Cook like a Michelin-starred chef with these specialist kitchen gadgets from Sous Chef.

Why pay big bucks for an expensive Michelin-starred dinner when you can do it yourself at home? Nicola Lando of specialist cookware site, Sous Chef, picks out the most popular kitchen gadgets for ambitious home cooks.


The popularity of Nordic cuisine means that hot-smoking is the hottest thing in the kitchen right now. Most often, it’s used as a healthy way of cooking fish while infusing it with complex, smoky flavours. But Scandinavian chefs like Noma’s Rene Redzepi have led the way in smoking everything from bone marrow to quails eggs and monkfish livers. Try it yourself at home with this Cameron mini smoker. It will work on a gas, electric or induction stove, in an Aga or even on a barbeque. Sprinkle some wood chips in the bottom, and get smoking straight away.
£39, buy from Sous Chef


A food ring might seem like a very simple piece of kitchen equipment, but it’s often the presentation which really sets restaurant dishes apart. A ring can be used to create height on the plate by stacking layers of food in towers. Rings also help to make perfect circles of beetroot that have been sliced on a mandolin and can help you to make a cylindrical potato fondant – perhaps with a smaller hole in the middle, ready to be filled with mushroom duxelles. Use a food ring to draw circles on baking parchment to guide you when making macarons – it’s an essential for slick, geometric and aesthetically-focused dishes.
£9.50, buy from Sous Chef.


They’re 500million years old, but Himalayan salt plates are only just storming the British restaurant scene. The pink stone blocks retain exceedingly high and low temperatures, meaning that they can be used for both cooking and chilling food while imparting beautiful rock salt flavours. Heron Tower’s Duck & Waffle restaurant lightly-cures scallop sashimi on salt plates, while chef Ben Splading as a base on which to present unsalted butter. With salt specialist Mark Bitterman’s book Salt Block Cooking coming out this summer, the trend is only going to grow. Get your hands on a salt block to start searing, serving, chilling and grilling off this of geological gem.
£8.50 each, buy from Sous Chef.


Paper-thin slivers of fennel, uniform gratins, and delicate vegetable batons are all things that differentiate restaurant dishes from those whisked up in a home kitchen. But a bit of Michelin magic can quite easily be introduced with a mandolin. This guillotine-like contraption earned torturous associations in the past – not just because of the blade mechanism, but because of the damage it can do to chefs’ fingertips. But technology has moved on to create mandolins with effective finger guards and also interchangeable blades for cutting different shapes. It is the perfect tool for restaurant-standard efficiency, bringing uniformity to home cooked dishes.
£29.50, buy fromSous Chef. 


A pestle and mortar encourages good habits in a chef, and a big, granite pestle and mortar is the best you can buy. This season’s MasterChef saw chef John Torode rustle up a Thai sauce from scratch by pounding together garlic, shallots, coriander, chilli, palm sugar, fresh lime and fish sauce in a big granite dish. A pestle and mortar this size can also be used to make pesto and curry pastes – and it will sing to you to stop if you’re ever tempted to reach for pre-ground spices; a handful of freshly ground pepper corns is always going to taste better.
£30, buy from Sous Chef.

May 2013