Quality, Not Quantity: The top 10 pieces every apartment dweller should have in their kitchen
With YouTube videos, free downloadable recipes and cooking shows of every kind people are being exposed to diverse cuisines and exciting new dishes every day. Foodies, while enjoying a great restaurant now and again, are becoming more and more confident making new dishes at home.
However, with every new recipe comes the onslaught of new cutlery, pots and pans and an apartment kitchen just can’t hold all that inventory. So if you live in an apartment, are you subjected to basic cooking? Take out only? Must you be limited to a finite amount of recipes and forever yearn for that new French dish you saw on the Cooking Channel?
“Not so”, says John Reardon, owner of Compliments of the Chef, a high-end culinary supply store located in The Hamlet at Saratoga Springs, in Saratoga Springs NY. “Whether you are moving into your first place or downsizing to an apartment, a few basics can open a world of culinary possibilities”.
Here, he offers the top 10 must-haves for an apartment kitchen. All offer the ability to multi-task, make the most of a small space and offer style as well as function (and some are just guilty pleasures we just can’t live without!).
Photos: Products: Compliments to the Chef, Model Apartment: The Hamlet at Saratoga Springs
1. Cook's Knife
Why it’s a must-have: The 8” Chef knife is the “work” knife. It is the most important knife in the kitchen for chopping, dicing and mincing John’s recommendation: 8” Chef Knife by Wusthof (set shown below)
2. Paring Knife
Why it’s a must-have:: The paring knife is ideal for close control of the blade. Use it for paring, trimming, coring, peeling, dicing fruits and vegetables. John’s recommendation: Choose the 3 ½” paring knife by Wusthof (set shown above)
3. Cutting Board Why it’s a must-have:: The cutting board is a tool that is in the center of everyday life for both the casual cook and seasoned gourmets to assist with food preparation. John’s recommendation: The Epicurean cutting board is made of the highest standards of cooks and chefs worldwide. Epicurean cutting boards are an eco-friendly innovation made of wood composite that is extremely durable and nonporous. It is rated by the National Sanitation Foundation as safe for food cutting and dishwashers.
4. Coffee/Espresso Maker
Why it’s a must-have: It is not just about making a quick cup of coffee, it is about making a great cup of coffee quickly. John’s recommendation: There are a couple to choose from depending on whether you enjoy espresso at home or not. The Capresso Coffee Team Pro’s convenience and practicality makes it the most full featured 10-cup stainless steel thermal carafe coffee maker/conical burr grinder combination on the market. For the espresso-lovers out there the Nespresso Virtuo offers coffee and espresso while the original ‘Pixie’ (shown below) provides espresso only.
5. Sauce Pan Why it’s a must-have: The saucepan is your kitchen's workhorse. Use it for boiling or steaming vegetables, making sauces, or cooking grains and pasta. Every kitchen should have at least one really big pot! Use this for making pasta sauce, or chicken stock, or a large pot of soup you plan to freeze and have on hand for future meals. John’s recommendation: All Clad 2 quart, 3 quart, 4 quart Sauce pans (shown below) made of bonded construction combining an interior layer of aluminum for even heating and an 18/10 stainless cooking surface for optimal culinary performance.
6. Fry Pan
Why it’s a must-have: A frying pan, fry pan, is a flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and browning foods. John’s recommendation: All Clad 8”, 10”, 12”, or 14” Fry pan
7. Saute’ Pan Why it’s a must-have: A sauté pan has straight sides and a larger surface area than a fry pan which makes it great for searing meat or reducing a pan sauce. The taller sides also mean sauces and slices are less lightly to slosh out! John’s recommendation: All Clad 3 quart, 4 quart, 6 quart Saute’ Pan
8. French Round Oven (Dutch Over)
Why it’s a must-have: The French (Dutch) oven is a heavy metal or caste iron pot with thick walls and a lid. The oven is durable, versatile, and long lasting. You can use the French (Dutch) oven for everything from boiling water, making a sauce, to roasting a pot roast or even baking bread. John’s recommendation: LeCreuset 5.5 Quart or 7.25 Quart Enamel over Cast Iron French Oven (shown below). Each piece features a rich heritage design with ergonomic knobs and handles for easy carrying with pot-holders. Ideal in the oven, on the stove or at the table.
9. John's Guilty-Pleasure Must-Have #1: Jura Capresso
Why it is a must-have: This coffee maker brings your brewing to the next level. Jura-Capresso (shown below) has focused on producing espresso machines that provide the utmost in quality and innovation. Jura-Capresso coffee centers not only deliver superior performance, convenience, and reliability, but are also designed with elegance and style that give each of their espresso coffee machines a rare blend of form and function.
10. John's Guilty Pleasure Must-Have #2: Vita Mix Blender Series 750 Enjoy healthy, homemade smoothies and shakes with an evolution in design both inside and out. The Vitamix 750 includes a high-performance motor for quicker and easier processing of dense ingredients, as well as an ultra-responsive Variable Speed Dial and Pulse feature for superior precision. With a modern design and intuitive controls, you’ll enjoy keeping the Vitamix 750 on your counter for daily use.
For more about these and other products, visit Compliments to the Chef on Facebook.