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Here are some of my “necessary for survival” essential pantry items that I keep stocked in my cupboard

Oil: Extra–Virgin, Toasted Sesame, Garlic Oil
Other flavored oils are also welcome, these are my go-to I use daily.
I cook mainly with olive oil, use the sesame oil as a flavoring oil and add a dash of garlic oil to dressings and marinades
Keep it simple, A good quality oil with a pinch of salt +pepper can be all it takes to flavor a simple baked chicken breast or toss onto some fresh greens.

Vinegar: Balsamic, Spanish Xeres (Sherry), Apple Cider Vinegar and Red Wine Vinegar
Simply exchanging or substituting a different vinegar in a dressing or marinade can totally change the recipe and create a new flavor profile.
Create your own favorite and don’t forget to TASTE

Grains + Legumes: Couscous, Farro, Brown and Black Rice, Lentils, Dried + Canned Beans ie: black, cannellini, chickpeas, kidney)
Needless to say, these ingredients can be the main course of your meal or can be a side dish.
I often make something out of leftovers to stretch it out for another lunch or add cooked grains or beans to your evening salad.

Canned Tomatoes, Canned Artichoke, Cooking Sauces
As you can see, I keep it pretty simple, based on what’s available at the market.
I make delicious meals using a limited amount of ingredients by adding fresh seasonal vegetables.

Follow Private Chef Robin on Instagram and Facebook feeds and stories for suggestions on how to use these pantry items in your home kitchen.



A Taste of Ojai II Cookbook, Flavors of the Valley

A collection of recipes inspired by the bounty of local ingredients available in Ojai. Over 60+ recipes to help you create meals infused with the spirit of Ojai.


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