Miguel Maestre's Tips For The Tools You Need In The Kitchen
Co-host of 'The Living Room' and everyone's favourite chef, Miguel knows what you need to splurge on and what you can save on when it comes to kitchen gadgets.
Hearing Miguel Maestre baffle his Living Room co-star Barry Du Bois with his pronunciation of the words "food processor" you can't help but smile. After all, these two share a special bond and Baz's laughter as Miguel pronounces it more like "professor" with his strong Spanish accent is loving and hilarious.
What's no laughing matter, though, is that Miguel is almost a "professor" of appliances -- the man knows everything you need to know about gadgets in the kitchen and what we need in our drawers and cupboards if we want to cook anywhere near as well as he does.
So we thought we'd ask him just what we should have in the kitchen to make our cooking life a little easier.
First up is that food processor he was talking about.
"That's very important because it can do most of the work in the kitchen," Miguel told 10 daily.
"A food processor chops, makes purees, sauces, emulsifications and doughs. So you should invest a little bit of money in having one. You can spend thousands of dollars or just one hundred -- but as a rule, whatever your level of cooking, that is the level of food processor you need."
Next, a KitchenAid or something similar.
"This is good for making doughs, cakes, breads -- and it has cool attachments for fresh pasta," said Miguel. "I don't use any dry pasta anymore."
If money is no object, he said, it's also a good idea to get yourself a really swish fridge.
"Don't spend thousands on an appliance you never use," he warned. "I think spend the money on things that you are going to use a lot -- so it's important to spend it on a good fridge. A really nice intelligent one with double doors, multi-functional, that regulates the temperature depending on what you have in it. Some have a shelf you can just put a whole meal on, ready to go into the oven," said Miguel.
Other tools you should invest money in? Your knives.
"A sharp knife is important," Miguel told 10 daily. "In the scope of things a chef does, there are a hundred different functions for a knife -- and you could get all kinds, from a tomato knife, a paring knife, a cleaver, to a boning knife. Every knife has a different function."
"But because good knives are quite pricey, for home use, I'd really only invest in a good chef's knife -- a 25-30cm knife with a curved blade that does all the vegetable work and you can also use it for proteins. One really good knife will do most jobs."
When it comes to which brands to buy, for Miguel it depends on the steel and what you want it to do.
"For fish, you can get a Japanese knife, it's a little bit thinner, refined and sharper but it can chip easily. If you like rough cooking and you're cutting through bones, then German steel is much harder."
He also recommends getting a nice block for your knives. That will keep them from chipping in your kitchen drawer and do double duty by looking good on your benchtop.
For Miguel, who works closely with the food rescue charity OzHarvest, reducing waste is ultra important -- and things that you can reuse in the kitchen are vital.
"Invest the most of your money in things that last longer, like good grade silicone spatulas and spoons that you can rewash; you should have a good wooden chopping board for your bread and for serving mezze plates and cheese, and a silicone one you can put through the dishwasher for working with chicken and fish. I also think it's important to buy good containers that will last -- and spend the money on them."
"I would spend up on a lot of nice Tupperware containers with nice lids so you don't keep wrapping things in plastic –- things that you wash and reuse and don't have to use plastic wrap."
Feature image: The Living Room
The Living Room returns Friday at 7.30pm on 10 and WIN Networks.