Throughout my professional life I have come across several kitchen implements that help me in one way or another create the perfect dish. I have narrowed them down to the ones I use most often. It is really an accomplishment to actually be able to identify what works best for me. Perhaps this would help you dear readers to minimize the crap you lug around or have cluttering your home.
Chef's Knife - A good 10" knife that does most of the processinig for me. I have a preference for carbon steel knives as they are easier to maintain. Wooden handles are fine, but they tend to crack or warp. As a versatile tool, they can chop up large chunks of meat or perform delicate vegetable cuttings with the tip.
Mortar and pestle - this tool may be primitive compared to the food processers of today, but they maintain the freshness and integrity of the ingredient. Pounding and grinding manually will be bring out the subtle aromas and essences as you progress.
Microplane - also known as a rasp grater, this tool is versatile and comfortable to use. I first saw this used in the movie Ratatouille by the female chef Colette. It is really convenient and safer than the run-of-the-mill grater
Digital Pocket Thermometer - My TruTemp thermometer gives me accurate readings whenever I roast a Rib eye for carving or doing sous vide. Gives an instant read on the current temperature, and fits snugly in my pocket
Bamboo Chopping board - made from an easy renewable resource, the material dries quickly, is scratch resistant and very convenient to use. Bamboo chopping boards are aesthetically pleasing as well.
Wire Whisk - This helps me make velvety sauces, great pancake batter and stiff eggwhites for meringues. I prefer the stainless steel varieties as they are easier to clean and lasts longer. Their tensile strength can easily transmit to my hands so I can be as delicate as needed or as vigorous as required.
KitchenAid Stand Mixer - the things that this contraption can do! Mix batters and doughs, mince meat, fold, stir. The possibilities are endless. A must have for all kitchens.
Stainless Food Tongs - with a rubberized grip, making it easy to turn over meats on the pan or grilling. Easy to clean.
Cast Iron Pan - when handled well and properly seasoned, makes mincemeat of all those teflon coated pans available in the market. Heat is distributed through the pan evenly. Non stick, easy to clean, and very durable. You can even pop this into the oven to get that steak cooked to the desired doneness.
Table top Pasta Maker - I can make great fresh pasta with this machine. And with certain attachements, can hand-crank out even raviolis.
Stainless Steel Mixing bowls - A must for marinating, mixing and baking. The material allows for easy cleaning.
Stainless Chinois - this versatile strainer can make my stocks clear, my sauces smooth.
Measuring Spoons and Cups - a must for precise measurement, especially for baking.
Digital weighing scale - Portion sizes can easily be controlled, and with instant reading, reduces work time.
Silicone spatula - on stick and flexible, I really have no fear of ruining this.
Squeeze bottles - for pouring flavoured oil, prepared sauces and seasonings easily without the mess of a bottle cap or spilling.
Much as I would like to say these are the essentials, there are a lot of other tools that would go on my personal wish list. A robocoupe with all the attachements; Creuset Dutch oven; convection oven; induction stove. What are your essential kitchen tools? What are most useless?