The Kitchen Tools That Chefs Actually Use

CakeTesterPhoto: Courtesy of Global Sugar Art.
By delivering the best of food & drink culture to adventurous eaters to your inbox on the daily, Tasting Table is like having a foodie for a BFF, sans the snobbery. The email service supplies first-hand recommendations on everything from the best Thai in the village to the top tequila pours in the Outer Mission. Hungry yet?
Betony has a lot to celebrate: It was just named the top new restaurant in the country by Esquire magazine. Chances are it has something to do with the elegant cooking of one Bryce Shuman, an Eleven Madison Park disciple who struck out on his own to open the impossibly ornate Midtown restaurant. Shuman recently chatted with us about his five essential kitchen "tools" and how he uses them in the restaurant, so you can pick up a few tips for your own kitchen.
Cake Tester
The tiny pinprick end of the tester is used to test the doneness of vegetables, fish, and meat. For one dish, Shuman uses it to see if his poached tilefish is cooked properly by sliding the tester in and checking the resistance. It's also used on the dish's half-moons of kohlrabi. Shuman uses it for fine adjustments, too, like moving a single chive fleck on a plate. And, who knew that cake testers, a dime a dozen in most kitchens, are a status symbol? "If you have one of the old metal spirals, you're an OG."
SousVidePhoto: Courtesy of SousVide.
Circulator
The sous-vide machine is all about total control and even cooking. "I can poach lobster perfectly from one end to the other, or slow-cook chicken in rendered chicken fat." Shuman also uses the machine to caramelize white chocolate for a dessert, leaving it in for seven to eight hours to brown.
Stainless Steel Pipes
One of Betony's new hors d'oeuvres is a rather luxe take on the lobster roll, in which thin cigarettes of fried dough are filled with lobster salad and lobster Bavarian creme, served atop house-made salt and vinegar potato chips and persillade. The pipes are used to shape the rolls — and, P.S., they're from Home Depot.
TamisPhoto: Courtesy of Sur La Table.
Yakitori Grill
Unlike traditional grills, "the Binchotan charcoal burns very clean. The only smoke is from the fat renderings hitting the charcoal and exploding up with flavor." If you're going to get one for yourself (you could fit one on a fire escape), Shuman recommends replacing the grates with those from a Charbroil grill — he swiped his grates from Betony's general manager Eamon Rockey this Fourth of July.
Tamis And Pastry Card
By pushing purees through the tamis — a drum sieve with a finer grate than a chinois, almost a silkscreen — with a pastry card, you can get "the smoothest, finest texture. For the greatest mashed potatoes you've ever had, you need this tamis. And, the only place that sells it is Korin."

More from New York

This may be news to you, but living in New York is kind of expensive. But, while it may always be the land of $17 cocktails and unmentionable rents, the ...
We won't call this list definitive, because rooftops are, after all, all about spontaneity. And, with three summer months to get your toes wet (literally ...
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to eat roasted guinea pig in Flushing, Queens. Oh, is that not how the Statue of Liberty poem ...
Just because you aren't wearing "short-shorts" doesn't mean your dress qualifies as office-and-everywhere appropriate. In fact, a short dress can be more ...
The West Village may get all the attention as the fancy foodie haven of New York City, but that’s just fine for the East Village. All that means is that ...
Appetizers are nice and entrées are essential, but we adore dessert. For real — we feel about ice cream and cookies and brownies the way Liz Lemon feels ...
The only thing more depressing than the end of summer is the number of days between now and the next long weekend. We know: All you want is to sit by a ...
(Paid Content) When a movie like Disney's Queen of Katwe comes out, you know award season is upon us. The inspiring new film has all the makings of an ...
The Lower East Side may be best known to you as the home of rowdy, rollicking nightlife, but that adventure extends to the food scene as well. Restaurants ...
Is there anything better on a Saturday afternoon than a spicy Bloody Mary and some simple — but delicious — bacon and eggs? Didn't think so. Brunch is the ...
You've probably heard about how gritty Soho was back in the '70s and '80s, when artists flocked to the downtown 'hood in search of affordable living and ...
As New Yorkers, we take our pizza seriously. Whether you prefer thin-crust or deep-dish, extra sauce or more cheese, simple-and-plain or loaded with ...
Bars are as bountiful as Starbucks in New York City, but there are a few that raise their drinks — and their dishes — to an art form. So don’t just settle ...
Finding a good facialist is kind of like finding a good partner: Most of us have to shop around a little before we settle on "the one." And, much like bad ...