Essential Tools

My Kitchen Equipment Picks

When I first started cooking professionally, I used to tell people that they didn't need to spend a lot of money on fancy knives, pots and pans. Now I say just the opposite. Buy the best and you'll never have to buy another. Buy the knives that feel good when you grip them, pans that are substantial and heat evenly, and utensils that are sturdy and well designed. 

Want to take a virtual tour of my kitchen?  Click here and connect to the online video at Fine Cooking Magazine and I'll show you around!

Be sure to check out my page on OPEN SKY for my latest unique finds!

Here is what I recommend when students ask what they need to equip their kitchen (along with my favorite brands):

My Top Ten Favorite Tools

  1. Microplane® zester
  2. Thermapen™ digital instant-read thermometer
  3. Flat-bottom wooden spoon
  4. Spoonula (cup-shaped rubber spatula), colored
  5. Pastry scraper
  6. Mexican orange, lemon, lime juicer
  7. Tongs
  8. Cheese shaver
  9. Serrated vegetable peeler
  10. Olive/cherry pitter

Bakeware (Emile Henry®, Le Creuset®, Staub® USA)

  • Ramekins in various sizes
  • Gratin dishes in various sizes
  • Pie plate with vent
  • Bakers in various sizes

Dinnerware & Serveware

  • Serving platters in various sizes
  • Utensil crock
  • 3-Section server
  • Nested bowls with pour spout in various sizes
  • 3 piece place setting (bowl, salad/tapas plate, dinner plate)
  • Handled soup bowl
  • Large serving bowl

Cookware (Anolon, All-Clad, Calphalon®, MauvielLe Creuset®, Chantal Copper Fusion, Staub® USA)


Knives (Wüsthof-Trident, Shun, Messermeister)

  • 4-inch paring/utility knife
  • 6-inch chef's knife
  • 10-inch chef's knife
  • Boning knife
  • Paring knife
  • Serrated knife
  • Slicing knife
  • Diamond steel for knife sharpening

Every Kitchen Gotta-haves (Microplane®, Oxo, Rösle, Screwpull®)

  •    Rolling pin
  •    Measuring spoons
  •    Measuring cups
  •     Bowls of various sizes
  •     Soufflé dishes of various sizes
  •     Cotton kitchen string
  •     Parchment paper
  •     Wooden spoons
  •     Pastry brushes
  •     Vegetable peelers
  •     Scissors
  •     Strainer
  •     Fine mesh sieves of various sizes
  •     Metal spoons with and without holes
  •     Ladle
  •     Whisks of various sizes
  •     Spatulas
  •     Skewers
  •     Box grater for hard and soft cheese
  •     Food mill
  •     Pasta machine
  •     Baking stone for pizza-making
  •     Pizza peel
  •     Baking sheets
  •     Baking pans, 8-inch square and 13-inch by 9-inch
  •     Tart pans with removable bottoms, various sizes
  •     Cooling racks
  •     Spring form pans
  •     Cake pans
  •     Baking sheets
  •     Mortar and Pestle
  •     Salad spinner
  •     Bread pans
  •     Corkscrew