Ok, so we have already talked about the knives so what else is in the professional chef’s knife case? Let’s continue.
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Microplane is a very fine grater most often used for zesting and finishing pasta dishes with grating some parmesan on top. Parmesan grated with microplane is very light and delicate and the zest of a citrus fruit is very aromatic. It also doesn’t cut too deep into the fruit, taking only the top part of the zest off and leaving that white bitter part untouched.
There is no need to explain this, however there is one thing that needs to be said. Great peelers don’t cost a fortune! And there is no need for ‘fancy stuff’ like ceramic peelers. Actually, one of my good friends bought an expensive ceramic peeler just when he started him culinary career. He worked in a Michelin star restaurant and one of the chefs took his peeler, snapped it in half and threw it in the bin. He said, that the ceramic peelers are very sharp, but they cut too deep into the fruits and vegetables, and that way wasting a lot of food. Every penny counts in those kitchens. Anyway, a good quality stainless steel peeler will do the job just fine and you can get it for around 8$.
Used a lot on the pastry side of the kitchen, but it is also a great tool when you need to check the temperature of the food. I would recommend something what is called a candy thermometer. The temperature amplitude is a lot broader than a regular probe and when it comes to desserts, stuff can get really hot!
Simple little tool. Caked tester, as the name states, is used if the cake is done, just as a wooden skewer would do. However, there is one more purpose to it. Checking if the fish, scallops or other food is cooked to the right temperature, or to check what is the temperature in the middle of it. Stick the cake tester in the middle, keep it there for a few second, take it out and put the needle against your lip. Just be careful not to burn yourself.
Plating spoon is not only for the plating. It is actually a very common tool when it comes to cooking, used instead of a spatula. Also, because of its shape, it allows you to do a little bit more when it comes to playing around with purees.
Another very universal tool. Spoonula, as you probably figured it out already, is a mixture of a rubber spatula and a spoon. Or in other words, a curved rubber spatula. Very often used on the pastry side, but it has many other purposes in the kitchen. Have you ever tried scrapping the remaining of yoghurt or soup out of the container with a spoon? It just leaves so much stuff behind! Well a spoonula will scrape everything out leaving the container almost just as clean as if it was just washed. Making risotto? Spoonula is the tool to go. It is softer than the spoon, so it does not break the rice. When you have this tool on hand, you know where to use it. Trust me.
Not a necessary tool for a regular person, but chefs tend to deal with a lot of fresh whole fish. We have to descale it, fillet it and debone it. And believe me, using anything else for this jobs is a pain in the rear end.
It is mostly used for precision work such as plating. It just makes it so much easier to transfer all the small things to the right place on the plate.
Another tool that is unnecessary for a regular person, but sometimes chefs use 50 kilograms of tomatoes at once and to use a knife to take the cores out is not very pleasant.
Don’t let the name trick you. It is not only for the pastry. Can be used for platting (to play around with the purees or sauces) or brushing the meat on the grill with some marinade.
Mostly used for the precision work too. Food plating, cake glazing, chocolate decorations making and… food plating. I think I mentioned that before….
A small tool for every day’s job. A tool used 10s of times a day. For dates and labels and a colorful chef’s jacket, if you don’t cap it properly and forget it in your pocket when doing the laundry.
I think all of these tools make a complete professional chef’s knife case. And yes, there are many other tools that we use, but these are the most important ones to have the right tool for the job.
Have you read the first part of What Is In The Professional Chef’s Knife Case?