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Chefs reveal the one piece of equipment they couldn’t live without

The Michelin-starred Social Eating House maestro has one very simple, traditional item on his must-have list.

He says: ‘A good knife is your best friend in the kitchen – I prefer my Florentine’s cook knife. 

‘But for extra thin slicing, you need a Japanese mandolin. 

‘Get wafer thin potatoes for dauphinoise or boulangère. It’s great for salads and makes light work of slicing.’

A Japanese mandolin, also known as a vegetable slicer, works by quickly cutting through veggies such as carrots and potatoes in the same way a grater does but only using just a single blade.   

British-Iranian Chef and food writer Sabrina Ghayour has dozens of awards to her name and hosts a very popular supper club in London, specialising in Persian and Middle Eastern flavours. 

For her, the most important item in her kitchen is her food processor.

She told FEMAIL: ‘I can’t live without my Cuisinart food processor. It makes chopping and mixing a doddle in the kitchen. I can live without everything else! This small one is perfect for more snug kitchens too. 

Last year, the world-famous Dorchester hotel announced the appointment of their youngest ever head chef in the restaurant’s 88-year history, 26-year-old Tom Booton. 

Tom, who’s worked in New York, Copenhagen and Iceland says his essential equipment is a simple – but high quality – pot, which will last a lifetime.

‘For me, it has to be a Le Creuset pot,’ he told FEMAIL. 

‘From being great for slow cooking, roasting and even better for all the new budding sourdough bakers out there, it’s multi-purpose and stylish too.’ 

Known as a culinary classic and the Rolls Royce of pots and pans, the Le Creuset casserole dish has been loved by cooks across the world for nearly a century. 

James Cochran, who made his name at the two  Michelin-starred Ledbury, says the famous £1149 Thermomix is his go-to item.

James, who starred in BBC’s Great British Menu in 2018, told FEMAIL:  ‘My favourite tool or piece of equipment would have to be the Thermomix. It’s an integral piece of machinery which can do so many things from making soups, to sauces, purées, ice cream bases – but then can be used a water bath and steamer too. It’s like your own personal sous chef!’

Owned by German company Vorwerk, the Thermomix is a 20-in-1 device that sous-vides, ferments, acts as rice cooker, and carameliser – and even cleans itself. 

Alex Claridge, the chef owner of modern British fine dining establishment The Wilderness, warns that home cooks shouldn’t be fooled into buying too many on-trend items for the kitchen.  

He says: ‘Don’t be fooled into buying lots of gadgets, Lakeland is not your friend. 

‘Good cookery needs very little in terms of equipment; when I first started I had a few hobs and my knives. 

‘Invest in a great stick blender (Bamix is my choice), and if you’re a baking enthusiast, a KitchenAid – which, if you look after it, will look after you for years to come. 

‘Most importantly though, make sure you have great chefs’ knives – they are more important than any dehydrator, bread machine or waffle maker.’

Chef Tom Brown, who runs the Cornerstone in east London told Femail: ‘A good gadget to have in the kitchen which instantly upgrades dishes is a microplane – essentially a hand-held grater, which retails at around £10.

‘It’s perfect for finely zesting citrus for baking and dressings and mincing garlic, so you don’t have great big chunks. And even adding a ‘cheffy’ dusting of parmesan or truffle!’

Tom Aikens, one of the UK’s most acclaimed chefs,  became the youngest British chef ever to be awarded two Michelin stars aged just 26.  

He told FEMAIL: ‘I think, given so many of us – myself included – have been baking like crazy at the moment, it’ll have to be my KitchenAid!  I’ve got a few, but my go-to is the Kitchen Aid 9 speed hand mixer. 

‘The higher speeds mix heavy doughs and thick batters, and it also whips the perfect still egg whites too. 

‘If you fancy making a bit of an investment though, I would recommend the stand mixer.

‘This machine can handle anything! It can be used for baking, breads, meringues, and also has an attachment for a juice extractor, vegetable sheet peeler and more. It’s so useful and multipurpose!’

British-Turkish chef Hus Vedat started his career working at his family’s butcher shop before training as a chef working in various top hotels.

He now runs Yosma, a Turkish tavern in Soho. He told FEMAIL:  ‘Well, aside from your tongue – the most important tool in the kitchen, I would say, is my speed peeler. 

‘It makes peeling carrots and potatoes take just minutes without accidentally removing too much and it’s a non-expensive gadget to help improve every kitchen. 

‘I would recommend buying quite a number though – I always end up throwing mine away with the peelings or losing them! 

‘I also love my falafel scoop – essential for me, though I imagine not for everyone…’

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