Basic brilliance: The kitchen essentials our panel of food-industry insiders couldn't live without

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1. Terry Durack

Restaurant critic, The New Review


Life would be dull without my Microplane to grate Parmesan straight on to pasta, to zest lemons and to mince garlic and ginger. Effortless, efficient – and it doesn't trash your fingers. £18.59, tel: 01539 488 100,

2. Henrietta Green

Founder, foodlovers

Tefal twin-handled roaster

I grill or roast most of my food at a high temperature – I like that charry finish to my vegetables – yet, after four years, this pan has never buckled in heat and because it's non-stick, it's the easiest thing to wash. £18.85,

3. Fay Ripley

Actor and author of Fay's Family Food

Magic whisk

If any lumps appear in my custard, gravy or sauces, I whip it in there and it magics them away, turning disasters into culinary masterpieces. I wonder how I ever managed without it. Silver magic whisk, £2.50, tel: 08445 616 161,

4. Jamie Oliver


Wooden chopping board

You can't beat a well-crafted wooden board. It's simple, natural and will last for years if you look after it. This one, designed for my Jme range by carpenter Phil Longstaff, is made from solid oak and is absolutely beautiful. Once you've done all the chopping and slicing, you could even put it on the table and use it as a platter to serve nibbles. Small oak tablet £18; large, £35,

5. Sir Terence Conran

Designer and restaurateur

David Mellor Black Handle kitchen knives

David Mellor has produced some of Britain's most outstanding homeware and his excellent Black Handle range, which I use at home, is made with uncompromising quality and gives years of dependable use.

Starter set, £138,

6. Sam Clark

Co-founder, Moro

Granite pestle and mortar

We've got various pestle and mortars made from granite. They're very durable, and fundamental to what we do. They're great for pounding spices, crushing garlic and smashing herbs. £100,

7. Allegra McEvedy

Chef and founding partner, Leon

Slotted spatula

I call it my special flipper. It's great for anything, from turning fish to pulling out flapjacks. It's got less flexibility than a palette knife, which is too bendy, and more than a fish knife, which doesn't have enough give. I always keep it in my back pocket. Global GS-26, £44.99,

8. Mark Hix


Japanese mandolin slicer

It's a flat plastic contraption with a blade in the middle that's perfect for shredding and slicing – everything from carrots to fennel. You can make the cuts much thinner than with a knife, and it's much easier and more accurate too. £32.50, tel: 0870 129 5026,

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