"The more pasisonate the cook, the better the flavors" -Charles M. Carroll

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Chef Lou's Top Kitchen Gadgets

Wondering what a professional chef uses day in, day out in the kitchen?
These are my top kitchen gadget must-haves:

Kitchen Scale,  $20
All my recipes for Savory Fine Catering Specialists have been developed with ounces, grams, milliliters. This is always out on my countertop when I'm cooking for my family too! It offers the best and most accurate measurments. I like ones that switch between units of measure.

The secret is out.... for evenly sliced and diced salsas, mangos, onions, garnishes I use this all the time. I have (3) in my commercial kitchen and my Savory Event Catering staff uses them for every event we coordinate. Sorry, my chefs from culinary school may kill me for admitting this! When you work on the kitchen line you spend most of your time chopping, dicing-- we just don't have time for it and the Vidalia Chop Wizard is a huge time-saver.

 Lime Juicer, Williams- Sonoma, $18
I always have fresh lemons and limes available for juicing. Here at Savory Catering in Utah NEVER use concentrated lemon juice or fake limes in a can. This juicer is a huge saver because you don't have to have super-human strength to extract the juices. My weak wrists can get every last drop out.

We use for scooping melons in salads and presentation; also great as a garnishing tool for other fruits.

This is the sharpest zester I have found-- and it stays sharp even after grating fresh ginger.

Essentially a gigantic spatula, helpful for moving and lifting cakes, large pastries, etc.

I keep my Thermapen digital thermometer in the pocket of my chef's uniform. My executive chef and sous chef also keep one on them at all times. Very important, especially when grilling meats and seafood. You don't want it too overdone, but it has to be the exact right temperature. I love this pen because the hot spot is right at the tip; usually with cheaper digital thermometer, the measuring point is about 3" in from the end. If you're cooking a turkey, it is almost impossible to get the entire point at the center of the turkey breast.

Messermeister, Meridian Elite Chef's Knife, $190

Finding the right chef's knife is a little bit of personal preference, but once you find the right one you'll have it forever. It has to be the right balance and weighted for you-- not too heavy, and not too long.  I love Messermeister brand, and we use them in all our planning and preparation. 

Messermeister, Meridian Elite Santoku Knife, $170

The Santoku knife is a little different, a little smaller and lighter. I use this for smaller tasks, but it gets used every day I'm in the kitchen.

You can also use this list as a gift guide for that foodie in your life :)

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