A working kitchen cannot function well without small accessories, as we discover with three experts in the world of food who share their tips and favorite brands.
Working with your hands
Every chef needs a well-maintained knife that is razor sharp. Knives are the most important tools for a chef. They are an essential part of a chef’s kit, helping in every kitchen task, from chopping onions and cutting beef to opening oysters and slicing bread. Although each type of kitchen knife has its usage and purpose, they all need to be sharpened. Other than that, there is nothing more rewarding than using one’s hands and feeling the ingredients, especially when working with dough.
In terms of brands, I am a fan of the mixer by Kitchen Aid and a Vita Prep blender. Kitchen Aid is an American home appliance brand owned by Whirlpool Corporation. The added value is that the machine doesn’t only mix, it also shreds, grinds, whips, kneads and mashes. With an array of attachments available, Kitchen Aid can be used for multiple tasks, such as making pasta, stuffing sausages, juicing fruits and vegetables, among other things. The Vita-Prep® is a dependable power tool for commercial kitchens, trusted by professional chefs for its exceptional power, versatility and performance. It is great for research and recipe development.
Using the right knife
Honestly, there isn’t a perfect knife, but there is a perfectly maintained knife. What’s most important is to have the right knife for the right occasion. Often, I see cooks trying to butcher with a chef’s knife, and that is a big mistake.
It is important to prepare a great environment to cook. Having the right equipment is paramount. In a kitchen, a chef needs different kinds of small accessories:
• For preparation: a kitchen board, professional knives for boning, fileting and cutting vegetables, a peeler, a set of tweezers, a mandolin, sieve, strainer, colander and bowls of different sizes and containers.
• For cooking: pans and saucepans of varying sizes, a poultry fork, tongs, ladle, skimmer, small trays and foil paper.
• For storage: different boxes with covers and cling film.
Brands of choice
As chefs, we need to feel comfortable when we cook and trust the quality of our equipment, so spending a little more money on small kitchen accessories is important from the outset. In my opinion, Mauviel, Laguiole and Zwilling are good brands.
A knife to suit the occasion
It is not mandatory to have every kind of professional knife in the kitchen. What is important is to have knives that feel comfortable to use. Depending on your regime, you can adjust the choice of your knife. For instance, if you are preparing a vegetarian menu, you might not need a boning knife or a fileting knife.
For a common kitchen, a peeler, a paring knife, a bread knife, scissors and a chef’s knife are compulsory. If you then want to prepare for ingredients such as meat or fish, then you will need to get specific knives.
Small items go a long way
Every kitchen needs a non-stick pan with a solid, heavy bottom. Also, a good knife is an essential. You cannot think of a chef without thinking of a knife. This tool is essential for all the cutting, chopping and slicing we do. The best way to increase the lifespan of your knife is to keep it sharp. Never cut with blunt knives. I would say that you should sharpen your knife once a week or once every two weeks, depending on how frequently you use it.A top-quality side towel/cloth is one of the most versatile and important accessories in the kitchen. It is used for everything, from drying your hands and grabbing hot pans to covering greens.Finally, blending is one of those tasks that never goes away, so a blender is possibly one of the most used electrical accessories in the kitchen.
My preferred knife is made by WUSTOF. I love the balanced blade-to-handle weight ratio, which is critical when you are cutting all day. In terms of blenders, I can’t live without my Vita mix. It is extremely durable and can handle the heavy demands of the kitchen. Scanpan is a great pan brand. It can handle most tasks and can be used in the oven, so I often use it to sear off my meats and then place the pan directly in the oven to finish off the dish.
Top three knives
In general, there are only three knives that are crucial in a kitchen: a chef’s knife, a paring knife and a serrated knife. To me, these three knives would cover basically anything you would need to cut, so any other knives are a luxury. My idea of a perfect knife would be one that good blade edge retention, is tough and sharpens easily.DEC 2021-