My Favourite Things – Christmas 2019

My mom taught me how to cook, and for that I will be forever grateful to her. I was also fortunate that she owned the kitchen store in our home town, and I grew up playing with all the newest and best kitchen gear. I’ve been a kitchenware junkie for over 30 years, and while my cooking has progressed I’ve found that my cooking style has simplified.

I’ve cooked all types of food, using all types of gear.  I’ve used almost every type of cookware on the market, and many of the best quality brands have gone away (remember Revereware?) because in the 90’s and into the 2000’s most people were sold the idea that cheap disposable cookware was good enough.

Fortunately, times are a changin’.  I’m finding more and more people want quality, that will last. This translates into good old fashioned basics, and newer items made from simple materials.

Below are my favourite top 10 best cookware items of all time. They may not be exciting but I believe that every kitchen needs these high quality basics:

10. Staub 4qt Dutch Oven

Why I love it: I’ve always cooked with an enamelled Cast Iron Oven. They are extremely versatile, and are not reactive, like raw cast iron can is. Staub is my favourite brand of oven due mainly to their flat lids (which fit tightly) that have self basting knobs. Perfectly even slow cooking, every time.

9. Kitchen Scale

Why I love it: Even though I’m a champion of eyeballing, cooking to volume is the best way to ensure your recipes are accurate, and taste right!

8. Abeego Food Wraps

Why I love it: This is an old concept made new. Growing up a hippy kid, Bees Wax was used in almost everything in the kitchen! The Abeego Food Wraps are a perfect replacement for plastic wrap, because who wants plastic wrap on their food?

7. Susi 3 Garlic Press

Why I love it: Pressing garlic is a simple concept but I’ve always been stunned that so many are absolute crap! As in they hardly work and make more a mess than a nice garlic puree. The Susi 3 does the job perfectly, over and over, year after year.

6. Kaizen II Santoku Knife

Why I love it: A sharp knife is a good knife. A high super high quality hand made Japanese knife is a better knife. At least that’s my logic.  We’re fortunate to have an extensive lineup of great knives but personally I love the Kaizen II. It’s perfectly balanced, super duper sharp, and feels just right in my hand. Knives are personal, so I always suggest to try quite a few before you commit!

5. OXO Fish Turner

Why I love it: It’s called a Fish turner but I don’t use it for that. I use it for anything that is delicate or that I need to turn off the bottom of a pan…which could be sticking or starting to brown. The angled head is super functional for getting in under crepes, pancakes, and I guess, fish!

4. Demeyere 3 Quart Saute Pan

Why I love it: This is what I call a Desert Island pan. I love my specific pans, especially my iron, but to be totally honest, if I could only have 1 pan, for everything, it’s this one. Fast and even conduction, works very well at all temperatures, and when used just right, it can be as non stick as anything.

3. Cutting Board

Why I love it: To support a great knife, a good cutting surface is an essacial. While I will always prefer a solid maple board, I’ve found that the Epicurean Cutting Boards are perfect for a second cutting surface, a carving board, a trivet, or a serving platter. An indispensable tool in my kitchen.

2. Vitamix A3500

Why I love it: I grew up with a Vitamix. Many people think they’re a modern invention, but they’ve been around for over 50 years! Granted, the new ones are way way easier to use than the old ones but basically they do the same thing, which is to make almost anything into cream or soup.

1.Field Cast Iron Skillet

Why I love it: My most prized kitchen tool. I’m passionate about helping people move away from coated cookware and every time I use this pan, I become even more confident that EVERYONE can make the switch – it’s actually really easy! The 3 x factory coating make using this pan easy right out of the box. The find polish of the inner surface helps keep the seasoning in great shape and easy to maintain. If everyone had a Field Skillet there would be no need for coated cookware.

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