the basic kitchen

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I am a firm believer in sturdy, low-tech,  industrial grade equipment in the kitchen and  a huge fan of restaurant supply stores for things like sheet pans, stainless mixing bowls, large roasting pans, etc.  Invest in good quality, heavy gauge pots and pans and knives. Being of the less is more mind-set, I'd rather have the budget for high-quality ingredients and beautiful, inspiring cookbooks than a kitchen full of one-trick-pony gadgets.  I'm also a fan of white plates.  Food looks better and doesn't have to compete with patterns and other colors.  You can find great, durable white plates just about anywhere these days.

Please visit my online "shop" for more specific recommendations.

the essentials:

large (12-18") wooden cutting board plus 2-3 heavy plastic (not flexible) cutting boards (easily sanitized in the dishwasher)

stainless mixing bowls (a variety of sizes)

glass mixing bowls

small glass prep bowls (with snap on lids ideally)

2-3 rubber spatulas (a few of sizes, high-heat resistant) a small size will come in remarkably  handy for getting the oct out of narrow jars, etc.

slotted spoon

colander

fine-mesh cone-shaped strainers (chinois)

2 whisks, 1 balloon, 1 narrow

heavy duty kitchen shears

Y-shaped vegetable peeler

box grater

ceramic grater (for fresh ginger, nutmeg)

coffee grinder (doubles as a spice grinder)

microplane

peppermill

instant read thermometer

parchment paper

flexible palette knife (for turning delicate fish, etc)

silicone-coated heat proof spatula for non-stick pans

wooden spoons (get one really long handled one for large pots)

measuring spoons, cups

kitchen scale

silicone pastry brush

salad spinner

chef's knife, paring knife, bread knife

steel (for sharpening your knives)

4 heavy gauge metal saucepans and pots:

1 qt, 2 qt, 3 qt, 6 qt

flame-proof roasting pan

2-3 1/2 sheet pans

1-2 1/4 sheet pans

cast-iron skillet

1 large, 1 small heavy duty non-stick skillets

food mill

mandoline (Benriner)

juicer

If your budget/space allows:

stand mixer

food processor

Vita Mix or other high performing blender

panini press