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tool kit

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
What are the essential things needed in a chef's tool kit. I'll tell you what I got, but please tell me some additional things that I will need and why......
10 in. chef's knife, 8 in. chef's knife, paring knife, spoon measures, bench scraper, square and circle cookie cutters, mostly for presentation purposes of savory dishes, squeeze bottles, steel, calculator,rubber spatula, fish spatula, offset spatula, microplane, peeler, I wear a thermometor on my jacket, and tongs. Shpuld I get a mandoline??
post #2 of 24
I find it somewhat odd you'd need some of those things at the restaurant one works at since presumably they'd have that sort of equipment there to do what they're already doing. However, on the line the only mildly useful utilities would be a few knives, possibly a peeler, and a thermometer, perhaps a spatula or tongs (though presumably they should have them in ample supply). If you're working prep or pastry a calculator and a scraper would be an added plus (though I suggest you learn to do math in your head for proportions).

I for one don't bring my knives to work or on the line unless I'm doing prep or pastries.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #3 of 24
What kind of tool kit are you making? Pastry or Culinary? and is this for school or for work?

Robert
www.chocolateguild.com
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
well, where i'm at they do have supplies but I feel it's always better to have your own in case some things are not readily available. Also one shouldn't always expect that an establishment will ALWAYS provide you with tools because you might end up somewhere where they don't provide the tools. It's like being a carpenter going to work without a hammer or tape measure. Just because you posess the skills to cook or think you may posess the skills to prepare dishes it doesn't mean that handouts "of tools" should be handed to you. I come to work everyday ready to work, tool kit and everything, I don't like to walk in and discover that all the tongs are being used, or all the knives are taken, and have to wait on things. It's called having a mental mise en place....I hope you know the term because if you don't your SOL. You ask what kind of kit am I building, culinary or pastry?? To me a "CULINARIAN" should be able to do both and not seperate the two, or else you will be handicapped by thst the rest of your life. How can you expect to be an executive chef if you can't even teach the baker that you hired to make a french Baguette. look into it.
post #5 of 24
Well, it appears that you've already made up your mind as to what you think you should bring. Indeed, then you should bring as much as you can possibly carry with you. The list you had is a good start.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #6 of 24
Walk in the door with an eight or ten in chef's knife, a paring knife, a large diamond steel. and maybe a boning knife.

Then let the job dictate the requirements.
If you need a lot, buy it. If not, save the dough.
If you are a student, don't buy a mandoline, a good instructor will tell you to leave it at home.
post #7 of 24
One of the first things I got was a better thermometer...rather then the standard one(round dial and holder that calabrates it) I got an instant read digital. It was 20$ at the resturant supply store.

A Peeler, oddly enough lots of places I worked at didnt have one...buy one you think could survive being run over by a truck.

an offset spatula...worked at a place were I had to warm thru choc chip brownies in a wood fired pizza oven and this was very handy.

a bread knife.

the best investment you should make is to go to an art supply store and get a engraver(mine was 14$) and put your initials on your gear. Take only absolutly what you need out of your kit because it might walk out the door.
post #8 of 24
Right off I would add plastic bench scrapers, a serated knife and maybe a boning knife. I would add an ice rake, 'measurer, tape, ruler', a SS pliers. a laminated conversion chart,and I'll probably think of more.
I differ from Blue a little, maybe because of the labor pool, but I insist that all calculations, scaling up or down be done on paper. I can't count the times I had someone building up a formula, like 2X, and getting halfway down the formula and fliping an ingredient back to 1X. I agree with Blue on carring as much as is practicle.
Sounds like your developing your mental mise en place.
pan
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #9 of 24
Oh, it's not that I don't write things down, it's just that I find I can usually do the math in my head as opposed to using a calculator... although I do usually round to the nearest gram in my head as opposed to going to decimals :).

And also my opinion of what to carry depends very much on my workplace. The place I currently work is a long and narrow line... there's no place to stow my tools except one floor up, pass dining rooms, the main entrance and another kitchen and in the lockers. I will not be running upstairs to my locker to get a tool in the middle of a rush. If I need a knife I can get one from the dishpit or from a neighbouring section and the same goes for almost every other piece of equipment.

Then there's also the matter of my stuff mysterious "disappearing", which has happened on more than one occasion with the chef's stuff.

It really all depends on context.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #10 of 24
black markers.......cork screw, lighter or matches, and in my catering box I always triple up on ziploc bags.
I agree with the good peeler, one top notch restaurant I was prepping for 100 guests....keifer pears with a shabby metal handled peeler....my hands were torn up, ever since then I've carried my own padded peeler.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #11 of 24
Blue, I was just trying to say that without disrespect since we have someone just starting out. When you think about it, we do an amazing amount of math in our heads in this industry. When I was where CIT is, I only seriously did the math on my paycheck:lol:
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #12 of 24
Oh, I forgot two things that I really should carry with me more often

a) Writing utensils (fortunately, that's what servers are for ;) )
b) A lighter (for both on and off the line, and I don't smoke!)

