As the owner of catering company The Bowery and daily gourmet lunch delivery service Food Club, Guy Bower spends heaps of time in his kitchen.
Naturally, there are a number of tools and appliances he’s come to depend on heavily while in this space. Here he shares his 12 top essential kitchen items and offers some insight as to why he can’t live without them.
1. gas stove and electric oven
‘I need gas for direct heat on the top and an electric oven as they are consistent and reliable. My oven is 900mm wide as I entertain a lot and cook fairly large volumes of food.’
2. a good sharp knife
‘This is a must. I’m a little bit of a knife collector – I have lots of them in all sizes and shapes, but end up using my 20cm chef’s blade by Global the most.’
3. plenty pans
‘I use both non-stick and standard stainless steel pans from various brands. Some are deep, some shallow, some new and some old and worn, so I end up using them on an open flame. It all depends on what and where and how I am cooking.’
4. an open flame
‘This is very specific to me. I have a fire pit and a braai and I really enjoy cooking meat and certain vegetables over them for the colour and caramelisation that results’.
5. a hand blender
‘I use one of these to make all my sauces and soups as I like to blend directly in the pot or bowl and prefer to be able to see what’s happening so I can easily assess chunkiness.’
6. a simple peeler
‘I tend to use cheap and nasty ones but I really prefer quality peelers with the blade parallel to the handle.’
‘They are like an extension of my fingers.’
8. good light
‘A large window for natural daylight really helps to achieve the right energy while cooking. Plus, it’s obviously essential to be able to see what you’re doing at night’.
9. good music
‘I love cooking to music – the blues or old French classics like those by Edith Piaf’.’
10. a couch
‘My two daughters and two whippets are always sitting on the couch in the kitchen, listening to music and telling stories while I cook lunch or dinner’.
11. a table with chairs
‘What better way to entertain than with your guests sitting in the kitchen, drinking wine and chatting while you cook. No one feels left out’.
12. fresh herbs
‘Growing them in the kitchen so you always know how fresh they are is the best. Plus, herbs always give a dish lots of flavour’.