Chef/Founder Jona Silva Shares His Favorite Essential Cupboard Items

Posted by Erin Silva Winston on


Cooked Founder and Executive Chef Jona Silva loves to eat well as much as he loves to cook.  He is also a very busy guy and knows what it is to have to throw together dinner in a pinch-- so we sat down with him recently to find out some of the pantry items he doesn't like to live without. In a nutshell, here is what he said:


"A good olive oil is probably at the top of my list.  Look for an oil with a slight peppery after-taste to make sure you have a quality oil.  I love it on just about everything."

  • A Good Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar, White Wine Vinegar
  • Salt, and Pepper. 

Brighteners: Fun Mix In's To Make Any Dish More Interesting:

"Having fun ingredients to add into dishes makes cooking more fun, and eating more enjoyable!  I love canned cherry tomatoes in many dishes-- snacking on a variety of olives opens your appetite and they are a great addition to many dishes."

  • Canned Cherry Tomatoes
  • Castelvetrano Olives (or olives of your chose)
  • Anchovies
  • Capers
  • Garlic, and Onion. 

Savory and/or Spicy Sauces: 

"I love spicy foods and sauces-- my real cupboard is stocked with varieties of condiments from around the world, but some of the savory and spicy sauces I use most are,"

  • Harissa
  • Sambal Oelek
  • Giardeniera
  • Tahini
  • Homemade vinegrette

A Touch of Sweet:

  • Honey, Maple Syrup top the list. 

Essential Grains and Legumes:

"What can't be made with a great olive oil, capers, cherry tomatoes, and a great dried pasta?  Have more ingredients to make something more exciting?  Well, that's great--but if not you still have an excellent dinner." 

  • Chickpeas
  • Brown and white rice
  • Quinoa
  • Quality dried pasta. 


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