Shop Like a Chef

Photograph provided by Kessenichs Ltd.

Today’s homeowner puts a lot of thought into creating their dream kitchen. They want beauty, function, and the capacity to entertain guests with ease. Money is spent on professional grade ranges, high-tech dishwashers, and sinks designed to handle much more than the average weeknight cleanup.

But what about all the other kitchen implements and accessories you need to outfit your kitchen for maximum efficiency? Apply the same mentality to the details and you can achieve your goal of having a kitchen that flexes from family pizza night to hosting a 20-person dinner party.

Get Professional Power at Home
Have you ever tried to puree large quantities of soup or sauce in your food processor only to end up with liquid oozing around the base of your appliance and all over the counter? A classic problem. To avoid having to prep in multiple batches, consider investing in professional grade small appliances for your kitchen. What they lack in style they make up for in convenience, power, and capacity. The Waring Pro line produces blenders, food processors, and stick mixers for the serious home chef, all available in the Madison Kessenich’s showroom.

Prep and Cook Like a Chef
Continuing with the durable, nonbreakable theme incorporating on-trend/modern styling, Farmhouse Collection melamine mixing and prep bowls will become your most-used vessels. These bowls have nonslip bases and convenient pour spouts for easy control.

Many of today’s home chefs have watched celebrity chef shows on television and may have even attended cooking classes. They’re more knowledgeable regarding proper techniques, such as knife skills, than the home chef of 20 years ago. If you’re a serious cook preparing food at home frequently, you want knives that give you precise control while staying sharp longer. The Dexter Duoglide Knife Collection has soft, textured grips, which reduce wrist, arm, and hand discomfort. The handles are designed to be gripped in different ways for ultimate control. High carbon steel blades that are individually ground and honed provide long-lasting edges.

Set the Table Like a Caterer
Many serving accessories used by professional caterers for convenience and style in a buffet setting are available to the home chef too. The stainless steel Taco Taxi Caddy by Tablecraft solves the problem of all the fillings falling out when serving tacos to groups. Tacos can be placed upright in the caddy and replenished as needed. Serving garnishes and toppings in colorful ramekins means your guests will have custom topping options without a mess.

Melamine has come a long way since the 1970s. Today’s dishware still offers the reliable durability of nonbreakable dishes, but now comes in modern, stylish colors and shapes. Bright colors and contemporary neutrals are available and really dress up a table. Professional caterers routinely use melamine because it’s resilient, affordable, and comes in on-trend colors.

Cast iron has long been a well-equipped-kitchen staple because it goes from oven to table, never wears out, and can be used for main dishes as well as breads, vegetables, and desserts. Home chefs love the rustic farmhouse look of cast iron, and it’s now available in a wide range of sizes for family portions and individual servings. Add Farmhouse jars from Libby and you have created a homey country style to your buffet that works well with popular comfort food recipes. Serve drinks in tin-can-style glasses or a variety of mason-jar- or milk-jug-inspired designs to complete the look.

Large Scale Home Entertaining
Planning to host a graduation party? A bridal shower? A Green Bay Packers Sunday brunch? Many events can be personalized by hosting them at home as opposed to reserving a large space at a restaurant. Buffet entertaining is actually a great option if you have the right serving pieces to do it.

You may have used Sterno cans to keep food hot on a buffet at one time or another. They don’t always stay lit, and we worry about open flame on a table with other flammable items, such as paper napkins. The new, safer, easier alternative is the Sterno SpeedHeat system. Just add water to these disposable, one-time-use packets for a full 45 minutes of steam heat to keep food hot.

Pizza Night
Shop for specialized equipment to create fun food items for your family. Tabletop pizza ovens, pizza peels, and pans are just some of the items that can make regular dining more of an at-home restaurant experience for your family and friends when you’re entertaining on a smaller scale or just trying to spice things up during the week.

Shopping like a chef doesn’t have to break the bank, but consider focusing more on the quality and durability of professional grade items rather than on low cost. At a professional outlet and showroom, like Kessenich’s, you can find everything in a one-stop-shopping venue. If you don't see what you're looking for on the shelf, browse through Kessenich's special order sample section. Cooking at home can be an inspiring, rewarding, and educational experience for everyone in your home. Having the right equipment and accessories will make it all the more enjoyable.

Diane Sorenson is the marketing & business development director for Great Lakes Hotel Supply.

Kessenich’s Ltd.
3226 Progress Road
Madison, WI 53716