Hong Kong apartments and kitchens are famously compact, so most of us are reluctantly forced to live by William Morris’ famous adage, “Have nothing in your house you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” When the chefs leave their well-tooled work kitchens and go home, what are the essential utensils the make the cut in their kitchen cupboards? We asked five of our chefs for their favourites:
Daniel Calvert, BELON
My kitchen essential is my hinoki wood cutting board because it doesn’t get affected by humidity (a huge bonus in Hong Kong) and doesn’t retain odour so it always smells beautiful. I got mine on a trip to Kyoto, but you can find similar boards online.
Jowett Yu, Ho Lee Fook
I always find myself using my Japanese mandolin since there are, sadly, no apprentices at home. These are great for slicing anything in a hurry. Benriner are the classic and still the best.
Denham Pereira, Chom Chom and Soul Food Thai
Aside from a well-honed knife, a rubber spatula is a must at my house for its versatility, from flipping pancakes and omelettes to scraping every last drop of batter or sauce from the bowl. Minimum wastage, easy to clean and mine is in my favourite colour: hot pink.
Billy Otis, Carbone
As a chef, I always enjoy learning different cuisines, and Hong Kong has a diverse culinary background. To make classic Cantonese or Chinese recipes, a wok, either old-school or nonstick, is essential. Go to Shanghai Street and visit the shop Kwong Wing…they’ve got all you need.
James Harrison, Maison Libanaise
If I could only have one pan, I’d stick with my trusty, super heavy cast iron pan with a thick bottom. It’s perfect for anything, from omelettes to steaks. I like De Buyer, but any good cast iron pan will do the job.