Stumped about whether to get the sold-out computerized coffee maker or spaceship-shaped pressure cooker? We prefer good, classic tools and ingredients to make your kitchen and cooking shine. Here’s five of our favorites, some of which you can purchase at Gourmandise or online.
1. A Good Chef’s Knife
A good sharp knife (and a knife skills class on how to use it) will change your world when prepping your meals. Get yourself a good knife that’s properly balanced with a quality blade. We’re partial to Wusthof knives, but there are tons of great knife brands.
2. The KitchenAid Mixer
If there’s one kitchen gadget we can’t imagine living without, it’s the KitchenAid mixer. She kneads, whips and creams our breads, meringues and cookie doughs with effortless speed. We just got a shipment of these beautiful machines from KitchenAid and we can’t wait to break ’em in.
3. Buy great olive oil
Buy local California olive oils rather than imported ones. Less travel distance means the freshest flavor and it supports our local farmers. You can pick up one of our favorites, Enzo’s Olive Oil, at the school, your local farmers’ market or at various grocers.
4. The Cast Iron Dutch Oven
We do at least half of our cooking in Dutch ovens. They’re great for roasting chicken, making jam, cooking beans, baking bread…you name it, an enameled cast-iron pot provides an almost non-stick quality without the harmful effects that many non-stick coatings have. We’re partial to the Lodge models (which, at at only $49.99 for the 6 quarts, is an awesome deal).
5. Aluminum Half Sheet Pans & Parchment Paper
Forget the non-stick, gold-coated cookie sheets and arm yourself with what bakeries use – heavy-gauge aluminum half and quarter sheet pans lined with unbleached parchment paper. Say goodbye to burnt cookie bottoms and greasy cookie sheets and hello to more even baking and easy lift-off. We carry both half and quarter sheet pans at the school.