Some home chefs make it look easy – the most impressive among us proving capable of preparing three square meals a day for multi-generational gatherings with the kind of speed and proficiency that can only come with decades of hands-on experience. Not everybody has the time and energy required to become an accomplished chef at home, so we took it upon ourselves to review some products embodying the trade secrets that professional chefs have been harbouring.
ASOTV Perfect Potato Fries Cutter
As a staple component of the modern fast-food diet, French fries (or freedom fries) are typically difficult to prepare outside of the commercial kitchen – entailing the dicing and frying of several potatoes in order to accumulate enough pieces to amount to a sizeable portion. With the ASOTV Perfect Potato Fries Cutter, a large portion of fresh French fries can be prepared with a fraction of the time and effort ordinarily required.
BENRINER Japanese Mandoline Vegetable Slicer
For those among us with a healthy wariness for sharp knives, rapidly slicing vegetables is less of a chore and more of a nightmarish test of culinary ability. If you want to prepare sliced vegetables with some reasonable speed and proficiency without making a trip to the emergency room, the Japanese Mandoline Vegetable Slicer from Benriner would be a required accessory in your kitchen.
IKEA VARDAGEN Bottle Opener and Can Opener
An ever-present problem in mechanical engineering is the link between the number of moving parts in a product and its likelihood for failure – which explains the rationale that the designers at IKEA adopted when they retooled the common hand-held can opener to work without any moving components. Both the new can-opener and accompanying bottle opener of the VARDAGEN package are equipped with robust Acetal plastic handles for comfort and hefty stainless steel heads for durability.
Jamie Oliver VI Terracotta Drizzler
Endorsed by a certain affable celebrity chef, this drizzler provides a ready dose of sauce or oil with a pull on its traditional cork stopper and its terracotta finish blends with rustic or country-inspired spaces. With its celebrity endorsement and manufacture in Portugal – a traditional epicentre for the manufacture of European ceramics, one can be certain of this product’s quality and authenticity.
Le Creuset Mortar & Pestle
While the electric blender may be preferred for its convenience, the most stringently traditional chefs prefer the authenticity associated with a stone mortar and pestle. The unglazed ceramic interior of Le Creuset (French for “the crucible”) purportedly helps to release the full flavour of herbs and spices as Nature intended, producing more fulfilling sauces with thicker consistencies – which even the most nonchalant of diners will appreciate.
Morphy Richards 3-in-1 Digital Kitchen Jug Scales
Nearly every kitchen has one of those drawers dedicated to the storage of baking utensils – with the majority of space taken up by weighing scales and the inevitable arrays of nesting measuring spoons or cups. With the 3-in-1 Digital Kitchen Jug Scales from Morphy Richards, an aspiring baker can weigh up to 5kg of ingredients in a stainless steel bowl and continually add to a mixture using the tare function to keep track of individual measures.
Yanagi Sashimi Knife
For those who use their knives like paintbrushes and are mindful of the stringent protocol surrounding Japanese cuisine, a generic Yanagi Sashimi knife is a necessary part of the versatile chef’s toolkit. BigSpoon carries a 24cm-long, right-handed Yanagi Sashimi knife that has been manufactured in adherence to honoured traditions with a wooden handle and a sealed collar around the tapered stem.
SOKANO Japanese Rice Dispenser
For as long as humans have been storing rice, weevils have been an unpleasant but accepted part of food preparation. Sokano’s innovative rice storage bin holds up to 12kg of your choice of rice grains above the countertop, and out of the reach of pests, with a series of small wheels that enable the bin to be easily moved around. A single slide of the dispensing drawer puts a standard measure of rice at your disposal, pulling older grains from the bottom of the bin without the aid of any electrical or mechanical components.
* Brands / names are listed alphabetically