A Kitchen Expert's Favorite Kitchen Gadgets

June 01, 2011
Elle Décor

A kitchen expert's favorite gadgets; the smartest tools for a cutting-edge kitchen

Oakland, California–based kitchen consultant Mark Stech-Novak has equipped restaurants for some of the world's top chefs, from Thomas Keller to Alain Ducasse. Here, Stech-Novak's guide to the latest status gear for kitchen  obsessives:

  1. The Smoking Gun This handheld food smoker adds flavor at the last minute and is great for delicate foods like seafood. cuisinetechnology.com
  2. The Anti-Griddle A unit that freezes sauces and purees on contact. Stech-Novak uses it to make granita "à la minute" or frozen fruit gels that he wraps around mascarpone. cuisinetechnology.com
  3. Sous Vide Sous-vide circulators—essential for any chef worth his molecular-cuisine salt—are coming down in price. Try: Sous Vide Professional, cuisinetechnology.com; SousVide Supreme, sousvidesupreme.com
  4. Rotary Vacuum Evaporator San Francisco chef Daniel Patterson introduced Stech-Novak to this futuristic contraption, which extracts herb aromas and distills flavors to their essence. cuisinetechnology.com
  5. Miniature Pizza Oven "Small, discreet, and high-powered, this countertop unit lets you do paper-thin, Neapolitan-style pizza in 90 seconds," he says. New Artisan Fire Pizza Oven, above; kalamazoogourmet.com
  6. Kalamazoo Hybrid Grill A "really well-built grill" that combines gas and charcoal capabilities: "They will even laser-cut your monogram into the rack so you can brand it onto your steaks." kalamazoogourmet.com
  7. Coffee Roaster Roast your own beans at home. Stech-Novak got his from Sweet Maria's, an Oakland shop that also sells green coffee beans from all over the world. sweetmarias.com
  8. Pro Ice-Cream Maker This machine lets you make small batches (one to two quarts) and incorporates mix-ins—from M&Ms to cashews— without pulverizing them. Stoelting Vertical Batch Freezer; stoelting.com
  9. Pacojet Create frozen purees and sorbets in individual portions. "Chefs go crazy for this unit," says Stech-Novak. pacojet.com
  10. Ice-Ball Mold An ice-cube maker that forms a sphere. "I'd serve it with that perfect shot of scotch or vodka," he says. japantrendshop.com

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