TOOLS FOR THE CHEF IN YOU



STATE OF THE KITCHEN 2019
AN OVERCOOKED DOSE OF BULLSH*IT  IS OUT THERE


This section is all about the tools of the trade. And a few things that we use a lot in the trade or even in the home.  Where can you put it all?  I had to design and build a mini-pro NSF kitchen in my condominium. Condominiums have little space to waste, I travel a lot and lawns and maintenance is beyond me after doing it for years.  Heres how a chef makes it in the non-commercial kitchen and what works.


WHAT YOU NEED - GET PAST THE HYPE
The newer pots and pans hawkers today are both different in design, production process and materials.  It's not as simple as your mothers Farberware.  Farberware is still OK and has a lot more competition, but it’s not the same company, not the same product as in yesteryear.  

I have somewhere buried in my collection two of my mothers Farberware, like a 3 and a 5 quart sauce pot easily from the 50’s.  They look like new.  Six decades of service.  If you buy good, you have to buy less.  Not the case today where a high percentage of profit goes to a celebrity cook or endorser rather than quality paid for and works for HLN, QVC, Tellebrands, ASOTV, etc.

I have a LODGE cast iron 12 inch fry pan that works on electric, induction, grill and bonfire.  It was from the 50’s also.  The other 14 or 15 pans nest nicely inside it.


BUT WAIT - TV OFFERS and HOME SHOPPING

TV is the lamp that attracts the moths.  Its simple,  the expression not sold in stores indicates if you held it in your hand as you saw what a cheap piece of junk it was, you would probably pass and there is another side to that.  And when they gave you two for one, the value of what you just committed to decreased by 50%.   

The free garlic chopper you get with the TV offer has been around in various incantations for forty years on the TV and the cost net from China is about a $1.50 regardless of color.

The other part of the scam is the “Not available in stores” because there is none of the product in the United States. The clue, “ Unless you live in a cave” is the three to four weeks delivery.  Without inventory, and un-tariffed direct sale to China keeps cost down because of no warehousing and personnel costs.  And direct from China to your door means when the last one goes out so does the lifetime warranty.

This site is just about the things you wanted to know about the tools of the trade and what works and what doesn’t.  Cooking is divided into three categories of equipment called the three "C"s.  They are Cutting, Cookware and Contraptions.  It's as simple as that.  You cut, you cook, you decorate and serve.  

And I try to discover the best around and the gear you don’t want to buy. And surprise, they will fool you, as a name marketed years ago as a leader in quality culinary supplies is the junk bond, penny-stock dealer of today.


CELEBRITY COOK SYNDROME
And like everything else the cooking phenomena has been eclipsed by the Celebrity Cook syndrome, AKA "The Endorser".  If they can stuff it in a bag and put his or her name on it and it sells, they have been successful.  Just like Congress on a smaller scale.  Thats another thing I write about. 

The pseudo culinary arts tool aficionado, or for those on earth who like every gadget made and requires quite an assortment of kitchen tools and products finds when he gets into a good kitchen the skills are what make simple good cooking.   A good chef rarely brings more than his knives to the kitchen.  It’s his skills and knowledge of what he is working with, the results needed and good people to work with.

Tools, they are designed to hack, chop, blend, emulsify, whip, congeal, slice, dice, and destroy in some cases, good produce and meat.  In the following pages I will attempt hopefully with some sense of humor, and some Neosporin First Aid Creme and Band-Aids lend what directions to follow.  Pay careful attention to the growing list of the products which don’t work and are garbage.

Whatever line of business you’re in, once you hit the big time and have some influence over your audience, companies will eagerly pay for you to hawk their products. Here’s the catch: As a celebrity, just because you hold sway with your fans, this doesn’t necessarily mean you use any of the products you’re endorsing.  Can you see any of the Kardashians cooking? Every frickin show they do they are eating out somewhere else for the endorsement and free lunch.

