10 Kitchen Tools I Can’t Live Without

I recently came out of “maternity” retirement to return to my old stomping ground of The Five Fishermen Restaurant in Halifax. Instead of taking it easier, I decided to take on two more restaurants in the company, which means that I have to be organized and resourceful more than ever. Here is a list of my top ten items that are going to make my return so much easier!

chef's knife#10 Chef’s Knife

A sharp chefs knife is key in the kitchen.  Always keep in mind when buying a knife, make sure it is one that you find comfortable.  No need to buy the most expensive, but the one that fits your hand properly, is the right weight and length (I now use a Nova Scotia made 8 inch Grohmann knife that is on the heavier side).

peeler#9 Peeler

I use my peeler for many jobs; shaving hard cheese, shaving chocolate, making vegetable ribbons, etc.  I buy the speed peelers that are a little cheaper, so that once they get dull, I don’t feel guilty getting rid of them!

fish-spatula#8 Fish Spatula

This tool is good for lifting up delicate things from fish and desserts, to taking poached eggs out of liquid.

benriner#7 Benriner

This Japanese mandolin is made of plastic and is extremely sharp.  A lot cheaper than it’s big brother (those monstrous metal mandolins that are very expensive), these bad boys come with three different blades that are useful when needing to julienne tons of vegetables, or for thinly slicing anything.  If you want people to think that you’ve spent hours perfectly slicing potatoes for a Pomme Anna, but really spent five minutes on your Benriner, do so!

skewers#6 Wooden Skewers

I not only use  these for skewering meat and vegetables, but for checking doneness of cakes and breads and for taking lobster meat out of those pesky shells.

Kitchen Scissors#5 Scissors

I like to use scissors to snip delicate herbs into finished soups or sauces.

Tongs#4 Tongs

Yes, I know, many chefs don’t like to use tongs as they aren’t very good for delicate plating (often chopsticks or tweezers are used), but mine are an extension of my body, I can’t live without them!  I am also anal about finding the perfect tong…good resistance, good grip and perfect length.

paring-knife#3 Paring Knife

Mine gets used for cutting cheese, vegetables, fruits and even some butchery.  I always have two or three floating around at my house in case of emergency.

tablespoon#2 Tablespoon

That’s right! A good ‘ol tablespoon.  I keep it in my pocket for tasting, plating, flipping and beating the staff when they’re bad.

rasp#1 Rasp

My rasp…how do I describe thee?  This little beauty grates my cheese, garlic, ginger and zests my lemons, limes and oranges.  I like to buy mine in bulk at Lee Valley Tools.

What are your favourite kitchen tools?









More Feisty Posts:

Les Fraises Fantastiques!
For the Love of Liverwurst
Grilled Cheese; A Gift From The Gods

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6 Responses to “10 Kitchen Tools I Can’t Live Without”

  1. Brewnoser Says:
    September 14th, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    Very nice summary. I NEED a Benriner. Where can I get one?

    Oh, and in case you get tired of serving feisty little bits of knuckes to people, there are handle thingys you can buy for those Lee Valley rasps…. I mean graters….

  2. Craig Moore Says:
    September 15th, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Mallet (for scallopini-ing)
    Wine opener :P
    ….and a good Chef’s knife is sooooo critical. Any sharpening suggestions (a steele or other)?

  3. Anthony Vink Says:
    October 20th, 2009 at 10:11 am

    I think you forgot the most important of all the kitchen tools. It is often not considered so, but I believe they are among the most important.


    A nice plate to put your beautiful creations on. The right bowl to serve Bun or Pho. It’s down right depressing to plate beautiful food on old chipped, or busy plates.

    Linked across from “two if by sea” I think I’ll be back

  4. resveratrol Says:
    January 29th, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Good work, your articles are very interesting, i am glad that i googled your blog

  5. tom r. Says:
    August 13th, 2010 at 12:47 am

    I have the same list of kitchen tools I cant live without.. But can I add whisk as my top 11? haha ;)

  6. robert pendergast Says:
    August 26th, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Hi Renee,

    Great blog! I use an oyster knife for many tasks such as popping an air hole in a big olive oil can, shucking the top off a bottle (some sauces, beer, etc.), and it can be useful for many more tasks- Oh! Shucking oysters too!


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