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What culinary tools would you suggest besides a high quality knife?

I'm currently a Job Corps student and just starting the program. I have worked in a kitchen feeding retired residents for about 4 months prior to this, and have heard conflicting answers to this question. I don't have a knife yet either, although I've heard German or Japanese crafted blades are the best. culinary jobcorps kitchen tools chef culinary-arts cooking

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Jeremy’s Answer

Hello,

Everyone is going to have a different answer and that is okay! In order to cook well at home, you may have certain tools that you may also see in the professional kitchen. I would start by buying a chef's knife, a paring knife, a knife sharpener & honer, a decent cutting block, a meat & oil thermometer, and some good cookware. I have found that folks will sell used cookware (pots and pans) for a fraction of what they originally bought them for. To be more efficient in the kitchen you are learning/working in, you can bring tools that they are missing or that are bad to make you faster. For instance, buying a great speed peeler instead of using a dull one from the kitchen may be worth the investment.

You're right that a knife is important. German, French, and Japanese knives can all be great or terrible depending on which one you buy. Japanese knives tend to have thinner blades, which makes them better for fine cuts but also more delicate. The sharpness of knives matter a lot! So also spend some time and money on sharpening knives. Knife bags make it easier to carry around the tools between your house and a kitchen.

You can learn what tools are important from cookbooks, culinary academies, and hear from professional chefs. Often cookbooks will have tools that are useful to have for their particular cuisine at the front of those books. The Culinary Institute of America, one of the US top culinary schools, has a list for their incoming students: https://secure.ciachef.edu/purl/culinarytoolkit.html And finally, some of Bon Appetit's test chefs share their favorite tools: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIizF9v126E&ab_channel=BonApp%C3%A9tit

Best of luck!
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Robert’s Answer

Roux E.,
I started off with a Chicago cutlery chef knife. I believe that a cook can perform just about any task with a chef knife.
I would start with a knife that is 8 inches long, until you can master most of the knife skills, then you can go to something better. Just my opinion.
Also Japanese knives are probably the best when looking at the make, I also have some Wustoff boning knives and some globals as well.
but like i said, when first starting out, go for something that fits your hand nicely, and it doesn't have to be real expensive, just made well if that makes sense. I also cooking for retired people for about 25 yrs. Its a good gig to get into since, not many cooks will be out for your job, and the job security is pretty good too.

chef rob
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ranishkia’s Answer

Hello,

A knife is an essential tool in the Kitchen. Along with a great knife, I would recommend a good sharpening tool of choice. Depending on how often you use your favorite knife, you will need to sharpen it frequently. If you haven't looked into check out this quick video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBn1i9YqN1k
There are all types of sharpening tools, electric, hand tools, stone and lathe, I even come across people using aluminum foil.
Another tool you should consider as the world is changing is allergy cook books. Nut allergies and dietary restrictions have increased over the years and the more flexible you are with your meals the more people you can serve.
Here is a list of a few books: https://asthmaandallergies.org/food-allergies/cookbooks/

Good luck chef!
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Dakota’s Answer

I think that Mercer brand knives are your best bet, they have been recommended by culinary schools for years.
As far as other tools, most schools have the equipment to practice with. I would say wait until the first couple of weeks to make that decision for where you are in the school.
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