By the way A prime example of this was when the Kardashian sisters were sued by Revenue Resource Group, LLC after the women pulled out of a deal to support the company’s prepaid debit card. Little did the Kardashians know that RRG implemented quasi-legal fees in their cards, or that the company was being investigated by the Connecticut Attorney General for alleged fraud.  Thats why we call them the Pouting Poon-tanger Posers.

Celebrities simply show up to a studio set looking fantastic, snap a couple of photos, and go about your day after cashing your huge check, of course for your endorsement.

Given this, why are so many of our buying decisions influenced by what our favorite celebs are promoting? What is it that influences us? Can these decisions negatively impact your life, and is there a way to resist them?

Infomercials are scientifically designed to elicit emotional responses from you. These marketers fully understand the psychology of selling, so their goal is to remove all rational thought and cause you to make an emotional purchase. And they’re extremely effective.  When we see a celebrity’s face paired with a product, this image activates the same pleasure center in our brain as infomercials.

Celebrity endorsements are authoritative  “If X Product is good enough for Tom Cruise, it’s good enough for me!” and that these products are easier for us to remember than a generic, non-celebrity endorsed product.

As we mentioned in the previous section, it’s also extremely important that you research any products you’re thinking about buying, whether they’re endorsed by a celebrity or not.  One of the easiest ways to do this is by learning what other customers are saying on consumer advocacy sites like HighYa. You can also enter the phrase “product name reviews” or “product name scam” into your favorite search engine, which, if the company’s been around for any length of time, should pull up plenty of information, remembering,  bad news travels faster than good news.


WHERE TO SHOP

I usually do not endorse businesses unless I specifically deal with them on an ongoing basis, these I do endorse and I receive nothing for my efforts from any of them and would not accept anything.  You can’t buy honesty, it’s never been canned or discounted. If I said it I meant it.

Metro Kitchen, and Cutlery & More on line are used by many Chefs for their kitchen needs on line. Mercer Culinary has some of the best quality accessory items some of which you might didn’t know exist all in one catalog on line in PDF. Amazing tools you never even thought of... used on a professional level.

There are others and most are good.  For the local home aficionado chef consumer the better lines are carried by Williams Sonoma, Crate and Barrel, Sur Le Table and these places are both in or near malls and on on-line establishments.   
Good stuff, high quality does cost more but I am using some 60 year old tools and pans my grandmother used.

Williams Sonoma is a high end store and you can get some great bargains through them if you are patient and know what to look for both in their store where you can see it and hold it and on line when they run a sale.  But the brand is the critical point and there are many,  but for the better, I like  Wusthof, some Henckles and Shun.  Nice selection, in Henckles stay away from promo lines, their 4-star and 5-star are OK.

Commercially, if we do a fund raising event or charitable show we sometimes bring the volunteer helpers tools, as gifts for their efforts and support.    GFS and Tramontina, (Costco from Brazil, not the Sam’s China knockoff ) has some good pricing on knives for the restaurant trade, so does GFS.   All  mentioned are in reasonable price ranges.  

I do have a few exotics like a Kramer but they are strictly for my enjoyment.  Remember that 100 dollar blade becomes 300 dollars when the handle is made of a rare bony nail from a Tyrannosaurus Rex or a tooth from the Mega Shark. But a Kramer is 100% all knife.

For the decorative table, Crate and Barrel also runs promos and I don’t think there is a finer collection of kitchen utensils and napkins, dishes, settings anywhere for the complete culinary experience and presentation.   They also have 20% coupons on the web or by mail.   Bed, Bath, and Beyond also has a nice selection of table toppers and kitchen accessories, especially OXO and they too have 20% coupons for one item.  Most are for the consumer, Crate is a notch higher.

More coming…I just have to find them…most of the big box chain stores are still selling offshore Chinese made with big Chef names and low end steel in the knives and pots. They have gone down somewhat  in quality overall, its a CHINA thing.


       
           

                 

     Industries - MAESTRO WU KNIVES  


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