Published at Friday, November 29th 2019. by Andrew in Kitchen Accessories.
"I think you can do just as well with a mid-range steel knife, like a [Zwilling J.A.] Henckels, as long as you make friends with someone who knows how to sharpen knives," she says. "It really is more important to learn to sharpen or have it done professionally on a regular basis than it is to spend more. A lot of people are mistakenly buying new knives just because the old ones get dull."
"I like the whimsical pulls used as a detail, put here and there to personalize the kitchen. They say, 'I like grapes' or 'I love antique cars,' and they'll always have a place," says Morea. "That kind of whimsy works really well at a second home or a vacation home. I have one client in Florida, for example, who used 125 hardware pieces in one beach house kitchen, all starfish, and it looked great. Pulls shaped like twigs and leaves work in a mountain retreat kitchen." In an ordinary kitchen, pulls in fun shapes and colors strike a nice note when used sparingly. "For a personal touch I might use a few on a wine drawer or the doors of a wet bar, or maybe one or two on overhead cabinets that aren't real close to the main cabinets."
Hambright's approach works just as well for those who don't own a single pro-quality appliance and have little prospect of getting one, whether the reason is budget, an immutable kitchen design or impending move. There are plenty of smaller gadgets and cookware pieces that will help you cook like a pro without breaking the bank or remodeling the kitchen, and they'll move with you when you go.
Hambright's most treasured knife is a quirky one that her husband gave her, designed by celebrity chef Alton Brown of Food Network's Good Eats fame. It features a razor sharp blade, 33 layers of stainless steel and a 10-degree angled handle that prevents your knuckles from hitting the cutting board as you work. "It may sound silly, but I just love the way it feels in my hand," she says. "You do need to find a knife you can hold comfortably; otherwise, you're not going to want to use it."
In the battle between style and function, function usually wins out when it comes to your kitchen counters. But just because there are some things that you have to keep out, that doesn’t mean you can’t devote some additional space to stylish items that truly help your kitchen feel pulled together and well designed. And just like styling your coffee table, styling your kitchen counters is a bit of an art.
"I would never skimp on a KitchenAid mixer," says Hambright, who bakes even at home and uses her mixers primarily to beat batter and whip egg whites. "I have four ranging in age from one to 17 and they are machines absolutely built to last."Hambright uses one of her mixers as a juicer and admires the many attachments that can enhance the machines, from food mills to sausage grinders. "But they cost hundreds of dollars, so you should really figure out whether you're going to use one of those attachments a lot, getting it down to how much it will cost per use, before making the added investment," she says.
Gas ranges with their high BTUs are the most sought-after appliances for avid home chefs, but if one's out of reach you might want to consider a single gas Bunsen burner with gas propane on the side, says Sue Adams, an interior designer with a flair for kitchens from Andover, Mass. "It's not a fine design element, but it can provide the high heat you want if you're a serious cook, particularly in an outdoor kitchen," she says. If you've got a source of gas heat, even from a residential-style range, you can cook much more effectively if you invest in really good pots or pans, or even just one, says Eric Tanaka, executive chef for the posh Tom Douglas Restaurant Group in Seattle. "The thinner stainless steel or copper pans have hot spots, where a heavy enamel pot like an All-Clad spreads the heat evenly."
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