CUT­TING EDGE

Cook­ware mecca Bor­ough Kitchen’s founders on the kit and knife skills that make a great home chef

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Entertaining -

Launch­ing their first shop in 2013, Justin Kow­bel and David Cal­dana ( be­low, from left), the founders of Bor­ough Kitchen, prof­fer all the home chef could pos­si­bly need for cook­ing and en­ter­tain­ing, fo­cus­ing on time­less clas­sics and pieces that will last a life­time.

Start­ing out in the heart of Lon­don’s food scene, Bor­ough Mar­ket, the brand now has out­posts in Hamp­stead and Chiswick, all of­fer­ing beau­ti­ful cook­ware and a se­lec­tion of cook­ing classes ( bor­oughk­itchen.com).

How im­por­tant is us­ing the cor­rect cook­ware?

Peo­ple can be­come ob­sessed with pick­ing the fresh­est in­gre­di­ents, but it’s equally im­por­tant to choose the right cook­ware to get the best re­sults. You don’t need to own a lot of gad­gets – just fo­cus on the es­sen­tial, high-qual­ity, life­time pieces.

Do you have any kitchen must-haves?

Amer­i­can chef Ju­lia Child’s motto was ‘Al­ways start out with a larger pot than you think you need’. Our es­sen­tials in­clude a high-pre­ci­sion ‘Cop­per Core’ fry­ing pan by All-clad; a chef’s pan, such as the De Buyer ‘Min­eral B’ fry­ing pan (our se­cret weapon for cook­ing the per­fect steak); and an all­round non-stick one – try Gas­trolux. Our go-to small knife is a bird’s beak. Some like to use a more tra­di­tional par­ing knife, but we reach for this one to cut the ends off green beans or quar­ter mush­rooms. What are your favourite brands? Mau­viel’s ‘M Cook’ pan range is very heat-re­spon­sive and can go straight in the dish­washer. French maker Pil­livuyt makes clas­sic porce­lain – like Mau­viel, it’s a brand that’s been around for well over a cen­tury. We also rate Finex, which has a line of amaz­ing cast-iron pots with wo­ven stain­less-steel, stay-cool han­dles. It’s plan­ning to un­veil a new, big­ger casse­role dish next year – we can’t wait for that.

Are there any magic in­stru­ments that cre­ate wow-fac­tor food?

We love the ‘Big Green Egg’, a bar­be­cue, smoker and out­door oven. It cre­ates an in­cred­i­ble smoky flavour and the ce­ramic body en­sures all of the mois­ture is locked into the food, so you end up with a crowd-pleas­ing meal ev­ery time. Our favourite dishes to make in it are côte de boeuf or clas­sic Sun­day roast chicken. A smok­ing gun is a nifty gad­get, too. It adds an awe­some flavour to all foods – even cock­tails. A smoked Ne­groni is a win­ner.

Is there a tool that you think is miss­ing from most kitchens?

A whet­stone to keep knives sharp. Noth­ing pro­duces a bet­ter edge or is eas­ier on your knives. We hold free 20-minute tu­to­ri­als in our stores to teach peo­ple how to sharpen their knives prop­erly. Also a ‘Fine Grater’ by Mi­croplane. It’s a bril­liant tool that you will find many uses for – it works for cit­rus zest, Parme­san, gar­lic, nut­meg, choco­late and more.

If you could splurge on one piece, what would it be?

A chef’s knife. Spend­ing be­tween £80 and £200 will get you a great one. With the proper care and some sim­ple main­te­nance, it will last you decades. Your sec­ond knife should be a good par­ing one for smaller jobs. Our three favourite brands are Wusthof, Kai Shun and Blen­heim Forge.

What would you buy as a gift for a foodie?

For the ad­vanced chef, a two-han­dled sauté pan is not only use­ful but also beau­ti­ful to take to the ta­ble. A ‘Chef’s Note­book’ by Stone is also a great present. They are grease­proof and wa­ter­proof, so use­ful to keep in the kitchen when you’re tweak­ing recipes.

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