With a home cookbook coming out in February, it makes sense that Top Chef All-Stars winner Richard Blais has been cooking more at home. It also makes sense, given his molecular gastronomy streak, that he’s been taking a lot of restaurant equipment home.
So when we spoke with the chef about Plastics Make It Possible, The Daily Meal asked Blais what restaurant equipment should every home cook have. The answers? Surprisingly normal.
Even so, there are a couple of tricks Blais has up his sleeve for reusable, plastic containers. Say, a macaroni salad container from the deli: "When you’re done with macaroni salad, use it for storage. Take that plastic container, and say you’re roasting a chicken," Blais suggested. "Pull the meat off the bone, pack it in a plastic container, take it and unmold it, and you have this very traditional, elegant French terrine."
In fact, plenty of restaurant items are now being used in the home kitchen, like silicone. "These are materials that the modern restaurant chef has been using for years and now they’re available for the home cook," he says. Check out Blais’ four picks.
Silicone Nonstick Sheets
"You can bake cookies or potato chips on these, and you can reuse them multiple times," Blais says. No butter or nonstick spray necessary, and "reusing is a big part of the recycling campaign."
"You can make muffins or cupcakes, and you don’t have to spray them down with oil or butter," Blais said. "You just pop the muffins out." Another plus: the unique shape. "Your muffins could looks like just a muffin, or they could look like a sphere."
While you may just use these for condiments at home, these restaurant-sized squeeze bottles are pretty versatile. Blais himself was using these to pour sour cream garnish into liquid nitrogen, freezing the cream into unique a topping for soup. "This is a plastic container that everyone uses in the kitchen," Blais says.
Heat-Resistant Oven Mitt
Sure, "the restaurant chef doesn’t really use the oven mitt. It’s sort of anti-restaurant, we use towels," Blais says. But with all the holiday cookie baking coming up, saving a couple of burnt hands can’t hurt. Also, oven mitts are cute.
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