A skilled chef with a distinct sartorial quirk, and firm believer in spatchcocked poultry and dry brines, Max is all about simple comfort foods, aggressively seasoned. He’s also about bourbon, oxfords, and Oxford commas, ideally in tandem.
What’s at the top of your “essential kitchen equipment” list?
A knife, obviously. But more to the point, kitchen towels. Cleanliness (and organization) are an essential part of my time in the kitchen. I always have a towel over my left shoulder, and at least one on every horizontal surface I’m working on. I always clean as I go, because the last thing you want to do after cooking a meal is clean. I much prefer a whiskey cocktail.
What’s the most unusual tool that you use regularly?
The best cooling rack I have is actually an old wire shelf from a refrigerator. I found it at a thrift store and initially thought it was a cooling rack, but it has a plastic Frigidaire badge on the front. A steal at $4. One man’s confusion is another’s creativity.
Which Kitchen tool have you had the longest?
I’ve had a series of chef knives, but my real mainstay is my food processor. I asked for one for my birthday when I was 18 years old and while my parents claim they bought it to encourage my budding culinary interest, I’m convinced they did it because they wanted to eat more hummus. Innumerable amounts of chickpeas later, I use it at least a few times a week.
If price is no factor, what’s the first kitchen item you would buy?
Whatever the brawniest rig Vitamix makes. I actually refuse to browse their website, but I’ve seen one of their basic models in action and now covet one. I just worry that my food processor might get jealous.
What non-kitchen tool do you use when you cook?
Believe it or not, moustache wax. I originally bought some as a gag for a holiday party, but now I like using it pretty frequently It’s like wearing a hair net, but more elegant. I like to keep things in place.
Have you ever had to create a kitchen tool in a pinch?
One time I used a 2×10 (washed, of course) as a cutting board at a family friend’s house. They didn’t cook much, and explained to me that they would usually cut things on a glass plate (just saying that makes me cringe). Needless to say, their knives were completely dull. Those were the worst shallots of my life.