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Guest Blog by Justin Brown: Essential Chef Gadgets for 2015

2:03 pm

Written by Justin Brown of The Fifield Inn.

With the start of a new year, it seems that the average commercial kitchen now can’t live without all the gadgets. Waterbaths, food processors, or in extreme cases a Centrifugal juicer. Do I think this equipment is needed or necessary? Absolutely, but only when it is in the right hands!

By that I mean, a chef that has had the classical training understands the classics, appreciates how to cook and wants to develop recipes further. It is essential however that a classic background has been gained to develop the knowledge and understanding to ultimately make you a better chef.

Waterbaths, for me, are one of the best and more affordable kitchen gadgets for a chef to purchase as they help to give you a consistent, perfect product everytime, providing your temperatures are correct and that you use the best quality ingredients. Nisbets do a great range of Waterbaths and Vacpac machines at really good and affordable prices so for me it’s a winner. I would recommend that you start small (there’s no need to go in all guns blazing) and then when you get into your rhythm and start to understand the equipment invest in a bigger one or even another smaller one. From roasting a Sunday joint of beef through to a rump of lamb or a vegetable dish on your a la carte menu, they really can do it to such precision that a Waterbath and Vacpac machine is my Buys of 2015.

Smoking Guns are very inexpensive and great fun to experiment with great new ideas. We smoke our own mackerel pate, our own butter, and even smoked brioche. We also play around with different woods to smoke with, including cherry wood to apple wood. Once you get used to how much smoke is needed it really will help you create some fantastic new dishes in your kitchen.

Gadgets aside, the most essential piece of kitchen equipment other than a knife or oven has to be a food processor. I use the Waring Food Processor a lot as it a great piece of kit and a must have in the kitchen. From purees to soups, dough to even churning your own butter, it has to be the kitchen gadget every chef has, therefore it needs to be durable and of high quality to withstand the strains of a professional kitchen.

I really do feel privileged to be a part of the cooking world. It has come on leaps and bounds since I began 15 years ago and chefs are pushing boundaries, creating amazing dishes and generating brilliant new ideas. You always have in your mind what a dish will look and taste like in your head and therefore using these kitchen gadgets can help to achieve that perfect dish or idea. My advice to any new chef out there would be to learn the classics first, get an apprenticeship in a really good restaurant or hotel, hone your skill and learn your profession. At that point experiment with the latest gadgets and equipment to enhance your product and offering in your restaurant. Nisbets has a huge array of things to get you going in the right direction and then the rest is up to you.

You can chat with Justin on Twitter @justinbrownchef and find more of his work at justinbrownchef.com


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