TOOLS OF THE TRADE YOU CAN’T BEAT KITCHEN MUSTS
COOKING becomes much easier and enjoyable when you have the right equipment. Chef “Fast Ed” Halmagyi recommends kitchen utensils worth forking out for. A cut above A chef’s knife is the most important tool in the kitchen, Fast Ed says. “Choose a blade made from German or French steel, they are the hardiest and will stay sharp for longer.” A dull knife is dangerous, so hone the blade regularly and have it professionally sharpened once a year. Get on board Every kitchen needs a quality chopping board. “An entry level cutting board should be at least 50cm x 30cm to give you enough room for your food preparation. I prefer wooden boards, nylon is OK, but avoid glass or marble as they will ruin your knives.” Rub your wooden chopping board down with beeswax once a year to protect the wood and enhance its water-resistance. Hot stuff “Many homes have old, inconsistent or uneven ovens, and this can turn people off altogether. A really good oven will rekindle your passion for cooking,” Fast Ed says. A gas oven helps keep roasts and casseroles moist. Bakers generally prefer an electric oven as they distribute heat more evenly. In the mix Stand mixers take the effort and endurance out of labour-intensive kitchen tasks. “There’s simply no way to create the cakes, biscuits, breads, meringues and desserts you love without the right power tool. My model gets flogged every week, but just keeps performing and performing.”
“You can also buy a range of attachments that will transform your stand mixer into a juicer, ice-cream machine or pasta maker.” Rock solid Enamel cast-iron cookware disperses heat evenly and will last a generation. “French brands like Le Creuset and Le Chasseur have dominated the market for years, but newcomers like KitchenAid have changed the game. They really make your stews, soups and roasts taste extra delicious.”
Never use steel pads or abrasive scrubbers – soak in warm soapy water and clean with a sponge.
If all else fails, there’s always the sixth most important kitchen tool, a telephone, which is great for ordering takeaway or making dinner reservations.
Tools of the trade ... enamel cast-iron cookware such as Le Creuset will last a generation, Fast Ed says. Stand mixers are essential to tackle labour-intensive tasks.