Lighting Rockwell uses Xenix fixtures from Alkco, which come in foot-long strips of five bulbs. Hidden under a cabinet, they illuminate the countertop and create a backlit, halo effect (from $60; 847-451-0700).
Comfort Rockwell prefers Merrell Jungle Mocs, which have rugged, cushioned soles, to chef's clogs. He just gave a pair to chef Gray Kunz as a gift ($65; 888-637-7001).
Water Barry Wine, founder of the innovative 1980s Manhattan restaurant the Quilted Giraffe, taught Rockwell that "the sink is the center of the kitchen," because adding water to sauces or reductions is key to cooking. Rockwell prefers big stainless steel sinks that have inserts such as cutting boards, like those from Franke ($1,100 to $4,200; 800-626-5771).