Anyone who has tried to slice a tomato using a blade as dull as a Matt Hancock-helmed government daily briefing will need no convincing that at least part of the secret to success in the kitchen is having reliable, quality culinary gear to hand.
This can come in the simplest form of written expert advice – cookery book in other words – through eco options for java junkies and right up to science solving the age-old issue of how to deal with wine spillages.
And as there could still be a month or so before restaurants are allowed to open, there’s plenty of time to branch out beyond the sourdough mania.
Petal Chopping Board
A welcome mix of style, function and undeniable value, this 280mm x 22mm natural beech chopping board, designed by Gareth Neal for London-based design house Case Furniture, features a practical cut-out portion for scraping food scraps or ingredients into, or for use as a practical bowl and serving tray combo.
Price: £27 | Case Furniture
AJAX 1905 Chef’s Knife
Based on a design dating back to 1905, the AJAX – named after a Greek hero from the Trojan war – may resemble a classic meat cleaver, but has been re-engineered for everyday use. The result is 430g of German steel, hardened to 56 on the Rockwell C scale, with a 22cm rocking blade that’s equally adept at trimming a forerib, slicing veggies or finely chopping herbs. And keeping true to the butcher’s tradition, it even features a hole for easy hanging.
Price: €109.90 | Amazon | McDonnells
Twist Press Coffee Maker
Watch out AeroPress, there’s a new brew in town, delivering smooth, clean coffee in 60 seconds. The Twist Press combines pressure brewing and pour-over in one simple design. Insert a filter paper, add coffee, pour the water and, with a twist, rather than typical plunge, your coffee flows effortlessly into the mug. Makers Barista & Co also donate coffee to the homeless and work with Project Waterfall, a clean water charity working with coffee-growing communities.
Price: £29.99 | Barista & co
Lodge Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven
Founded in 1896 in the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee, Lodge is the sole remaining cast-iron cookware manufacturer in the US. This 4.7-litre, 26cm Dutch Oven has been electrostatically sprayed and pre-coated to avoid rust and should perform equally well on induction and gas hobs or in the oven (heat resistant to 260°C). Naturally, it comes into its own over an open fire, for an authentic Blazing Saddles cookout.
Price: £115 | Amazon | Lakeland
Falastin: A CookBook
Co-written by Ottolenghi collaborators Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley, Falastin delves deep into Palestinian cuisine with 110 delicious – and mercifully easy – recipes including one-pot suppers and simple salads, all inspired by regions diverse as Bethlehem, East Jerusalem, Galilee and the West Bank.
Price: from £19.75 | Amazon | Waterstones
Joseph Joseph Nest 100 Bowl Set
Nobody does space-saving kitchen kit quite like Joseph Joseph, but the penchant for rainbow colours and plastic can leave the serious chef feeling tepid. However, the Nest 100 uses 18/8 stainless steel to dial down the hues and improve the quality. The set comprises five measuring cups inside a small non-slip metal mixing bowl, a stainless-steel mesh sieve, a colander and a large, meringue-loving non-slip mixing bowl, all reassuringly dishwasher safe.
Price: £100 | Amazon | Joseph Joseph | John Lewis
Lacanche Classic 1800mm Cluny oven
Made in France since 1796, Lacanche builds its ovens to order, allowing customers to choose the type and number of ovens – shown here, two 84-litre cavities – colour, dimensions, layout of the hob, 29 enamelled finishes, and a wide range of oven and hob configurations: from dual-fuel to all-gas, five-zone induction tops, simmer-plates, and even water bath steamer with tap.
Price: from £10,890 | Lacanche
Attirecare red wine stain remover
Save the salt for cooking and the white wine for drinking: the best way to tackle a red wine stain is plenty of water and a few sprays of Attirecare’s magic formula. OK, science is doing the real heavy lifting here with a mix of aliphatic hydrocarbons and anionic surfactants (in effect a detergent solution) that reduce the surface tension of the fabric, helping to wash away the stain.
Price: £13 | Amazon | Attirecare | Selfridges
Chrome Industries Chef’s Roll
Designed to carry as many as 11 knives, up to a machete-wielding maximum length of 43cm, this heavy-duty chef’s pack will keep any sharp tools safely stowed and neatly organised. Designed with the input of San Francisco celeb chef Chris Cosentino, it’s made using 1,050-denier nylon and comes with four additional pockets, rugged clasps and a slice-proof internal lining.
Price: £120 | Chrome Industries
Smeg CGF01 Coffee Grinder
A welcome addition to its small-appliance roster, Smeg’s curvy new coffee grinder is made from reassuringly hefty die-cast aluminium, with barista-quality stainless steel conical grinders. There are 30 coarseness levels, meaning even the most fastidious hot-desking creative can enjoy the perfect Ethiopian pour-over, Americano or espresso.
Price: from £200 | Amazon | Selfridges
Disposable coffee pods remain an environmental disaster zone, needlessly cluttering landfill for our convenience. Admittedly biodegradable and compostable capsules are starting to appear, and Nespresso will take aluminium capsules back for recycling, but the process involves postage or travel, both options easily ignored in the face of a busy week. Step forward Dualit, then, with its brilliantly simple capsule press which removes the used ground coffee in a second, leaving just an empty aluminium shell that’s safe for home recycling bins, and grounds ripe for compositing.
Price: £12.49 | Dualit
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