There’s something about kitchen tools—the good ones, not the ones that make everything you do as a cook just a little bit harder—that we instinctively know should be taken seriously. There’s a reason they so frequently end up as wedding gifts, investment buys, the things we make sure don’t get lost in the shuffle en route to a new apartment.
And for close to a decade, no one has understood their importance better than Taylor Erkkinen and Harry Rosenblum, the minds behind the Brooklyn Kitchen. Since its initial opening in 2006 as a kitchen supply store (when the only food item they sold was the just-launched McClure’s Pickles), the operation has expanded to include specialty butchery at the adjoining Meat Hook, a fast-growing roster of carefully selected ingredients, and a full schedule of classes that can include pickling one day and a chicken- waffles-how-to the next.
Still, Erkkinen and Rosenblum have been careful to keep the store’s focus from shifting. “The gadget world, and obviously the grocery world, too, is flooded with conveniences,” Erkinnen explains. “We try real hard to stick to ingredients and quality tools, with obvious deviations for corn chips and cat mugs, because you have to live your life.”
Which is exactly the hard-to-put-your-finger-on thing that works so well for the Brooklyn Kitchen. Born partially out of necessity (“Harry and I had a tiny baby when things started expanding in 2009, and I thought ‘Jeez, we need to sell milk and eggs because I need to buy milk and eggs,’” Erkinnen says), you get the sense that, yes, this is a store put together in the service of truly expert cooking. But it’s also somehow always stocked with exactly the impulse-buy you’d hoped for, or the last-minute addition that takes your dinner party from good to legendary. In following their instincts, Erkinnen and Rosenblum have fulfilled a need we never quite realized we had: they’ve given us a neighborhood kitchen.
The Brooklyn Kitchen