The Anything-But-Basics You Need for Your Kitchen, According to a Cookware Expert

Eunice Byun, cofounder of Material, raves about the best things she keeps in her cabinets.

Material was started by two friends, Eunice Byun and Dave Nguyen, who saw a gap in the cookware market. The best-looking equipment was a bit too pricey, while more affordable options didn’t look or work great. After talking to family and friends about their essentials for a "real kitchen"—one with kids scrambling around, late-night meals, and little room for extraneous gadgets—the duo created a line of space-saving kitchen tools and cookware that works for every walk of kitchen life.

Everything Material offers is designed to be beautiful, multifunctional, and fit the lifestyle—and budget—of home cooks. We chatted with Eunice about the little luxuries that keep her kitchen fun.

Eunice Byun is the cofounder and CEO of Material.

Eunice Byun is the cofounder and CEO of Material.

"Sure, a perfectly clear sphere of ice is impressive—but for a drink at home, I love these drink rocks made of soapstone and marble. I also fully appreciate that there are different shapes, because they make distinguishing your glass from your guests that much easier!"

Areaware Drink Rocks
Drink Rocks keep your spirits as they should be: undiluted. These platonically shaped stones are designed to be chilled in your freezer before being admired in your evening cocktail. Our Drink Rocks are made with natural materials and are finished by hand.

"The versatility of these cloths makes them worth it—and so do the color combinations and print options. You can fold them up and use them as napkins, or lay one down in a basket and transform said basket into serveware."

Baggu Reusable Cloth Set
You may find yourself in a sticky situation. You may need to secure that mushroom you came across in the woods. You may need a tablecloth for a very small table. You may have a runny nose or cold neck or be having a bad hair day and just want to cover it up. You may ask yourself why you left home...

"These little maracas bring me joy. They may not be the most practical things to have in your kitchen—I would always advocate for a proper salt well and pepper grinder first—but if you are looking to add some fun to your table, this salt and pepper shaker set will do just that."

Plus Minus Zero Maracas
It is a container for salt and pepper that is shaped like the instrument maracas. Sprinkle your spices rhythmically so that you can play and flavor your food. The elongated stem allows for an easy grip on the shakers.

"I have two kids that thankfully have good appetites, which I attribute to sharing my love of food with them—from different textures to flavors to cuisines. My friend, Joshua David Stein, just wrote this book which compiles recipes that cooks we know and love prepare for their kids. Genius."

Cooking for Your Kids
Let the pros help you plan and prep meals for your family—home-cooking recipes used by chefs to feed those they love! Looking for meals that will appeal to everyone around the table? This book—the first of its kind—is the perfect solution, with 100 recipes—breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner,...

"One of our products that I use daily is our mini recycled plastic cutting board. It’s the perfect size to pull out for quick chopping jobs…and also equally perfect to serve as my plate while grazing in the kitchen. I love our newest color, Kumquat, because it adds a drop of color in my otherwise neutral kitchen."

Material The (Mini) ReBoard
Mini, mighty, multicolored. Most of the time we’re not cutting whole chickens or giant vegetables. We’re slicing an apple or nibbling on cheese or wedging a lemon.

"I have been a fan of Goodee founders Byron and Dexter Peart since their WANT Les Essentiels days. Everything they design for Goodee is magical. I particularly love the size of these serving paddles—and the bone detailing on the olive-wood handles take them to a whole nother level."

Goodee x Siafu Punda Mila Olive Wood Serving Paddles
Add a handcrafted touch to any table setting with this pair of serving paddles carved from organic olive wood in warm earthy tones.

"I eat everything out of this bowl. We designed it to be closer in shape to a pasta bowl, where it’s wider and shorter. We partnered with a South Korean ceramicist, Hyerin Yang, and developed this deep, blueish-gray shade that makes you feel like you’re diving in the caves in Jeju."

Material Open Bowl
The Open Bowl is ideal for salads, noodles, and saucy meals. Our ceramics are crafted from natural Korean soils and hand-finished, and as such, each piece is one-of-a-kind and imperfect.

"A good pot of tea is like medicine to me. It can soothe a stressful day instantly. I love that the infuser is designed into the pot. It’s also a great piece to have sitting out on your stovetop."

Ferm Living Still Teapot
Inspired by traditional tea culture, the Still Teapot is designed with transparent and colored glass to make the tea-making process the visual focal point of the object. This teapot also boasts a rounded glass lid as the cherry on top of a beautiful design.

We love the products we feature and hope you do, too. If you buy something through a link on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. 

Related Reading:

Material Just Launched Their First Dinnerware Collection—and It’s a Mood

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