Some students have asked what I consider essential kitchen equipment, and this is what I came up with. Yes, you can live without a mandolin or spiralizer, but for me it's really quite important to vary the look and texture of vegetable dishes. It keeps cooking creative and eating exciting for children and adults!
6 Essential Kitchen Tools
A good sharp chef's knife is definitely essential for fast efficient vegetable prep. To maintain a sharp knife you need to sharpen it every time you use it. On our cookery courses we spend time practising knife skills.
Recommendation: Raymond Blanc Soft Grip Chef's Knife
A mandolin is the way to slice vegetables thinly for ceviche, gratin, or even for potato dauphinoise. Do be careful when you use it and always use the hand guard. Different coloured beetroot - candy striped, orange and purple - look very striking prepared this way.
Recommendation: Kitchen Craft Mandolin and Grater
This is my favourite type of peeler. It makes peeling large vegetables such as butternut squash so much easier. And you can also make vegetable ribbons with carrot, courgette, squash, parsnips, etc. for a healthy dish or eye-catching garnish.
Recommendation: Oxo Good Grips Y Peeler
For long strips use a julienne peeler. It's an easy way to add visual interest to a salad, especially a Thai green papaya salad. You can also julienne carrots and courgettes for an easy spring roll filling.
Recommendation: Oxo Good Grips Julienne Peeler
For vegetables I like a sturdy box grater, while for garlic, ginger, lemon zest, and hard cheese I prefer a microplane grater.
Recommendation: 4-Sided Pyramid Grater
I'm really glad to have invested in a vegetable spiralizer. It’s a wonderful way to encourage children to eat veg. They love eating multi-coloured spaghetti with courgettes, carrots, pumpkin and sweet potato!
Recommendation: The one we use at the cookery school is a Lurch Spirali Spiralizer, a basic model that is good value for money. It creates spirals, spaghetti or slices with help from the three blades. As it's really intuitive to use, this is a good choice if you’re buying a spiralizer for the first time.
Have I missed anything that you consider essential?
Let us know in the comments here