Stephen Harris, the Sportsman
Top 50 champion Stephen Harris, of Shepherd Neame tenancy the Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent, favours Kyocera ceramic knives when putting together the intricate dishes that won him the top spot.
“I use ceramic knives a lot – I like to get away from the macho side of cooking and there’s something peaceful about using them rather than cold steel,” he says. “It keeps things a bit closer and tighter to you and in a professional kitchen I like to keep that connection with the ingredients.”
Also featured in Stephen’s essential kit are ceramic mandolins. “They give you the option to use food in its raw form and release a lot of flavour compounds,” he says.
Andrew Hill, the Red Lion
Gastropub chef of the year winner Andrew Hill, head chef at the Red Lion, in Britwell Salome, Oxfordshire, insists he couldn’t do without his Vitaprep liquidiser.
“It really makes such a huge difference to soups and purees,” he says. “I also recently bought a Thermomix blender, which I love.”
Madalene Bonvini-Hamel, British Larder
Madelene Bonvini-Hamel, head chef at the acclaimed British Larder, in Bromeswell, Suffolk, claims her kitchen’s double plancha by Control Induction is the best purchase she’s ever made.
She says: “The turnaround is much faster for the chef who is not waiting for pans to hear up or to be washed – brilliant.”
As well as this, Madalene’s kit essentials include a Thermomix blender, which she uses to make all the British Larder’s ice cream, sorbets, parfaits, mousses, pastries, breads and soups and her “best friend”, an Induced Energy induction hob.
She says: “I use this induction every day; it even travels with me when I do cookery demonstrations away from my own kitchen – light, portable and great quality.”