With gift-giving season upon us, you’re going to be bombarded with advertisements and promotions for the latest technology in cooking equipment. Whether it’s a new immersion blender or something you’ve never heard of before, every company is going to convince you that their product is worth every single penny. To help you narrow down your choices this holiday season, I’ve asked my executive chef at my restaurant Fishtail in New York City to give us his favorite kitchen gadgets that are worth investing in.
Gnocchi Board: I love my wooden gnocchi board and it’s been with me for a long time. While a lot of people think they’re unnecessary, I feel it’s important to have the grooves on a fluffy potato gnocchi, because without the grooves your sauce won’t have anything to cling on to."
Electric Knife: Another favorite of mine is the electric knife (I have a Black & Decker). I know it doesn’t seem very professional, but this is a great gadget that every chef should have. It gives you clean cuts that are precise and even. People are always looking at me funny when I bust out an electric knife and start using it but I don’t care. For me it’s fun.
Cake Tester: Another great thing to use is a cake tester, which is a thin steel probe that bakers use to test the doneness of a cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. This is a tool I use every day in my cooking; if I don’t have a cake tester on me at all times I feel like I’m missing my wallet or phone. I don’t just use it for cake — I use it for fish, meat, and whatever else needs to be probed and checked to see if it’s hot in the center.
Roasting Fork: I love using a roasting fork when I’m cooking fresh fettuccine or spaghetti. After you have the pasta totally coated in the sauce it’s so easy to twirl the fresh pasta around the roasting fork and create some volume and height to a plate.
Moulinex Cheese Grater: I use this grater on all of my salads. My favorite way to use it is to cube up blue cheese and freeze it and then put it into the cheese grater and create a fine shower of blue cheese all over the plate. As soon as it hits the lettuce it’s instantly soft and ready for eating. It brings a great visual effect to the plate and is much more innovative than the crumbled blue cheese you usually find.