The 5 kitchen tools a top chef keeps at home…
Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen – South Africa’s first Michelin-star chef, published author, artist and passionate photographer, amongst other things! @janhendrik
1 Bamix hand mixer – The company has been making hand mixers for over 60 years. The quality is great and it can literally puree anything – it’s a MUST in every kitchen!
2 Japanese mandolin – A basic tool that I use every day, whether it’s for salad (think perfect cucumber ribbons), garnishing or even cheese. It is a small tool that is easy to clean but makes a big difference. You can also adjust the width of the blade to get a thicker or thinner cut and it also has a few different attachments.
3 ISI gun – This tool is great for dinner parties as it always impresses. It’s perfect for foams and makes the best mousses as it aerates without having to add additional whipped cream which often dilutes the taste of a mousse.
4 Kitchen Aid stand mixer – Great from making anything from meringues to bread. It is also a great quality product and it definitely adds to the look of a kitchen with its sleek design and range of colours.
5 Silpat mat – The best tool for baking whether it is bread, macaroons, biscuits or tuiles. It is guaranteed non-stick and clean-up is very easy.
Clement Pedro – chef presenter and food stylist (you may know him from the TV show, Afternoon Express) @clement.pedro
1 Heavy-based pan – I prefer cast iron, and even though it might cost a little more, these guys last forever. From the perfect scrambled eggs, pancakes, steaks and even oven roasts, these pans go from stove-top to oven to dishwasher without flinching, replacing the job of so many other kitchen pieces. Let’s just call it your kitchen MVP.
2 Good-quality chef’s knife – No matter how amazing your grass-fed, organic, 79-week aged, Pope-blessed rib-eye roast is, if you’re hacking at it with a blunt, teaspoon of a knife it’s going to turn into burger mince. A good knife is like an orchestra conductor, synchronizing the ingredients before coming together for the most amazing performance.
3 Microplane – This is no fancy cheese grater. If you’re looking to cut your preparation time in the kitchen by half, this is your guy. Garlic, ginger, nuts and yes, cheeses. A microplane allows you to not only cut your chopping time in half by quickly grating them, it also changes the texture of the ingredients, like turning frozen feta into a cheesy, salty dust or lemon zest into a citrusy burst of seasoning. My tip: Freeze a chilli then microplane it over a dish before serving for a bit of zing.
4 Pressure cooker – You might think it’s only good for cooking tough pieces of meat in record time, but this kitchen genie can do so much more. I use it to quickly cook potatoes for mash, gnocchi or roast potatoes, from deep frying to cooking rice in a fraction of the time. And let’s not forget that it’s the best way to get an oxtail curry on the table in under an hour.
5 JBL Charge 2 – Sound strange? Well, I never cook without music playing in the kitchen. I dance and sing (not very well, just being honest) as I cook. It also usually lures others into the kitchen, making it more of a fun, group experience.
Jackie Cameron – Owner of Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine, designer of JC Chef clothing range and author @jackiecameronincolour
• Wusthof chef’s knife – This is top of my list. Or you could really splash out with a Wusthof knife stand, complete with a collection of knives within the range.
• Thermomix – It’s pricey, I know, but it does so many jobs that makes it worthwhile on many levels.
• ELBA stove and oven – The best value home cookers available in SA, in my opinion.
• Any pots and pans from the Culinary Equipment Company in Lanseria, Johannesburg – plus they also sell online. Most of their items are imported, top class and will last forever!
• Colour-coded chopping boards – To allow for less cross-contamination of foods.
More kitchen essentials from foodies in the know…
• Bialetti espresso pot
• Thermapen thermometer
• Le Creuset griddle pan
• Spiralizer /Japanese Turning Slicer
• Big, chunky, wooden cutting board
• Good roasting tray
• Knife-sharpening stone
• Bamboo chopping board
• Stainless steel frying pan (25cm)
• Heavy-based casserole pot (27cm)