If you are someone who appreciates quality then you are likely to value the finer things in life – you know and respect Kershaw® brand knives when seeking a top quality pocket knife; you seek out the best brands when shopping for sterling silver and stainless cutlery and you factor in design and craftsmanship when making a purchase decision. You are an educated consumer and not someone who pays attention to passing fashions, fads and trends.
When choosing kitchen cutlery for yourself or as a gift you want the best value and you prefer to buy quality instead of quantity. This is an acquired skill and it can be frustrating to see younger or more inexperienced people make hasty and foolish purchase decisions – for some folks it can be tempting to buy the first thing they see and go for more stuff instead of better stuff.
The best way to gently educate others is both by example and offering advice and direction as well as by directing them to reliable sources such as manufacturers’ websites. You may already be very familiar with the top names in cutlery – brands such as JA Henckels and Wüstof® which have been around for over a hundred years – but first time buyers may have no exposure to or experience with such legendary brands.
By looking at a manufacturer website one can learn the finer points of cutlery design, materials and craftsmanship and determine what distinguishes one brand from another. It’s also a great way to learn how to properly care for cutlery so that when you make an investment you will be able to enjoy it for years to come.
As a new restaurant owner, you will soon discover that one of the greatest challenges of operating a business in the food service industry is securing all of the necessary tools and equipment while remaining on budget. Without these things, it will be impossible to stay in compliance with important industry regulations and to create and serve the type of quality fare you want to be known for. Fortunately, however, the right professional kitchen supply company can help you make optimal use of your available monies.
Design and Create Custom Work Tables
Some of the top suppliers in this industry allow restaurant owners to order their own custom creations. You probably have a clear vision for your establishment and know exactly how you want to have everything set up and run. A good professional kitchen supply company makes it easy to bring these visions to life. Being able to design and build custom work tables and stations will help you to make the most of your current commercial space. No two kitchens are structured exactly the same and your space likely presents a range of unique challenges that few standard table and work station designs are capable of fully accommodating. With these offers, buyers can choose their preferred work station or table materials, specify the exact dimensions and features they want and then have these products made to order and delivered. There is no need to waste money on stations and tables that do not fit your space and there will be no unfortunate delays in the initial set-up of your restaurant kitchen.
Shop For Specials
Another major benefit of shopping for your restaurant essentials through a reputable professional kitchen supply business is the ability to access a number of special offers. These companies offer deep discounts on introductory products and on those brands or models that have not yet achieved widespread recognition. This is a great way to pick up a high-quality meat slicer, counter griddle, chafer heater or dipping cabinet at a mere fraction of the normal costs. Equipment and accessories like these ensure that you are well-prepared for every special project or order that comes your way. When prep cooks and other team members are using the proper tools, the likelihood of workplace accidents can be dramatically reduced.
For those with more nominal budgets, there is also the option of buying used kitchen equipment or shopping for closeout deals. Used items are carefully inspected and priced according to their make and current condition. In fact, the best of these providers stand behind all of the goods that they sell, whether these are purchased reconditioned or brand new.
Take Advantage Of Online Resources
One of the best reasons to use a good professional kitchen supply company, however, is the fact that these entities provide their customers with access to a vast range of online resources. For new restaurant operators, this is a very easy way to learn what to expect during health inspections and even how these visits are scored. Companies can also access flyers for industry-related expos, tips for reducing energy and even helpful safety and storage strategies.
If you are a cutlery aficionado then you are always on the lookout for what’s new in knives – no doubt you have a few ceramic knives and maybe even one of those expensive one-piece stainless steel knives from Japan. It used to be that it was a big deal when someone pulled out an electric carving knife to deal with the holiday turkey but nowadays cooking is so popular and there are so many celebrity chefs and cooking shows that even the most exotic cutlery has become mainstream.
One exotic import that is incredibly popular is the santoku style knife; this Japanese knife design offers three uses and the name actually means “three virtues”. The santoku knife is considered a general purpose knife in Japan and is best used for slicing, dicing and mincing foods. The santoku knife is considered to be exceptionally well balanced and harmonious in both design and functionality. You will find that many different knife manufacturers now offer this popular style of knife.
Materials are a big part of knife functionality and there have been many innovative attempts to use materials such as glass and ceramic to create knives which are both sharp and that will hold an edge. It’s also not uncommon to see these same materials used to craft knife sharpeners; a diamond dust coated sharpening rod or steel is perhaps one of the most popular tools for sharpening knives and many chefs carry one at all times.
It’s often said that a sharp knife is a safe knife because a sharp knife is much easier to use. When working with a dull knife you often exert too much force; the knife can easy slip and accidents are the unfortunate result.
Going to university can mark an exciting new chapter in a person’s life, but there are lots of things to think about to ensure the student has everything they need to get started. Whether you’re living in non-catered student halls or private accommodation, you’ll need a varied supply of kitchen essentials to make sure that you don’t just survive on take outs or beans on toast. Here’s all you’ll need to know.
Compile an inventory
If you’re sharing digs with a group of friends you already know, then split an inventory between you, so that you don’t bring along five toasters or kettles, etc. It will help to make the most of the limited space you might have. Don’t bring your favourite mug that you’ve had since you were a kid, as there’s a chance it might end up being used by someone else or mislaid – unless you intend to put a lock on your cupboard!
