Tools of the trade

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

George Allan, sous chef at the Cock, during his appearance on this year's MasterChef: The Professionals
George Allan, sous chef at the Cock, during his appearance on this year's MasterChef: The Professionals

Related tags Chef Cooking

Three pub chefs give their recommendations on what kitchen equipment is top of their pots

Favourite gadget: Vorwerk Thermomix

George Allan, soux chef at pubco Cambs Cuisine’s the Cock in Hemingford Grey, Cambridgeshire, claims the Vorwerk Thermomix allows him to cook almost anything he wants.

Allan, who appeared in this year’s BBC Two MasterChef: The Professionals​ series, says the Thermomix is much more powerful than other blenders and, crucially, it is able to heat food as well.

“If you’re making crème brûlée or custard tarts, you can blend and cook the filling in one go, rather than having to make a raw mix and bake it in the oven,” he explains.

“Or, you can put things like frozen peas in, and in 10 minutes you’ll have hot pea puree.”

Favourite gadget: Clifton​ Food Range water bath

A big advocate of sous vide cooking, M​ark Parkinson says he can’t live without his Clifton​ Food Range water bath.

The head chef at the Fleece Inn, Barkisland, West Yorkshire, says the machine is vital for meeting the number of covers on a busy night at the pub.

“We do up to 250 covers on a typical weekend night and we change our menu regularly – and the water bath cooks lamb, chicken, game and all sorts of other things,” Parkinson says.

“Sous-vide cooking allows meat to be cooked at a precise temperature, and it comes out really tender. I even used a water bath on MasterChef.​”

Favourite gadget: PolyScience Anti-Griddle

While many kitchen appliances are designed to add heat, the PolyScience Anti-Griddle specialises in taking it away.

Tobi Caira, who made the quarter-final stage of MasterChef: The Professionals​ this year, says the ‘flash-freezing’ machine is ideal for making desserts and appetisers that require cool, liquid centres.

“The Anti-Griddle is great for producing frozen purees or lollypops, which can be served instantly,” says Caira, who is head chef at the Flying Horse Inn, in Boughton Lees, Kent.

“It also chills fresh cream really well. When I make macaroon cake, for example, the centre is now properly cold, rather than just the ambient room temperature.”

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