Basic brilliance: The kitchen essentials our panel of food-industry insiders couldn't live without
Sunday 07 June 2009
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, www.lakeland.co.uk
2. Henrietta Green
Founder, foodlovers britain.com
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, www.amazon.co.uk
3. Fay Ripley
Actor and author of Fay's Family Food
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, www.debenhams.com
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, www.jmecollection.com
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, www.davidmellordesign.com
6. Sam Clark
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, www.johnjuliandesign.com
7. Allegra McEvedy
Chef and founding partner, Leon
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, www.amazon.co.uk
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, www.divertimenti.co.uk
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