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a letter from joana barrios: kitchen favorites

a letter from joana barrios: kitchen favorites

hi there,

this week, you're receiving a letter.

my name is joana barrios, and I am a great fan and supporter of li furtado, the founder of CINCO.

we’ve been around each other for quite a while, since blogging and existing online was actually a thing, and when we finally met in person some years ago, I can say it was love at first sight. I was writing and conducting a series of documentaries on fashion within the portuguese scene and li had just taken her leap of faith towards becoming a full time global entrepreneur.

coming from the same geography, belonging to the same generation of young women with an uncontrollable urge to get things done our own way, we have come to discover, over the past years we’ve been closer, that we share more than we first thought. and then you might think, also. while I may seem bold and baroque, and li a minimalist queen, jokes aside, we’re just here sharing passions all the time.

so yes, when li asked for this contribution to the CINCO community, I was very very very happy. not only because it makes total sense and comes in a great moment of premiering a new season of my cookshow next monday june 3rd on 24kitchen while wearing many pieces from CINCO, but also because people actually ask me about this.

of all the lists of the perfect items I could ever share with my community or li’s, this is definitely the one that’ll resonate the most, considering how much people tend to ask me about certain items I use not only in the videos I share on my social media, performed in my kitchen, but also in my tv show.

all in all, I think I could describe myself here a little bit like a blender, you know, because fashion and food come together in performing arts and I am but the result of such combination. so is this list.

ALSO, one last and very important statement: I love to see li thriving and excelling in every new move. always keeping it very simple, very real. 

let’s start from the very beginning, and with some potentially deceiving news: some of the most coveted items you ask for on a regular basis are one of a kind, most have been inherited or bought at antique stores all over the world and haven’t always been used for their current purpose. I’m just sharing items you can actually purchase, and their links too! no commissions asked, so please feel free to note how lousy of an influencer am I. 

that being said, let’s dive into the wonderful world of my kitchen favorites!

olive oil, extra virgin, very good one, excellent one, actually, is a staple in any portuguese cooking whatsoever. being from alentejo, in the south of portugal, and growing up surrounded by centenary olive trees, everything about olive oil becomes crucial. aesthetics too. or should I say especially aesthetics? this piece, designed by the italian duo amebe and bitossi home, contains a joke, a rather perfect one actually, and it does describe my quirkiness when it comes to food as a means of communication. bringing the virgin to the table always cracks a joke among guests and is an automatic conversation point if we ever get dull in my house, which I can guarantee, is not the case.

extra vergine, bitossi home

confession on a kitchen floor: I absolutely hate the classical whiskers with the metallic loops. reasons? they’re not practical, not easy to maneuver, they’re a nightmare to clean and ultimately, if you actually use them for certain purposes, they end up retaining most batters, generating frustrations of all kinds among all the people who dare to cook.

having this sort of relationship with said object, I never actually had one until I started cooking on live tv. how come? you can be the best chef ever with only a chef’s knife, a fork and a spoon. everything else is just marketing. but, and this one is a huge but, there are amazing tools like this one I’m about to tell you about, the wmf fuet. I have hoarded four of them already, and I recommend them unconditionally. designed to perfection, this fuet is the most efficient ever, poles are open and trimmed with metal spheres into an angle that allows whisking with the right incline in every bowl, breaking any crumbs or lumps that might compromise the silky textures you're working hard for in your batters. enough said, drop everything you’re doing and come back after you’ve spent your money on this one!

wmf fuet

and then, in the 90s, brothers richard and jeff grace from arkansas, usa, must have been really bored or furious at the current tools available, and the microplane was born. grating and zesting would never the same, because this invention made it all easier and smarter and more efficient. it does look like a gross tool coming out of a toolbox, the grip isn’t sexy and does not display sexy on screen or on your moodboards, however this is about efficiency and practicality, and you could never ask for a better instrument. all the cheese falls and nutmeg falls and lime zest falls are enhanced by the performance of this amazing tool.

zester grater, microplane

the michael graves pepper mill is the latest addition to my kitchenware that has already caused a stir. it was created by michael graves and first launched in 1998 and apart from being extremely beautiful and an exceptional design piece, it grinds. most grinders don’t grind and I’m a bit picky with spices, you know… there are single-use grinders that brands are now selling, etc, but all those labels and information and logos, most of the times, turn everything into a visual chaos, to avoid writing “mess”. I have already tried other mills, from other equally expensive designers or brands that have always let me down. materials are very important when it comes to this kind of objects of permanent use, specially for people who - like me - cook more than once every day.

I do recommend this amazing piece for its durability, for its design, but mostly, for its perfect functioning.

pepper mill, michael graves design

my morning starts with my very special flat white - galão, in portuguese - and whenever I don’t have my very special flat white, I miss it. A LOT. I suffer, actually. lactose-free skimmed milk just slips into my mug for a slight intervention. coffee is the star and I am obsessed with a special roaster done by a special barista. It IS a moment. and I dare to say that coffee is a very individual and particular subject, so yes, a lot of subjectivity here, ok? the venus copper coffee maker by bialetti is my favorite one, both in size (4 cups) and aesthetics. a little secret: I never wash it with soap, I only rinse it in cold water and clean it with its own brush.

venus copper, bialette

yeah, I know, there’s a LOT of table settings happening right now. everywhere. especially on pinterest moodboards and so, originating from all sources. colored glass, printed dishes, ceramics of all sorts… I get it, but I love my very own traditional stuff and I can’t get enough of reinventing the display of what I already have, that has been passed on and is still being traditionally manufactured in portugal. My glasses are all from depósito da marinha grande. bold colors, blown glass, beautiful flower and fruit bas relief, different shapes. I think I have a whole cabinet full of them, mostly bought dead stock, that I proudly use everyday and on special occasions too. also, these are the originals, so if you’re thinking of those images you saved, make sure to buy from them and give tradition a BOOST!

colored glasses, depósito de marinha grande

the dining set of my dreams is a very traditional and classical one by portuguese vista alegre, called blue canton and is breathtaking. hand painted porcelain. the blue tone is absolutely amazing and every piece is incredible. I love this dining set. I love a classical staple on every table, mostly because such pieces tend to speak for themselves and turn every evening into a fancy moment.

blue canton, vista alegre 

oh, the BIT STOOL! you can never imagine the amount of messages I get because of these stools! sitting in a kitchen is crucial, at least for me! and these stools are great, easy to clean, made from recycled materials, will help you reach higher with great stability if needed and most of all, look great on every part of your home.

bit stool, normann copenhagen

this wall shelf is also a crowd-pleaser. mine is bright yellow and has four shelves, hosting most bowls and cups of current use in the kitchen. absolutely sturdy and firm and strong, easy to apply, easy to clean, great quality materials are the absolute best. suits any part of the house, actually, and is absolutely stunning. portuguese design, now with a nice discount - what else can I do for you?

plié wall shelves, util


joana barrios' work as a performing artist spans from theatre to television, internet and kitchens. an actress with a major in pop music and film critics. joana is a passionate chef, and since publishing her first cookbook in 2017, has been a regular presence on television with À LA BARRIOS, her show on the renowned speciality network 24kitchen. her content focuses on lifestyle, glamourizing her daily life and food. she has a unique storytelling and very organic way of sharing it.

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