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View Full Version : What gift to get for a friend starting culinary school? (Non-knife related)



crizq0
03-13-2012, 01:43 PM
I'm just a home cook, so i'm not sure what is an essential tool a chef or culinary student would need.

Would like to get something non-knife related. So what's something that you can't live without and probably wished you had gotten it earlier in your cooking career?

Specific cookbook? Special spoon? Thermometer? Cooking tweezers? Sharpening stones?

clayton
03-13-2012, 02:08 PM
A nice slotted flexible "fish" spatula with a thin edge. Like Lamson sharp or Wusthof.

Looks like this:

http://d2oqjo3nc0aqra.cloudfront.net/171318/product/standard/2165.jpg

Deckhand
03-13-2012, 02:19 PM
A nice slotted flexible "fish" spatula with a thin edge. Like Lamson sharp or Wusthof.

Looks like this:

http://d2oqjo3nc0aqra.cloudfront.net/171318/product/standard/2165.jpg

Thought the same thing Gray Kunz has the Sveico one. Amazon sells it.

slowtyper
03-13-2012, 04:07 PM
thermapen (though I'm not sure if instructors may not like this being used all the time), maybe a set of microplanes, gray kunz spoons

ajhuff
03-13-2012, 05:08 PM
I guess it depends on the school to some degree. Based on my experience the last 4 years:

Thermopen thermometer. Not the fold out kind (though those are awesome) but one you can wear in your sleeve.

Extra hats and aprons (seriously).

A good vegetable peeler.

That's about all I can think of. Maybe a backpack.

-AJ

Chifunda
03-13-2012, 05:10 PM
To me a great gift is something I'd like to have but probably wouldn't buy for myself. A set of Gray Kunz spoons fits that description.

ajhuff
03-13-2012, 05:11 PM
Oh, and a fair number of my classmates carried this around everywhere they went:

Food Lover's Companion (http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Food-Lovers-Companion/dp/0764135775/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1331672983&sr=8-1-spell)

SpikeC
03-13-2012, 05:42 PM
They have holsters for the folding thermapens, you know!

Deckhand
03-13-2012, 05:54 PM
To me a great gift is something I'd like to have but probably wouldn't buy for myself. A set of Gray Kunz spoons fits that description.

The large. I have both, but the large are the way to go. The small I could use in a giveaway and wouldn't miss them. Just bought them to meet the minimum order requirement.

slowtyper
03-13-2012, 05:58 PM
Would also be cool to buy them gift certificates or just take them out to a few fine dining restaurants to check out the food and the whole process. Maybe find some good ones with an open kitchen and they would probably appreciate that.

ajhuff
03-13-2012, 06:02 PM
Would also be cool to buy them gift certificates or just take them out to a few fine dining restaurants to check out the food and the whole process. Maybe find some good ones with an open kitchen and they would probably appreciate that.

That's a good one. Must of my classmates had never eaten a damned thing of note. Aggravating.

-AJ

slowtyper
03-13-2012, 06:12 PM
Bonus points if you can find a chef table or find a chef willing to come out and chat for a bit. You could post the request on a chowhound type forum in your area to find out what chefs might be willing to do so.

Duckfat
03-13-2012, 06:28 PM
In the list of book selections You might consider the set of Thomas Keller books (Bouchon/The French Laundry), Alinia, Morimoto or a Larousse Gastronomique. In the tool department a micro plane.
A gift certificate to Korin.

quantumcloud509
03-14-2012, 02:08 AM
Thermopen thermometer. Not the fold out kind (though those are awesome) but one you can wear in your sleeve.

A good vegetable peeler.


-AJ

I think most people who go to Thermapen go for the fold out ones due to the 3 second response instead of the 6 second response of the pocket ones. I'd agree with a good veg peeler. Kuhn Rikon is where it's at if you ask me. I'd HIGHLY recommend the Ratio book : http://www.amazon.com/Ratio-Simple-Behind-Everyday-Cooking/dp/1416566112

Deckhand
03-14-2012, 02:17 AM
I think most people who go to Thermapen go for the fold out ones due to the 3 second response instead of the 6 second response of the pocket ones. I'd agree with a good veg peeler. Kuhn Rikon is where it's at if you ask me. I'd HIGHLY recommend the Ratio book : http://www.amazon.com/Ratio-Simple-Behind-Everyday-Cooking/dp/1416566112

Wish I could get the original two pages from Chef Uwe Hestnar for the ratios.

MadMel
03-14-2012, 05:18 AM
Ratio, Larousse, Flavour Bible, Culinary Artistry for the book section
Wouldn't do anything tool-wise, just get him a voucher for a cooks shop.
Extra Aprons and Hats
A copy of Dave's knife sharpening DVD. Trust me, generally most culinary instructors do not know how to properly sharpen their knives.

BTW, this were the things I wished I got when I just started culinary school. Almost into my second sem now..

Dusty
03-14-2012, 09:31 AM
A book in which to write down recipes. Perhaps moleskin or something like that.

ajhuff
03-14-2012, 09:46 AM
I think most people who go to Thermapen go for the fold out ones due to the 3 second response instead of the 6 second response of the pocket ones. I'd agree with a good veg peeler. Kuhn Rikon is where it's at if you ask me. I'd HIGHLY recommend the Ratio book : http://www.amazon.com/Ratio-Simple-Behind-Everyday-Cooking/dp/1416566112


I have both kinds. I found the fold out one to be cumbersome in school. The extra three seconds is a non issue.

-AJ

mhlee
03-14-2012, 12:14 PM
I'd go with a sharpening set. I've never been a professional cook, but the professional kitchens that I've walked through have knives that are often in terrible shape.

