Here’s a list of resources that we have mentioned in our posts. “*” denotes a highly recommended.
Great chefs are constantly learning and exploring. I actually have more food related books on my shelf than other genres combined, despite being an active reader. Below are some of our favorite reads along with recommendations we were given from other chefs:
- Flavor Bible – resource for exploring flavor/taste, parings, and new combinations
- Ideas in Food* – great introduction to understanding the science behind popular techniques
- MEAT: Everything You Need To Know*- amazing book on understanding meat, cuts, and recipes
- Modernist Cuisine* – understanding a recently popular genre that aims to combine science and art in cooking
- Modernist Cuisine at Home* – cheaper and more at home friendly version of the above
- Modernist Cuisine Photography – the photography of the above
- On Food and Cooking* – the original science of food book, amazing resource
- Art of French Cooking – one of the earliest and most popular cookbooks on French cuisine
- Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art – great resource if you want to further explore Japanese cuisine
- Drunken Botanist – a plant-perspective approach to alcohol
- Food in History* – Food + History = Amazingness.
Below are some of our must have kitchen tools. We don’t believe in having overly specialized equipment that might get used only once (especially those that look great on 1-800 TV commercials), but rather prize the utility of tools such as below that can be very effective, especially for the at home chef where space and cost can be restriction.
For example, the microplane zester which can help mince garlic with ease or add the finesse of lemon zest on top of a dish. Or the sieve and emulsion blender combo (along with xanthan gum) which can help make professional sauces and soups.
The cast iron skillet is one of my favorite given its usefulness both on the stove and in the oven–great for searing meat or the long braised osso buck. If sous-vide is your thing, the rise in popularity have given to affordable units at home.
And lastly, the mandolin which has revolutionized my approach to both chopping and plating. Check out what we have in our kitchens:
- Microplane Zester*
- Pressure Cooker* – makes creating stocks and cooking meats much much easier/faster
- Mandoline* – makes chopping, especially the professional looking thin cuts much much easier
- Kitchen Tongs
- Chef Knive
- Cutting Board
- Sieve/Conical Strainer* – a shortcut to professional looking dishes
- Emulsion Blender* – so many uses and flexibility with a handheld blender
- Small Scale
- Big Scale
- Cast Iron Skillet/Dutch Oven* – one of our favorite kitchen utensils. The taste of the mallard reaction. Yum.
- Whipping Siphon (Charges)
- Slotted Spoon
- Measuring Spoon
- Beakers* – I started using these instead of measuring spoons/cups and don’t plan on ever going back. I even use them for daily coffee/tea/scotch…
- Propane Torch
- Cookware Set
A bit of spice can make the biggest difference in a dish and if you read our post on breaking down cuisines you know how simple it can be to utilize spices to explore new preparations. Some of our favorites are below such as sumac–a great way to always have a lemony sour at home–or gochujang–which quickly creates an umami-filled spicy Korean inspired dish.
- Calcium Lactate
- Sodium Alginate
- Xanthin Gum*
- Agar Powder
- Old Bay
- Mustard Seeds
- All Spice
- Fennel Seeds
- Nori Fumi Furikake Rice Seasoning
Staying relevant is very important for chefs, especially to others around the world. Instagram, twitter, and pinterest are some ways to do so but you often run into poorly documented or stage presentations. Below are some of our favorite watches for inspiration or technique: