MasterClass – Thomas Keller – Kitchen Setup – Essential Tools


Excellent seminar.  Though no comments on items like sheet pans, graters, pans, etc … seem like a big miss (perhaps a future seminar)

  • Be aware of safety in kitchen (sharp knives, heat, hot oils)
  • Cutting boards need a slip resistant item between it and counter (e.g., damp towel)
  • Wooden cutting boards are beautiful but hard to sanitize…good for presentation.
  • Composite cutting board good for self healing, lighter, sanitizing. Get a thick one … 18×24″
  • Knives
    • honer (steel – 3 techniques, draw to you, draw away and put on table) – re-aligns edge but doesn’t sharpen
    • 10.5″ slicer (filet large fish, etc, carve meat, and potentially chop)
    • French knife (chef knife) 10″ – slice, chop (veggies, meat)
    • Bread (serrated) knife
    • 6″ utility knife (filet fish)
    • 3.5″ paring knife
    • Storing – blocks though potentially to dull blad
      • Keep knife on counter (this avoids nicking blads)
      • Dishwasher???? … just wash in sink
      • Stainless steel though if exposed to acid or salt can still corrode
  • Kitchen shears (small bones, twine, herbs, lettuce)
  • Peeler (peels and cores)
  • Pallet knife (looks like icing spreader) but can be used as spatula to move food in sautee. Can take a bit of time to get used to
  • Spoons
    • Teaspoons, desert, table – serving, tasting, basting….very essential
    • Keep in bane marie with hot water
  • Scale – weigh in metric (not measuring spoons and cups…quite useless)
    • Wet and dry measuring much more accurate
  • Whisks
    • Sauce whip – finishing sauce gives lots of surface area, helps to emulsify
    • Balloon whip – creates volume (cream, meringue, hollandaise, mayonnaise)
  • Tools of refinement
    • Drum sieve – purees, (different grades to select from), eggs, (also called tammee), sift flour, stabilizing any item
    • Speltex spatula – for fish
    • Micro planers (rasp) for citrus, cheese, freeze herbs and then grate
    • Pastry brush
    • Various sizes of offset spatula
    • Tweezers – for picking up things fragile (herbs, radishes), for precise, avoids things to sticking to fingers
    • Small sheers (herbs, lettuces, string)
  • Silpat mat – portable Teflon (versus parchment paper)
  • Chinua (china cap) – multiple grades – helps to remove impurities in sauces, etc
  • Mandolin – slice veggies thin, even. Very sharp and safety of concern
  • Timers (smart phone)
  • Don’t buy tools you don’t need (use the above essential tools)
  • Butchers twine – very important

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