Max & Eli Sussman
Meet Chefs Max & Eli Sussman

Max and Eli Sussman grew up in Huntington Woods, Michigan, where they learned to cook at an early age by helping their parents. The brothers' kitchen skills served them well as they grew up and fielded questions from friends, such as, "How do I make a grilled cheese?"

Currently, Max is the chef de cuisine at Roberta's in Brooklyn, New York, and Eli works as a line cook at Mile End Delicatessen in Brooklyn. Both have received recognition for their culinary talents: Max was one of Forbes' 30 Under 30 food and wine stars and a 2012 James Beard nominee for Rising Star Chef, while in 2012 Eli was named one of Zagat's 30 Under 30 and one of's top-50 food professionals. Max was previously the chef de cuisine at Eve in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and worked under Chef April Bloomfield at the Breslin in New York City.

Max and Eli are out to prove that impressive restaurant fare is easy to master at home with a little experimentation. With their latest cookbook, This Is a Cookbook, the Sussmans want to help everyone become comfortable enough to cook new dishes and develop new skills—or just simply cook, period. After all, as they say, "Everyone likes to be fed."

A Conversation With Max & Eli

Q: Who or what inspired you to start cooking? How did you get started?

A: Eli: Max and I have always been in the kitchen. We were very involved with family dinners and got hooked on cooking when we worked at a childhood summer camp. We cooked everything from scratch each night, with no frozen foods. It was exciting – it opened my eyes to unique, awesome possibilities.

Q: What advice do you have for people who are just starting out in the kitchen? How can you make it accessible?

A: Max: Don't be afraid to make mistakes and try things differently. Always be ready to throw out the recipe and improvise, that's how the greatest discoveries are made.

Read the full Q & A on our blog

Read more about the Sussmans' new cookbook Buy the book Creating a Playlist for Your Party Dishes Every Cook Should Master Roasted Corn Soup With Tomato Chilaquiles with Tomatillo Salsa Grilled Meatball Sandwich Korean-Style Short Ribs Grilled Whole Fish
Max & Eli's Top Tools For The Kitchen

Le Creuset Signature Oval Dutch Oven
A Dutch oven is perfect for braising, frying and making stocks—it's an all-around incredible kitchen tool. Yes, it's on the pricy end but it will last your entire life, and it looks pretty cool on the shelf when it's not in use.

Stainless-Steel Tongs
These are in line with what commercial kitchens use: no rubber handles or rubber teeth here, just stainless-steel tongs with infinite kitchen applications. They are perfect for moving around food while grilling, stirring things in boiling water, moving hot pots and pans around the burners...we could go on and on.

OXO Stainless-Steel Strainer
This strainer is perfect for draining pasta or lentils, blanching veggies, skimming stocks, and soaking rice or beans, and we're sure you'll find tons more uses. We prefer it over a colander because the lip lets it rest on bowls or pots to allow draining.

Lodge Round Fry Pan
A cast-iron skillet is another necessity, perfect for searing and cooking steaks.

Cuisinart Elite Die-Cast Mini Prep
A food processor is a powerful tool in the home kitchen. If you do a lot of entertaining there are plenty of larger food processors in this family that will shred, chop, blend, pulse and blend just about anything.

OXO Stainless-Steel Measuring Cups & Spoons
If you are a new cook, have never made the recipe before or are baking, then you should keep these measuring spoons handy. They come in just about every measurement you could ever need to keep you on track.