Julie Marr’s cooking studio in Puglia, Italy.

Courtesy of Julie Marr

Expert Approved: Julie Marr’s Home Cooking Essentials

Elevate your kitchen with these chic-yet-practical must-haves.

May 20, 2022

Given her reputation as a culinary sage, it’s hard to believe that Julie Marr was actually a late bloomer when it came to knowing her way around a kitchen. “I didn’t cook anything until I was 25! My specialty was ramen noodles,” laughs the Vancouver native. “One day, while I was working in an office, a cookbook came across my desk; it totally changed my relationship with cooking.”

A newfound interest in cooking led to local classes, which led to culinary school, which led to a string of jobs in high-end restaurants—which led to the realization that a commercial kitchen might not be where Marr belonged, after all. “I really missed cooking at home,” she recalls. “Finally, a friend of mine said, ‘Every time you have a dinner party, people end up pulling their stools up to the counter and scribbling recipe notes on pieces of paper—what do you think of teaching a cooking class?'”

Marr with her husband and partner, Francesco Creanza.

Courtesy of Julie Marr

Today, students from around the world flock to Marr’s studio in Puglia, Italy, where she leads culinary workshops with her husband, Francesco Creanza. The name of their venture, Everyone at the Table, speaks to their approach to making (and sharing) memorable meals: “It’s an inclusive way of cooking—we’re not wearing white jackets and toques,” she says. “Italy is a place that celebrates the home cook, where the culinary history isn’t driven by men in three-star kitchens, but by recipes passed down orally from grandmothers to daughters and sons.”

For those who have yet to make it to the couple’s cooking studio in Altamura, Marr and Creanza offer live virtual classes covering topics from Egg Pasta 101 to a three-course Italian Sunday Lunch; on Instagram, fans get a glimpse into the couple’s home in Oria, an apartment converted from the second story of a palazzo, where perfectly worn plaster walls play backdrop to casual dinners with friends.

  • Marr and Creanza’s home in Orio was once the second floor of a palazzo.

    Courtesy of Julie Marr
  • Staple-repaired ceramic bowls are a favorite flea-market find.

    Courtesy of Julie Marr

We asked Marr to share the items that she reaches for every day in her own kitchen. From perfectly imperfect handmade ceramics to a chef’s knife made to last a lifetime, here are her expert-approved picks.

Julie Marr’s Kitchen Essentials

  • “I always thought it was a bit affected when you go to restaurants and they serve wine in tumblers, but of course that’s actually the tradition here! Everyone uses these Duralex Amalfi glasses.”

    Amalfi Tumbler 6 Oz , $11 for set of 4, duralexusa.com

  • “I do really love my Staub cast-iron pots. They’re a total kitchen workhorse. I use mine to do everything from baking bread to make tomato sugo.”

    Staub Round Cocotte, 5.5 Qt., $349, surlatable.com

  • “Our kitchen studio is filled with plates and bowls from Janaki Larsen, a ceramicist from Vancouver. She’s appreciated by some very big names—Noma in Copenhagen uses her pieces—but she’s really humble and just loves to work with dirt and clay. Her pieces are all about celebrating imperfection.”

    Janaki Larsen Ceramic Plates and Bowls, janakilarsenceramics.com

  • “I have a real thing for stripey linens. I buy a lot of mine through a company called LinenMe, which has beautiful stuff and ships worldwide. My favorite color is a light gray that looks so beautiful against our wood tables and marble countertops.”

    LinenMe Napkins in Off-White Grey Philippe, $10, linenme.com

  • “Using the right amount of salt is one of the most important skills you can learn as a cook. I like gray sea salt from Le Guerandais, which is what I learned to cook with. I keep it in bowls and use it on everything.”

    Le Guerandais Coarse Grey Sea Salt, $10 for 26.4 oz., yummybazaar.com

  • “We’re lucky enough to have a grove of about 35 olive trees, so we make our own oil every year. Creanza, also in Puglia, is my favorite brand that you can buy outside of Italy—it’s probably the best olive oil I’ve ever tasted.”

    Famiglia Creanza E.V.O.O., $46 for 0.75 liters, zarasdeli.com

  • “There is a man in Vancouver who does the most beautiful pasta cutters and gnocchi boards. He imports all of the brass pieces from Italy. I love that he uses all Vancouver woods—it’s always nice to be surrounded by things from home!”

    Nonnas Wood Shop Brass Pasta Cutter with Burl Wood Handle, from $70, etsy.com

  • “I like how light Global Knives are. I always tell people to never buy a set of knives—instead, you should start by investing in just a chef’s knife, a bread knife, and a paring knife.”

    Global 8″ Chef’s Knife, $159, bloomingdales.com