Hospitality & Kitchenware Specialists

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KNIVES AND THEIR USES.

Chef's Knife:
Also known as a Cook's Knife, the chef's knife is an all-purpose knife used for slicing, chopping, dicing, mincing, and many other functions. The blade is curved to allow the cook to rock the knife on the cutting board for a more precise cut. Chef's knives are most commonly available between 15cm and 30cm, though 20cm is the most common size. Most chefs recommend using the largest chef's knife that is comfortable in the cook's hands. Larger knives can cut more and are more versatile, but can be more difficult to handle.

Paring Knife:
A paring knife is a small knife with a plain edge blade that is ideal for peeling and other small or intricate work (such as de-veining a shrimp, removing the seeds from a pepper, or cutting small garnishes). It is designed to be an all-purpose knife, similar to a chef's knife, except smaller. Paring knives are usually between 6cm and 10cm.

Bread Knife:
Bread knives are a type of serrated knife, though unlike other serrated knives they are often simply called a Serrated Knife. Bread knives are usually between 15cm and 25cm. The serrations on the blade make it ideal for cutting bread (and other foods with hard/soft composition).

Santoku Knife:
The Santoku knife has been called an Asian chef's knife. The santoku has a straighter edge than a chef's knife, with a blunted sheeps foot-tip blade and a thinner spine, particularly near the point. From 12cm to 18cm long, a true Japanese santoku is well-balanced, normally flat-ground, and generally lighter and thinner than its Western counterparts, often using superior blade steels to provide a blade with exceptional hardness.

Grapefruit Knife:
A grapefruit knife has a long, fat, dull blade that is used to separate the flesh of a grapefruit from the peel and inner membranes. The blade is usually serrated, with a blunt tip, and some knives even have a different blade style on each end of the handle.

Mincing Knife:
Also known as a Mezzaluna (Italian:"half moon"), a mincing knife is a uniquely designed knife comprised of a semicircular blade within a similarly shaped handle. Because they have a highly curved blade, they make a good rocking motion and are ideal for mincing. Many mincing knives come with a wooden cutting board with a circular bowl-shaped indentation that matches the curvature of the knife. Some models have two blades that are parallel to each other to increase their mincing power.

Steak Knife:
A steak knife is used to cut through especially tough foods, such as meat. It is somewhat like a serrated utility knife, though it is used for consuming, not preparing, food. A steak knife is usually about 10cm to 15cm long and usually serrated, though some are not. Most are also decorative, since they are set on the table with the silverware.

Carving Knife:
A carving knife is a large knife (between 20cm and 38cm ) that is used to slice thin cuts of meat, including poultry, roasts, hams, and other large cooked meats. A carving knife is much thinner than a chef's knife (particularly at the spine), enabling it to carve thinner, precise slices. They are generally shorter and wider than slicing knives.

Boning Knife:
A boning knife is used to remove bones from cuts of meat. They have a thin, flexible blade, usually about 12cm to 15cm long that allows them to get in to small spaces. A stiff boning knife is good for beef and pork, but a flexible boning knife is preferred for poultry and fish.

Filleting Knife:
A fillet knife is like a very flexible boning knife that is used to fillet and prepare fish. They have a blade that is about 15cm to 28cm long allowing them to move easily along the backbone and under the skin of fish.

COOKS TOOLS & THEIR USES.

A lemon zester is a utensil for obtaining the zest from lemons and other citrus fruit.

A whisk is a cooking utensil used in food preparation to blend ingredients smooth, or to incorporate air into a mixture, in a process known as whisking or whipping. Most whisks consist of a long, narrow handle with a series of wire loops joined at the end. The wires are usually metal, but some are plastic for use with nonstick cookware. Whisks are also made from bamboo. Whisks are commonly used to whip egg whites to a firm foam to make meringue, or to whip cream into whipped cream.

A silicone spatula combines the flexibility of a traditional rubber spatula with the heat-resistant qualities of a metal kitchen utensil. Spatulas are especially useful for mixing wet and dry ingredients together, as well as scraping the sides of mixing bowls. Silicone is especially suited for these kitchen tasks because of its smooth edge.

