
Hometown: Oklahoma City
Current Location: Brooklyn
Day Job: Cookware retail
In the kitchen I swear by: Leftover bacon grease and a can of coconut milk on hand for rice.
If I could cook for anyone: Chicken-fried steak, corn pudding and chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting topped with candied bacon for Tim Riggins from “Friday Night Lights.”
Favorite Recipe: Linguine with roasted brussel sprouts in a browned butter sage sauce.
For Mara’s recipe, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
My go-to knife for 75% of kitchen prep is an 8″ Chef’s (or Cook’s) Knife. This size gives you enough height for chopping vegetables without hitting your knuckles on the board, and enough length to efficiently slice. This will be the general workhorse for most fruits and vegetables, as well as your meats. If the 8″ feels absolutely too large, you can substitute it with a 6″ version. My favorite Chef’s Knife for the classic chef is the Wusthof Classic ($120 at Williams-Sonoma). For the ultra-sleek homemaker, the light and extremely sharp Global ($115 at Williams-Sonoma) might appeal.