Bring the items that you will use the most. It might be a nice idea bringing a coffee maker, for instance, but if you seldom drink coffee then it might only gather dust. Opt for items that have the most uses, such as pots and pans.
Some halls may even provide some kitchen items, so find out if that is the case.
Aside from plates, bowls, cutlery, mugs, glasses and pots and pans, don’t forget items such as a potato peeler, cheese grater, wine bottle opener, spatulas, serving spoons, tin opener, a colander, chopping board and chopping knives. A couple of decent pots and pans of various sizes will also come in handy, as will a frying pan or a wok. Other items could include mixing bowls, oven trays, a whisk, sieve, casserole dishes, a measuring jug, an eggcup and kitchen scissors.
You don’t need to bring along a full set of plates and bowls or a whole canteen of cutlery, just a few of each to ensure that if one item goes missing or broken, you’ve got spares.
Don’t forget other essential items such as tea towels, kitchen wipes, washing up liquid and cloths.
Microwaveable tubs will come in handy, as will plastic tubs of various sizes that can be used to either store leftover meals or be used with packed lunches. Sandwich bags, cling film and tin foil are also useful for the kitchen.
Consider investing in a slow cooker so that you can load it with food in the morning before lectures, and when you come home later in the day you’ll have a ready prepared meal available.
Store cupboard essentials
There are certain items that every kitchen cupboard should have whether you’re a student or not. Tea bags, coffee and sugar are necessities, as will be other beverages you favour. Salt, pepper, herbs and spices, jam, honey, stock cubes, vinegar, cooking oil, flour and sauces such as ketchup or mayonnaise are worthy additions.
Basic cupboard staples for students on the go include tins of beans, dried noodles, pasta, tins of soup, biscuits, tinned fish and tinned fruit.
There are lots of cookbooks available aimed at students or those strapped for time or cash, so invest in one of these if you want to learn a few simple, quickfire recipes that will avoid you having to eat beans on toast every night.
Crispin Jones writes for Appliance City, an online retailer of kitchen appliances – specializing in Fisher Paykel and Rangemaster. Check out their recent post about their favourite food blogs.
There are few things in the modern kitchen more striking than the American-style fridge freezer and since the first time I saw one, I knew I had to have one.
You only have to look at one to know it’s as much a statement as it is a practicality. This behemoth towers over normal fridges and freezers and can give a kitchen that clean and contemporary look in the same way that an old-fashioned Aga oven can add a classic touch to a room.
And the fact is, I’m not alone in wanting one. After seeing sales of American Fridge Freezers increase by a whopping 68 per cent, one buyer at John Lewis observed: “Customers are choosing to spend more on appliances that will stand the test of time in terms of design and functionality.”
The idea behind the fridge freezer is not new. Unless you were one of those people who’s parents had one of those old giant freezers with a lid like a coffin then you’ll be familiar with the type that most people have – a cupboard-style freezer with a fridge stacked on top. In terms of basic function, they’re more or less the same.
So why is it that people like the American-style?
Well firstly, as I think you might have noticed, the design is very appealing. They never look cheap or plastic, in fact you’ll usually see them with some sort of brushed steel or aluminium casing and, if you’re going to spend money on improving the look of your kitchen (which is vital if you’re on the housing market) then you’re going to need appliances that look good.
Another factor is the sheer amount of space they offer. Unlike the cupboard-style fridge freezers, which typically only contain three or four shelves or drawers, American Fridge Freezers contain a large number of shelves that fill the vertical space and can be adjusted to suit whatever you choose to put in there and often include a couple of drawers as well. This is one of the key advantages that these devices offer, although they can look imposing and give the impression of taking up a lot of room, the vertical organisation of space means that, in terms of footprint, they take up very little space compared to the amount of food they can house.
But probably most importantly, and certainly one of the things that originally caught my eye about these great appliances, is the number of extra features that they have.
The first thing you’ll notice is the ice maker and water dispenser that is usually housed in the front of the freezer door. Although it means that the Fridge Freezer needs to be plumbed in to the mains, being able to just produce ice in the middle of summer without having to fill those crumby ice trays or buy a bag from the supermarket makes it totally worth it. Plus, it will always impress at least one of your relatives!
The ability to control things like humidity and temperature is another great function. This can really help prevent build up of ice on the back panel of the fridge – a problem that can plague other devices. Many American Fridge Freezers also have special cooling areas for bottled drinks or a designated salad drawer where the environment is maintained at the perfect level to keep your salad fresh. Some of the more up-to-date versions even have an anti-bacterial lining that will prevent the spread of bacteria.
There are some drawbacks to these appliances though. Obviously they are usually priced higher than other devices and you’ll also notice that they use more electricity than standard fridge freezers as well, but I have to say that if you’re looking for a statement appliance that’s going to stand the test of time, then I cannot recommend the American-style Fridge Freezer highly enough.
A natural born writer, Stacey Barton writes professionally and for fun across a wide range of niches with particular attention to how classic brands can continue to offer the same product for decades and somehow survive the turbulent and ever changing consumer market.