Chefs do their work using their knowledge and creative skills. But apart from that, they also have their favorite tools that help make their work faster and easier. The choice, however, varies from one chef to another. Some may prefer the traditional super handy tools while the others opt for the bulky, more advanced and complicated ones.
The type of tools chefs love to use normally reflects their attitude toward cooking and who among them keep abreast with technology.
For Chef Ludo LeFebvre, the peeler (whether it’s the Y-shaped or swivel type) is extremely important. This is the tool he can’t live without because it makes peeling vegetables much easier. Peelers indeed make peeling vegetables faster than usual.
Chefs are very particular about knives and often choose those that’s the right fit for their hands. Chef Gordon Ramsay uses three basic ones – the chopping knife, paring knife and the serrated knife while Charlie Marshall of New York City’s The Marshal recommends the 8-inch Kikuichi Elite Warikomi Damascus Tschime chefs knife.
Chef Rudofker, executive chef of Momofuku Ssäm Bar who owns more than 100 knives also believes that they need to not only understand their tools but know how to maintain them as well.
For his part, Director of Pastry Arts at International Culinary Center Jansen Chan values his serrated knives particularly in cutting delicate products such as sponge cakes and croissants. A short serrated knife measuring five to six inches, he said, is best for cake carving.
Some chefs including Giada de Laurentiis can’t live without the microplane grater or zester. This tool is very useful in finely grating ingredients into what you’re cooking such as cheese, ginger and horseradish among others. For those who like to achieve snow-like gratings, this is the perfect kitchen tool to use.
Chef Ignacio Mattos loves his zester too. He uses it to grate citrus zest as well as Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese that are staples in his dishes at Estela.
Mortar and Pestle
The mortar and pestle are best for crushing herbs and spices. Writer and chef Tamar Adler uses a Thai one to bruise the herbs she grows in her kitchen and crush spices. Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay loves the versatility of this kitchen tool that lets users take control of the kind of texture they want their herbs and spices to come out. He said there’s nothing more rewarding than hand pounding your own spices.