The Joy of Cooking
Originally published in 1931 by Irma Rombauer and now in its eighth edition, The Joy of Cooking is a fan favorite of chefs and home cooks alike. Rombauer was a self-taught home cook, and the original Joy of Cooking contained a selection of some of her favorite recipes. Café Niche chef Andy Morrison (whose interest to cook professionally was sparked the PBS Great Chefs series) says, “I used to sit and read that book like it was a novel.”
Tin Angel Café chef Jerry Liedtke concurs. “The Joy of Cooking has such a complete reference of diverse cuisines, cooking methods, charts, descriptions and lessons about food. All the recipes are solid, time-tested and reliable,” he says.
Liedtke is also a fan of forged Sabatier Knives, made in France since 1810. “My knife is old,” he says. “I can feel the history in it. These older knives can be bought online for under $100. The steel is hard but not brittle. They can endure [the test of] time and a heavy workload while maintaining a sharp edge.”
Pyrex Glass Storage Containers
Not sexy, but very practical. Café Niche’s Andy Morrison says that they’re essential to any kitchen. “I’ll even bake small lasagna in them, pop the lid on once it’s cooled, store it in the fridge and have a quick dinner for the next few days,” she says. “They’re great for freezing foods as well.”
Waring Immersion Blender
“An immersion blender was the first thing I got for the kitchen when I came to Rye,” says Andrew Lund, chef at Rye Diner & Drinks, noting the blender is good for making soups and purées. You can stick it in a 5-gallon bucket and mix up 52 quarts at a time.
“I think everyone should have a scale in their kitchen so their baking can be more consistent,” says Romina Rasmussen, pastry chef and owner of Les Madeleines (their OHAUS Valor 1000 scale is shown). “It helps avoid disappointment of something not working out because the measurements are always the same.”