Chocolate and lingerie are so passé. There’s nothing sexier than cooking a home cooked meal for your loved one (particularly if your partner’s cooking for you). To make the perfect meal you’ll need some tools. Here is Claire’s list of kitchen essentials for every chef.
Microplane – is worth the small investment! (Besides citrus zest and parmesan cheese, it’s also great for grating garlic) Amazon
Liquid measuring cup (I like the 4 cup size as it’s versatile. It can act as a mixing bowl for simple recipes). Macys
Garlic press (saves time and prevents your cutting board from getting garlicky). Amazon
One large sauté pan 10-12 inches (Calphalon or All-Clad are good options). Bed, Bath & Beyond
Small serrated knife (Victorinox, super sharp and gets things sliced easily, like tomatoes). FSW
One small ceramic, non-stick pan for eggs ONLY. Amazon
Mixing bowls of various sizes. Williams-Sonoma
Measuring spoons. Bed, Bath & Beyond
One medium saute pan. Williams-Sonoma
One chef’s knife (6-8 inch blade. I like Japanese brands like Misono or Suisin). Hocho Knife
Dry measuring cups. Sur La Table
Swiss vegetable peeler. Cutlery & More
One large heavy bottomed pan (like Le Creuset or cast iron). Williams-Sonoma
Spider (great tool for taking pasta from a pot or for blanching vegetables). Amazon
Claire Handleman has been a chef in New York for 10 years, working at some of the city’s best restaurants. She previously worked on ABC’s Emmy-award winning show The Chew as an assistant producer and participated in Food Network’s Chopped competition…and won. Claire has been traveling the world for the past dozen years but focuses a majority of her time in South-East Asia. She has come to regard Thailand as a second home and spends many months each year learning Thai cuisine. She is currently working on a book with the hopes of sharing the incredible cuisine her Thai friends have shared with her. While she travels and works, she shares stories, recipes and travel tips on her blog Passport to Eat.