Spot the crap stuff (and pic) in my status symbol kitchen.What kind of swamp do I inhabit? No, I don’t live in Elwood which is now merely stinking canals and is vulnerable to subsidence.I’m talking about the stinking, sticky slimy loathsome depths of depravity that my mind has sunk to meaning that I can’t even take a simple email on face value.My curt reply to his enquiries on the local food blogging scene no doubt left Michael Ruhlman, an opinionated man at the best of times, having some fairly strong views on what sort of twat I am.In my defence, I received his email on April 2 which meant he would have sent it on April 1 and my cortex was filled with April Fool’s pranks.What I like about Ruhlman, the writer of The French Laundry Cookbook, a definitive work on Charcuterie blah blah, is that he is opinionated and a food snob (note I don’t say F–die) to boot.I know prior to its recent release here The Elements of Cooking was already popular among local chefs including Attica’s Ben Shewry. It’s the sort of book which is essential if you are starting out in the kitchen. But it is equally useful for old hands.It finishes off with an A to Z of useful cooking terms but I like best his essays laying the ground work for a proper kitchen and good practice – stock, sauce, seasoning, eggs, heat, tools, good cookbooks (very American-centric for Australia) and finesse.On tools, all you need is a chef’s knife, a large cutting board, a large sauté pan, a flat edged wood spoon and a large non-reactive (Pyrex ideally) bowl.Note he doesn’t say a set of Jamie Oliver Pans, Gordon Ramsay cunting egg slice, Nigella Lawson incontinence pants, Al-Qaeda box knife set, Bill Granger toothbrush or Toby Puttock wooden spoon.This sorts of things definitely should not be on your shopping list when sifting through all the kitchen junk at the Myer or David Jones sale.What amazes me is that Ruhlman doesn’t even mention the wok probably because he is from the Francophile cooking school.He reminds me exactly how much rubbish I have in my kitchen.So how about this? Why don’t we all blog (or leave in comments) the best and worst of the tool in your kitchen by 4 May you time.I’ll then do a round up of the best and worst gadgets.I’ll leave the last words to Ruhlman, who Stephanie also keeps going on about, because they are so good:
“As a rule, any tool that has only one use should be avoided: examples including the shrimp deveiner, cherry pitter, hand crank fruit peeler, special slicers for butter, eggs, avocado, mango et cetera. Also be wary of buying sets of anything: figure what you need, and buy that.A well-outfitted kitchen is defined by its efficiency and by the quality of those tools that make it efficient. The fanciest kitchens with the most beautiful pots, pans and appliances I’ve found to be the least used kitchens and therefore the worst kitchens. I hope the kitchen as a status symbol is a short-lived phenomenon.”
Food Fascist– The copper pan I bought in the David Jones sale. Embarrassed- Probably didn’t need the Auber-WS PID temperature controller that I’m rigging up to the Martini Monster’s rice cooker (thanks for that) for sous vide (boil in a bag) cooking.- I’ve caught a cold from somebody at The Age who apparently doesn’t have a venereal disease.- Last night going to the Emerald Hill Microbrewery (beer natch), The Clarendon (riesling, calamari), Giuseppe, Arnaldo & Sons (pig), Bistro Guillaume (the best lemon tarte known to humanity. Hendricks Martini), Nobu (saki), Borsch Vodka and Tears (vodka, martini, absinthe) and the Martin Monster’s for yet more booze (5am) was over the top.- John Lethlean you are too noisy. At least the lesbians sitting next to you in Dunkeld said so. Where was Michael Harden’s noise meter?- Bugger. I pitched that idea last week.- Dunkeld sommelier: I still haven’t forgotten the time you stole my Clarines while feeding the cat. But a returned email or phone call would be nice.- Ellie, keep your mouth shut.- A few of us are thinking the food at Attica has the edge on Dunkeld. Sorry.