Photographs: Francesco Lagnese; Text: Sara Costello; Prop Stylist: Olga Naiman; Food Stylist: Jamie Kimm; Clothing Stylist: Turner; Hair and Makeup: Masha Gvozdov/Ford Artists

New York chef Colombe Jacobsen lays out her genius strategy for whipping up dinner for six in a closet-sized kitchen and tight dining space.

Keep Things Simple

A one-dish meal "Soup, salad, entree and dessert? Not so easy in this kitchen!" Jacobsen laughs. She opts for an effortless but elegant single course, like striped bass with black rice ("It's more interesting than plain white rice, but just as painless to cook," she says). She spices up the combo with fresh herbs (from a windowsill box—so they don't take up an inch of fridge space), wraps it in a banana leaf she buys at an Asian grocery store, then bakes it in parchment paper.

An unfussy side Her main course is a meal in itself, but if Jacobsen wants to up the ante, she goes with an add-on like fresh greens (usually spinach or watercress). She submerges them in a bowl of cold water, drains them and then throws them in a pot on the stove for a few minutes until wilted. "When the water's almost gone, they're done," she says. She then adds toasted sesame oil, sea salt and sesame seeds for flavor.

Easy-to-eat sweets Finger foods, such as coconut macaroons, are an addictive dessert—and don't require plates or forks.

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