Alain Ducasse's Kitchen Tools Slideshow
June 12, 2013
The chef shares his 5 must-have items in the kitchen
This curved, flexible spatula is primarily used in baking, but Ducasse finds it useful in every step of the cooking process, whether it’s simply transferring ingredients or scraping sauce from a bowl. "A must for pastry cooks and cooks alike, the Maryse spatula is flexible and enables containers of all shapes to be scraped out efficiently, allowing all contents to make their way into a recipe," he says.
Round-Bottomed Mixing Bowl:
A solid mixing bowl is a requirement for any kitchen (well-stocked or not), but a stainless steel, round-bottomed version is the most versatile. "The stainless steel Cul-de-Poule (round-bottomed) mixing bowl allows you to smoothly mix cold ingredients or even combine products over a stove or grill," Ducasse says. So you can pre-measure heavy whipping cream and toss it back in the fridge, or attempt to melt chocolate in it with a double-boiler.
This conical sieve tends to have a finer mesh than standard sieves, which makes it perfect for straining purées, soups, and custards for an extra-smooth texture. "I use this for separating solids from liquids — for instance, to remove even the smallest particles from sauces," Ducasse says. "It’s also the best tool for sifting dry ingredients together."
Yes, a mandoline may be intimidating, but you know those perfect slices of potatoes and carrots you always find in restaurants? No matter how good your knife skills are, you won’t be able to pull those off without this. "Even the most skilled chefs use this slicer for precision when cutting produce," Ducasse says.
You might think a giant spoon is all that’s necessary in the kitchen when it comes to soups, but once you get a skimmer you won’t be able to cook without it. "I use this tool to skim the fat from a bouillon, but it also comes in handy when I need to remove a blanched ingredient that is submerged in water," Ducasse says.