After long nights spent in the kitchens of the nation's best restaurants, it's shocking that these chefs can muster the energy to even fry an egg. But, despite all odds, top chefs cook up a storm in their home kitchens on the regular. And so we wonder, what do they reach for first when whipping up an at-home meal? What do they swear by for insuring the success of a prepared dish? See below for the answers from nine top chefs, and prepare for your kitchen wish list to get a little bit longer.
Le Creuset 11" Non-Stick Crêpe Pan ($100)
"I love to cook with my Le Creuset nonstick crêpe pan. Crêpes are an important French tradition and my kids absolutely love them. I make sweet and savory crêpes almost every weekend for them. Another favorite kitchen tool is my French sauce spoon, which I use every single day. It's the perfect tool — I cook with it, I eat with it, I make quenelles with them. There's really nothing you can't do with a French sauce spoon and I have collected hundreds of them over the years." –Ludo Lefebrve, Chef, Trois Mec and Petit Trois
World Spice Merchants Urfa Biber ($2)
“This is what you will find in my pantry: Occhipinti olive oil, fresh lemons—just the juice of lemons does not do justice; I need bright fresh lemons for their juice and zest—Beurre de Baratte, hand-harvested sea salt from the Island of Ré, our preserved lemons, and urfar biber (isot pepper).” –Jessica Koslow, Chef and Owner, Sqirl
Korin Black Donabe Steamer ($139)
"I have a beautiful Japanese Clay Donabe steamer from Korin that I love to cook with. Korin has an unparalleled selection of high-quality, artisan Japanese knives, cookware and tableware. The best part of the stoneware is that can be used to cook rice or soup on the fire while steaming fish and vegetables up top. Once everything is cooked, it makes a beautiful presentation when you remove the lid and the steam escapes from the earthenware vessel." –Daniel Holzman, Executive Chef and Co-Founder, The Meatball Shop
Calphalon Medium Wooden Turner ($6)
“I pride myself on being a rough and ready cook. I'm adaptable in the extreme. That being said, my three most used items are my carbon steel knife used by my dad in the Navy, a slant-edge wood spatula, and a thin flexible perforated Corningware metal spatula that was my mother's.” –Evan Kleiman, Chef and Host of Good Food
Big Green Egg (price upon request)
"My favorite cooking tool is the Big Green Egg. There are many reasons why I love the Egg, but most specifically because it holds temperatures super low and super high for very long periods of time. You can cook low and slow and then get temperatures high enough to cook amazing pizza all day long. You can barbecue, smoke, roast, and rotisserie, amongst many other things. The Egg takes a little while to learn how to manipulate, but once you get your groove, it's truly addicting. I plan my cooking adventures weeks ahead of time because that is how much I love it!" –Michael Chernow, Co-Founder, The Meatball Shop
La Cornue Salt Box ($270)
“Two things you willl never find in a chef’s kitchen are salt and pepper grinders. Salt and pepper need to be in an easy open format so you can grab, use, and repeat. These La Cornue jars have a large opening for instant pinching but can be sealed at the end of the night to ensure freshness. Wood is a durable enough medium to handle the occasional spill in a hectic kitchen environment, too.” –Guy Mishani, Chef, Ready to Eat
Sierra Nevada Cheese Organic Vat Cultured Salted Butter ($5)
"Butter and salt. These are the two items you need to make all things taste good. I prefer Morton kosher salt and European style butter." –Gabe Gordon, Executive Chef and Owner, Beachwood BBQ
What's your kitchen must-have? Let us know below.