A garlic press is a kitchen utensil designed to crush garlic cloves efficiently by forcing them through a grid of small holes.

Balloon Whisk:
A typical whisk is made from sturdy strands of metal looped inside a large handle. The strands are often separated with a metal plate to ensure that the whisk holds its shape. When a whisk is moved through foods, the strands introduce air into the mixture while also thoroughly integrating all of the ingredients. A balloon whisk is shaped like a balloon, in a loosely teardrop shape which has the capability of introducing a great deal of air to a batter or dough.

Double Balloon Whisk:
When whipping, it's all about volume and speed. These stainless whisking wizards double the number of working wires to give more volume more quickly. Plus, the springiness of the head magnifies the whisking power. While the double balloon whisk may cost a little more than a standard wire whisk, it is important to remember that this utensil can save time and effort in the kitchen. In addition, a good quality double balloon whisk will last for a long time, eliminating the need to replace whisks of lesser quality every couple of years.

Lettuce Knife:
A lettuce knife is a knife which is designed to cut lettuce without causing the lettuce to brown, yellow, or wilt. These special knives have serrated blades and they are typically made from plastic, which will not react with the lettuce to stimulate browning.

COOKWARE & THEIR USES.
When cooking food always try to use the style of pan that suits the type of food you are wanting to cook. The shape and proportions will make a difference to how well it will cook your food. Some of the items below will have a multitude of uses in the kitchen while some are for a specific task and are suited to specific types of cooking.

Frying Pan:
Useful for fast cooking using oil, can be used for sauting onions, cooking a piece of steak and a number of other uses.

Wok:
The best choice for fast cooking of food over a high heat. Particularly good for Asian dishes such as stir-fry.

Chef's Pan/Saucier:
Has a flat bottom for gentle, even heating and sloping sides to help with stirring.Ideal for sauces and risotto's.

Griddle:
Usually cast iron, a flat griddle is perfect for preparing pancakes, eggs etc. A griddle with a ribbed surface is great for searing steaks and bacon.

Crepe Pan:
A flat bottom and low sides makes it easy for removal of crepes from pan and easy to coat the pan with batter.

Paella Pan:
A wide, shallow pan with handles, this pan is used for cooking the traditional Spanish rice dish. It is also ideal for steaming shellfish.

Saute's Pan:
It is used for searing and browning foods on a high heat.

Roasting Pan:
With high sides for reducing fat spatters, this pan is designed for roasting meats such as beef,lamb and pork or poultry. Many come with a rack which lifts the meat off the base of the pan, allowing the fat to drip into the pan below.

Saucepan:
A kitchen must have. It has a number of uses from cooking soups and sauces, to scrambled eggs, one pot meals and the like.

Stock Pot:
Used for making stocks and soups by keeping ingredients submerged and slowing evaporation, also great for steaming your puddings or jam making.

Double Boiler:
A double boiler is essential for producing delicate sauces, custard, melting chocolate and foods that require an indirect heat.

Asparagus Steamer:
Allows fresh asparagus to be cooked upright, therefore cooking the thicker part of the stem below and lightly steaming the more tender tops. Comes with an inner basket in which to place the asparagus.

Egg Poaching Pan:
A pan with removable egg cups with handles in which to place your eggs, these help maintain a nice round shape to your eggs. They usually come with a lid too.

Pressure Cooker:
For preparing a number of dishes in a fraction of the time while maintaining their goodness.

Crock-pot/Slow Cooker:
A crock-pot usually has a glazed pottery inner with a glass lid (although there are many variants) they cook food very slowly making for beautifully tender meats and vegetables. Ideal for people working outside the home as the meal can cook slowly all day and be ready to eat once you get home.

Grill Pan:
Often made of ribbed cast iron with a handle, used for stove top cooking of steaks, bacon etc. The ribbed cooking surface helps to channel the fat away from the food being cooked.

Fondue Set:
Very popular in Europe, a fondue set is a great way of warming classic cheese and meat fondues as well as sweet fondue such as chocolate for dipping fruits etc. A small burner under the base gently warms the ingredients.

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