If you must stock one…
Spice: Black peppercorn
It complements a wide variety of food, such as ﬁsh, meat, vegetables, fruits and even chocolate. Those from Madagascar taste sweeter but still have a strong kick.
– Stephane Cocu, chef de cuisine at The Waterfall, Shangri-la Hotel, Singapore
Herb: Bay leaf
The fresh sprig can be used in almost all types of dishes, from stews and soups to meat, seafood and vegetable dishes. It adds a distinctive ﬂavour and aroma, and even aids digestion.
– Antonio Facchinetti, executive chef at Prego, Fairmont Singapore
Condiment: Sea salt
It doesn’t dissolve in food as easily as table salt and adds ﬂavour without covering up the natural taste of other ingredients.
– Stephane Cocu, chef de cuisine, The Waterfall, Shangri-la Hotel, Singapore(Also read: 8 smart kitchen tips for home cooks)
Glass-bottled cooking oil
Go for glass bottles when buying cooking oil. Plastic may contain a common chemical called Bisphenol A (BPA) which can leach into food. It is said to disrupt normal hormone levels and development in children among other things.
– Pooja Vig, nutritionist at The Nutrition Clinic (Also read: Common household items that could be causing weight gain)
The most useful cooking utensils are…
Good quality non-stick cookware
The ideal amount of cooking oil to use per person at each meal is one teaspoon. But, if you invest in good quality non-stick cookware, you won’t need to use much cooking oil!
– Vanessa Mcnamara, dietitian at The Travelling Dietitian
Cast-iron skillets and pans
For cooking food over an open ﬂame though, bring out cast-iron skillets and pans. Unlike non-stick pans, their surfaces are not chemically coated. They cook food more evenly and, if properly maintained, such durable cookware can last for generations.
– Kevin Thomson, executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton Beijing & JW Marriott Beijing
The kitchen timer
Timing is crucial when creating the perfect dish. It affects the taste and texture of the ﬁnal outcome.
– Moon Kyung Soo, executive chef at Mikuni, Fairmont Singapore
A good stainless steel chef’s knife
A thick blade that’s 15cm to 20cm long gives you better control and makes chopping and slicing much easier.
– Marisa Bertocchi, chef and owner of Original Sin (Also read: Kitchenware that is bad for your health)
One big pot
This kitchen ally helps you with numerous cooking possibilities, such cooking an entire chicken in stock with other ingredients.
– Ee Ming Hwa, chef de cuisine of DOMVS, The Italian Restaurant, Sheraton Towers Singapore Hotel
This article was first published in Shape.
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