So many of us use January as the marker to start positive habits, from less screen time to more exercise, or currently on trend thanks to omicron…more home-cooked meals. Chef Bob and I are so vastly different, but one of our most striking similarities, is the joy that comes from on-the-fly improvisational problem solving. In catering, this is a must have-skill, and truly where some of our best work derives from. At work, I’ve always loved watching Chef Bob inspire our kitchen team with imaginative and daring family meals from the walk-in refrigerator remnants. At home, this translates to my “what’s in the fridge/pantry” meals. But whether you have every ingredient at your fingertips, or are winging it with whatcha got… having a well-stocked toolbox, makes all the difference! We gathered 10 of our favorite kitchen gadgets to share with you. May this inspire more kitchen creativity and more inventive home-cooked meals!
Let’s start with a kitchen nerd confession… I actually pack my microplane when going on vacation. In my opinion, having to cook without one – is not a meal worth cooking. I use it for everything from lemon zest, garlic, fresh ginger, cheese, nutmeg, chocolate. Seriously folks, this one is up there with can opener.
Want to guarantee that your food is perfectly tender every single time? Cook with a sous vide stick. We adore the Joule Sous Vide because it packs a professional punch in a tiny NYC apartment package. And the powerful magnet means no fuss with extra accessories or clips.
Whether you’re headed to a potluck, or serving up leftovers… Besovida’s beautiful matte silicone lidded bowls are the perfect container for storing, heating, and even serving in! The chic design makes the versatility of going from freezer to oven to table effortless!
Speaking of silicone, one of our go-to kitchen tricks – is to always have frozen cubes of homemade broth in the freezer. It’s the perfect way to make a 10-minute sauce taste like it’s been simmering all day. These silicone ice trays have a handy lid too!
Bob and I are big fans of Eva Solo’s designs. We once served bar snacks out of her inventive oversized glass birdfeeders… From her Two-in-one salad spinner and colander to her grating bucket, her designs are ingeniously simple. And you can’t help but wonder… why didn’t I think of that! The efficiency and ease of the grating bucket is a perfect example of Solo’s clever mind at work.
This next tool is perfect for cucumber salads or even ceviche. To get super professional and consistent razor thin slices, the secret is a Japanese mandoline. Just make sure to pay attention… these f*ckers are sharp!
Another Japanese kitchen tool we have come to rely on is the Suribachi mortar for aioli’s + grinding spices. Similar to a regular mortar and pestle, this ceramic mortar has a hand-made grooved interior to facilitate grinding and crushing and is shaped to prevent ingredients from escaping too easily. We also find it elegant enough to serve from at the table.
Now for a couple more super specialized tools, that are not essential, but sure make certain tasks more efficient.
Like shucking sea urchins… trust us, you’ll want this tool.
Or when making a big tomato anchovy salad… this tomato corer will save you!
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