Food by VICE

These Delicious Ingredients and Products Will Make You a Better Cook

According to VICE Culinary Director Farideh Sadeghin, who can't live without them.

by Farideh Sadeghin; as told to Brian McManus; photos by Michael Persico
Sep 19 2019, 7:41pm

J&E Sausage. All photos by Michael Persico.

Welcome to BUYABLES, a new series that will show you how to upgrade your life and the things you need to buy to do it.

VICE Culinary Director Farideh Sadeghin stays busy. On any given day you can catch her in the office kitchen developing, testing, editing (and eating!) countless recipes—everything from vegan nachos to a steak sandwich with horseradish cream. She's worked on the three stellar cookbooks VICE's MUNCHIES has put out, and hosts The Cooking Show on MUNCHIES, where you can catch her making fried cheesy balls and entire meals in one pan. She also works with visiting and local chefs daily and can usually be found on the VICE rooftop garden eating berries and sungold tomatoes when she's not in the kitchen working on those recipes and videos. All that's to say: she knows a ton about good food and how to make it. So we asked her about the ingredients she can't live without, the stuff that really makes her dishes sing. Here's what she had to say between bites.

Brightland Oil
Brightland Oil. Photo by Michael Persico

Brightland Olive Oil

Take a look in your pantry. What oil are you cooking with? Give it to your roommate to finish and use Brightland Olive Oil instead. Hand-harvested in California, it tastes grassy and natural, and is perfect to cook with, use in dressings, or as a finishing oil. Everyone needs a good (and cute) bottle of olive oil in their arsenal. This chili oil in particular is perfect on pizza (my favorite food).

Jacobsen Salt
Jacobsen Salt. Photo by Michael Persico.

Jacobsen Salt

I know what you're thinking: "What's wrong with table salt?" Or "Why is this girl trying to act like this salt is so great?" Because it is! Jacobsen Salt Co. was the first company to harvest salt in the Pacific Northwest. I've been out to Netarts Bay in northern Oregon where the whole (small) operation is, and let me tell you, it's quite impressive. It's all locally owned and run and hand picked, some of the flakes of salt are the size of a penny! But honestly, this salt just tastes GOOD.

J&E Sausage
J&E Sausages. Photo by Michael Persico

J&E Sausages

Literally get these New York-based J&E Sausages and have a party. They use all natural ingredients and no nitrites or hormones, and the company is owned and operated by two of the best women I know—Jocelyn Guest and Erika Nakamura, the J&E behind J&E. They're also dairy free and gluten free, if you're into that sort of thing. They're simple and yet have such complex flavors, with that snap you want in a sausage or a hot dog.

Staub 6-quart Dutch oven. Photo by Michael Persico.


The most common question I'm asked by people is what the one piece of equipment they need in the kitchen is, and honestly, my answer every time is a wooden spoon. But also the 6-quart Dutch oven from Staub. You can kind of cook just about anything in there, and it's cast iron, so it's nonstick and will cook evenly. One of the greatest things about it is the inside of the lid which features all these little spikes that help circulate liquid when you're braising something, resulting in super moist and tasty dishes.

MUNCHIES cookbook
VICE Culinary Director Farideh Sadeghin with a good book. Photo by Michael Persico.

MUNCHIES Guide to Dinner: How to Feed Yourself and Your Friends

I know it may seem a bit insincere to say you can't live without a book I developed all the recipes for and helped write, buuut MUNCHIES Guide to Dinner: How to Feed Yourself and Your Friends really is your most practical guide to cooking at home. Like all the products here, it'll make things taste better! Learn how to stock your kitchen with equipment you actually need (and will use), as well as simple recipes you can cook throughout the week and entire menus when you're hosting friends. The recipes—in my entirely unbiased opinion—are interesting, delicious, and highly cookable. It also features gorgeous photos to cook from.

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