A Well Equipped Kitchen
Sharp knives are essential in a well-equipped kitchen. There is not much worse in a kitchen than trying to cut something with a dull knife. You really only need four knives and good ones will last you a lifetime. You should hone your knives often, and sharpen them with a stone or use a sharpening service every few months depending on how much you use your knife. In our catering kitchen for example, we hone our knives before every use, and have a service sharpen them weekly.
We store our knives on a wall magnet so they can get plenty of air and easy access. I’m not a big fan of storing them in a wood block but that may work best in a home kitchen…or place your knives in a draw on a soft towel and avoid having the blades touch one another or anything else for that matter.
If you are not sure how to properly care for your quality knife, I suggest you Google proper knife maintenance and learn how best to keep your knives for a lifetime.
- 10” Chef Knife
- 12” Slicing Knife
- Paring Knife
- Serrated Knife
- Honing Steele
- Sharpening Stone
- Cutting Board – My preference is a wood cutting board or some other soft synthetic material (12” by 18”) for all others will dull your blade. We place a damp cloth under the board so it won’t move around. Remember too, that if you use your board for cutting meats and poultry, they should be sanitized with a Clorox water solution after each use; which is why a board made of a soft synthetic material may be best for use on meats and use your wood board for breads and such.
POTS AND PANS
Personally, I like cast-iron anything. They really conduct and distribute heat well. All-Clad is my next favorite. You can also find some decent pots and pan sets at a store like SAM’s and COSTCO for reasonable prices. The thing you must remember is they must always have a heavy bottom to properly conduct and distribute heat. Go online and read what consumers say about the sets you are wanting to purchase. In addition to selecting fine ingredients, the outcome of your final product will be directly related to the quality of your cookware. I suggest you make the investment.
- Roasting Pan
- Various size Saucepan with lids
- Various size Pots with lids
- Frying Pan
- Non-Stick Frying Pan
- Measuring Scale
- Hand-held Mixer
- Vita-Mix or Blender (optional)
For me, an organized quiet kitchen is essential to creating good food. Even at home, I hate chaos. I want a ZEN kitchen. When we owned Bailey’s restaurant, our prep kitchen was so quiet that my friend Suzanne Perry, owner of Datz, Dough, and Roux restaurants, would tell her staff that she wants her office to be as quite as Kim Bailey’s kitchen. I took that as a compliment. In my restaurant during dinner service, I only wanted to hear the Executive Chef and Expo calling out orders.
That said, I find it great fun to have the hustle and bustle of friends helping to prepare a holiday meal together or creating wonderful dishes for Sunday Supper.
Some chefs want loud music blaring when they cook. Some want radio talk shows (hopefully mine). Some want lots of chatter. Regardless of your preferred environment, you should always have an organized kitchen. While I could list hundreds of gadgets and doo-dads, the following are the essential to help with your organization.
- Wooden Spoons
- Large Stirring Spoons
- Aluminum Baking Sheets
- Heat-proof Spatula
- Mandolin Food Slicer
- Pepper Mill
- Half-Sheet Baking Sheets with Lip
- 9”x13”X2” Baking Pan – I recommend a heavy duty pan like you would find at Williams Sonoma
- Kitchen Twine
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