And regarding the paycheque... isn't that the truth!
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
what about a slicer, timer, mother of pearl spoon, crinkle cutter, it's funny that no one mentioned cup measures, piping bag and tips, umm..... what else is there......
post #14 of 24
Dont forget the caviar peeler.
Fluctuat nec mergitur
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Fluctuat nec mergitur
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post #15 of 24
When I started out in fine dining restaurants, all I had was a good 8 inch chef knife (you don't do a ton of heavy cutting, so a 10/12/14 inch is overkill), a cheap turning knife, and a boning knife (again, a cheap one). It was all I needed as a commis, all the other supplies were there at the restaurant. Nowadays I have a bigger kit.

In my kit:
- 8" Japanese chef knife
- 2.5" turning knife
- 4" paring knife
- 9" Chinese cleaver (huge knife, blade is about 5 inches tall)
- 7" Chinese vegetable knife
- 6" 'Deba' (Japanese fish/meat knife)
- 6" flexible filet knife
- 6" rigid boning knife
- 14" serrated bread knife
- Microplane
- Digital thermometer
- Pastry spatula
- Silpat
- Ring Molds

Honestly though, I really only ever take out a chef knife, and a chinese knife or two, the rest don't see much use (although they're nice to have) since I'm not meatcutting or anything, I'm mostly doing pastries and playing tournant...

I find your local Chinese market is a great place to find cheap kitchen utensils, and they're often of decent quality (very good quality for the price).

For mid-high end knives, you can't go wrong with Japanese brands (Global, Kasumi, Kai, Suisin and at the higher-end Nenox, Glestain, Masamoto, Aritsugu, etc...)
post #16 of 24
Other items to consider:

First aid kit
gloves
finger cots
Chinese cleaver
meat fork
Parisian scoop

Also, you can find an engraver at any decent hardware store. FOR SURE, get one and USE IT!!! It's amazing how easily unmarked tools walk away.
post #17 of 24
10" chef knife

3" paring knife

That should cover 95% of what you need to do. You can bone turkeys with a paring knife, peel potatoes, turn veggies, and flute mushrooms if you so desire ;)
post #18 of 24
I woud also suggest a good quality, yet small, pair of scissors. My favorites are the Joyce Chen kitchen shears. They are SHARP and can do delicate work, yet are strong enough to cut through dowels or chicken bones. I also always carry butcher's twine.

www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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post #19 of 24
If there is equipment in the kitchen, then having a Canifilin pin is a must!!!!!
scissors- great one
meat fork- "
silpat- "
corkscrew- "
oven pads/mitt
caviar peeler
tomato jet. the little tool that removes the top of tomato and strawbwrries
earplugs
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
caviar peeler?? You must be sh***ing me pan. What about cheesecloth for a sachet, a canifilin I have no idea what that is. What kind of hats do you guys wear if any?? I prefer the stretch cap over anything else. Floppy hats are too pillsbury dough boyish, Tall hats are to peacockish although they are classic, and skull caps are to black pantherish.....Stretch caps are nice. there like beanies that don't cover your ears and are made from polyester, check it out on chefwear.com
post #21 of 24
I agree with all the responses listed so far, but definitely include disposable piping bags and a variety of tips. You might also want some parchment paper triangles (perhaps even preformed into piping bags) -- I find they are useful even on the savory side if you want more control with your piping than a squeeze bottle might give. You might want to include a pair of scissors...I know, I know you can cut with a knife, but I have carried both a pair of scissors and a box cutter in my kit for years. Often you can cut more accurately with a pair of scissors and do we really want to use our knives on paper and/or cardboard?

Labels and/or a roll of masking tape is also a plus.
post #22 of 24
Thank's for being good natured.
A Toque is symbolic. Folds even more important.
By the way, engraving your tools is very important.
Also, if you visit a restaurant supply company and ask to speak with someone who has a lot of restaurant experience, they'll get you the canifilin pin and the caviar knife. They don't display these sort of items.
pan
love your excitement about coming up in the industry.
One of the most important things you can carry that most won't tell you about is a box of cornstarch, for those hot line nights:eek:
Also, shoes, are the most important tool you can have to get the job done. You should have at least 2 pairs and constantly switch out.
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
I can totally agree with you on the shoes pan. When I first started in the industry I wore Nike's until one day I slipped and fell on my *** and dropped a whole lexan of salad greens on the floor that I spent like 20 mins. chopping and drying. Afer that happened I would walk around the kitchen with the fear of slipping all the time, until I got my first pair of slip resistants....Now, life is beautiful.
post #24 of 24
Ah I'd like to add round cutters. Get the sharp hard fancy type made of some kind of engineered ceramic that stack and come in their own nice little container. That way you can keep them dusted in flour.
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