blog/Wednesday February 7th 2017

KITCHEN ESSENTIALS

If I gave you £100 to spend on non-food kitchen essentials, what would you spend it on?

When I tell people what I do for a living, I get asked the same questions most of the time: who’s your favourite Chef, what’s your favourite restaurant, your favourite meal, do you ever eat in McDonalds (I’m not proud at saying the answer is yes, sometimes). I got asked a different type of question the other day, I think the person must have had an older child about to flee the nest: ‘If I gave you £100 to spend on non-food kitchen essentials, what would you spend it on?”

While I’ve had the same set of knives since I first started out (given to me by my gran) I admit, like any chef, I love spending money on shiny new toys. But essentials? That’s a harder one to fathom, here’s a few suggestions. You should get a few quid change out of £100 – enough, if all else fails, for the budding cook to buy a takeaway…

pastry_300

Victorinox Pastry Knife £20.00

This high carbon stainless steel blade is razor sharp, and ice tempered to retain that sharpness longer. The soft-grip fibrox handle is also dishwasher safe.

pairing_tomato

Victorinox Pairing £10

This super sharp tomato knife from Victorinox makes quick work of tomatoes and other soft fruit with hard exteriors, such as grapes and cucumber. The serrated blade ensures a clean cut through the skin without crushing the fruit itself.

peeler_grip

Oxo Good Grips Peeler £10

Sharp, hardened stainless steel blade. A soft, comfortable, non-slip handle cushions during repetitive peeling motion. It’s also got a built-in potato eyer, removable cover protects blade and dishwasher safe.

blog_1_miniblender

Mini blender stick £20

Look for a stick with a couple of easy-to-use stainless steel attachments. Best if you can find a push button power control for easy, one handed blending and an ergonomically designed handle for a comfortable grip/control.

blog_1_highheat

High Heat Spatula £8

Suitable for use up to 260. Easy to use and good quality.

tray_300

Re-usable non-stick baking mat £8

Safely prep and cook bisctuis, pastries, candy, meats, veggies and more.

palette_300

Good quality Palette Knife £10

Angled blade, lightweight and easy to use – you’ll need this for all baking.

whisk

High quality Whisk (non-electric) £4

Get one that’s comfortable, nonslip handle, wet or dry. And dishwasher safe.

blog/Tuesday February 6th 2017

KITCHEN ESSENTIALS

My Five Favourite Cook Books…

Another question I get asked is about my favourite cookbooks. I’ll admit, I spend more on cookbooks than I probably should. I just love reading about technique and style (classic and modern), it never fails to amaze me the level of creativity out there. It’s also great to use those influences in my own cooking – especially on the presentation side.

Modern chefs really are artists – creating platefuls of food that are as pleasing to the eye as the tongue. The five cookbooks below have some dishes that you’ll need all sorts of kit to achieve, I accept that – but I’d welcome you to marvel at the invention and, like me, use them to influence, and improve, the food you’re turning out.

larousse_300

Larousse Gastronomique – £45.50

A must for any budding chef. The kitchen bible, if you need to know something it’s sure to be in Larousse. A culinary encyclopaedia.

michelroux

Relatively old books now but still go-to books for basic French classics.  If you want to know how to nail the classics these books are a must.

eleven_madison

Eleven Madison Park – £29.50

One of the best restaurants in the world.  Not only does this book have great recipes and photographs of great modern food.  It also gives an insight into what goes into the day to day running of a 3 star restaurant.

alinea_320

Alinea – £40.00

Not only is this book full of great recipes and photographs it is more about the story of the chef that makes it inspirational.  Having had mouth cancer he had to retrain his palate completely which in turn gained him 3 Michelin stars. True legend.

underpressure

Safely prep and cook bisctuis, pastries, candy, meats, veggies and more.