Tech Talk: Kitchen Gadgets
A selection of tools millennial hospitality workers can’t live without
Who doesn’t love a good toy? Whether in your personal or professional life, a solid gadget can quickly become indispensable. That’s especially true for folks in the restaurant business.
Whether that’s a simple wooden spoon you cherish in the kitchen or a way to map out the dining room at the host stand, we rely on things to get us through each service. We talked to millennial restaurant workers in the front and back of house to hear what they can’t live without.
“The one I use on a regular basis that makes life easier is Slack. We use it for our internal communications and can create all sorts of various channels. It makes it much easier to communicate with everyone from bar setup and where equipment goes all the way to addressing HR questions.”
Andrew Volk, owner Portland Hunt + Alpine Club and Little Giant; Portland, Ore.
“Our key kitchen ‘gadgets’ we rely on are Zojirushi rice [cookers], a dehydrator and a Vitamix. For us, it’s all about striking a delicate balance between durability, functionality and precision while facing serious space constraints. Ultimately, we develop recipes and dishes through a distinctly California lens that use thoughtful quality, sustainable and mostly locally sourced ingredients, so we don’t often find a use for too much high tech as we want our produce to speak for itself.”
Camilla Marcus, chef/founder of west~bourne; New York
“The Spinzall, a small culinary version of a centrifuge. It was put out by the guys who own Booker and Dax (in New York). You can use it to clarify juices. We use it on complex syrups, like blueberry, that have pectin to remove the chunkiness of the syrup so the cocktail has a smoother mouthfeel.”
Brock Schulte, bar director, The Monarch, Kansas City, Mo.
“My favorite kitchen gadget is mortar and pestle. Call me old school, but it’s always one of the first purchases I make when I come into a new kitchen. Using it in place of a knife can completely change the flavor of the ingredient. It can be used for spices, but also aromatics, bread, citrus and loads of items. The classic granite or marble version is what I’m most familiar with.”
Liz Johnson, chef, The Catbird Seat, Nashville