In a previous life, I worked in a retail seafood. From what I've seen, most cooking schools teach horrible fish prep and cutting techniques. Fish tweezers are essential for fish prep. I like these that Jon carries: http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/other-items/fish-tweezers/fish-tweezers-round-non-slip.html#

I would also recommend a Benriner (large). It's kind of a cheat for prep, but for large amounts of prep, it's invaluable.

I second the recommendations for fish spatulas, microplanes, thermometers; for books, I also second the French Laundry cookbook recommendation. That book really gets you to think about flavors, processes, and techniques.

But of all the things recommended, I do think the best would be to take them to a very good restaurant and sit at the chef's table so they can see how a kitchen works. I'm still fascinated by it today, and it's probably one reason why I love cooking. I also think a real sushi bar, where you can see prep, whole fish broken down, and ask lots of questions of the chef, is also a great learning experience.

Deckhand
03-14-2012, 01:32 PM
Since I didn't see it previously mentioned on this thread. On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee is a good book choice as well.

Eamon Burke
03-14-2012, 02:15 PM
Gray Kunz spoon.
Thermapen.
Idahone rod.
Good tongs.
Fish spat.
Oven Mitts.
Chef coats.
Discreet headphones.
Lifetime warranty shoes.
Gold Bond(the yellow bottle, the blue one will make you SUFFER).
Victorinox Sportsman
A yoga dvd.
On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee.

ajhuff
03-14-2012, 02:31 PM
I'm starting to worry about my educational experience! I never used half of this stuff in school. What are fish spats? When do you use that fancy spatula as opposed to a regular grill spatula?

-AJ

mhlee
03-14-2012, 02:43 PM
Fish spatulas are really nice for all purpose use, but they're especiall good for delicate items, like fish, because the tip of the spatula is angled/beveled, almost like a single bevel knife, so that that the edge is thinner. I personally like stiffer fish spatulas because I feel they give better control when turning.

Unfortunately, they're usually not very long, so they're not the best for using on a high heat grill.

El Pescador
03-14-2012, 02:47 PM
+1 on Goldbond..."monkey balls" suck.

Crothcipt
03-14-2012, 03:35 PM
I always give "The Soul of a Chef". It goes through many different areas of the profession. From following a group of chefs trying their black hats. Micheal Symon and his restaurant before he became a Iron Chef. Following around Thomas Keller for a week at his restaurant for a week, before he put out a cook book.

Duckfat
03-14-2012, 03:56 PM
Beer money! :justkidding:

ThEoRy
03-15-2012, 12:23 AM
Under Armour 9" ventilated boxerjock. Seriously.

http://www.amazon.com/Series-Boxerjock-Bottoms-Under-Armour/dp/B00354LDMM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1331785369&sr=8-2

slowtyper
03-15-2012, 12:41 AM
Under Armour 9" ventilated boxerjock. Seriously.

http://www.amazon.com/Series-Boxerjock-Bottoms-Under-Armour/dp/B00354LDMM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1331785369&sr=8-2

Please dont post a vid on these

ThEoRy
03-15-2012, 11:25 AM
Lol no. But for realsies, these things changed my life. Honest.

Eamon Burke
03-15-2012, 03:39 PM
That's how I feel about Gold Bond.

So much of being a successful pro cook is about stretching your back and cooling your taint.

pumbaa
03-16-2012, 12:39 AM
Seriously a knife roll/bag. Something like the Mercer backpack knife roll combo. I would have loved to have something like that instead of carrying 3 different things.

tkern
03-16-2012, 12:59 AM
That's how I feel about Gold Bond.

So much of being a successful pro cook is about stretching your back and cooling your taint.

Box of corn starch does the trick.

ThEoRy
03-16-2012, 11:43 PM
Since I started using these 3 years ago http://www.amazon.com/Series-Boxerjock-Bottoms-Under-Armour/dp/B00354LDMM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1331785369&sr=8-2 I havent needed gold bond or corn starch since. Life. Changing.

slowtyper
03-17-2012, 12:38 AM
Nice try, Underarmor.

steeley
03-17-2012, 02:36 AM
good working shoes. save your knee's later on

pumbaa
03-21-2012, 09:52 PM
Since I started using these 3 years ago http://www.amazon.com/Series-Boxerjock-Bottoms-Under-Armour/dp/B00354LDMM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1331785369&sr=8-2 I havent needed gold bond or corn starch since. Life. Changing.

I have to try some of these. I have been using the started moisture wicking anti microbial boxer briefs but still need gold bond every once in ahwile

VoodooMajik
03-21-2012, 10:21 PM
Flavor bible. Definite must have for a budding chefs book collection. inexpensive and great to have around if you get stuck with parings at times.

knyfeknerd
03-21-2012, 10:22 PM
I have to try some of these. I have been using the started moisture wicking anti microbial boxer briefs but still need gold bond every once in ahwile
Awwww Hell !!!! We have to start a "chef nutz" or a "swamp taint" thread. I've had it soooooo bad. Stuff wicking undies and gold bold can't touch........

pumbaa
03-21-2012, 10:24 PM
Awwww Hell !!!! We have to start a "chef nutz" or a "swamp taint" thread. I've had it soooooo bad. Stuff wicking undies and gold bold can't touch........

Me too I have had to do the duck walk.

ThEoRy
03-21-2012, 10:58 PM
Nice try, Underarmor.

What do you mean? I cant tell what you are saying. I swear by these things and have at least 15 or so pairs. They are essential. Along with Champion or Under Armour breathable muscle tees, hanes comfort stretch or wigwam breathable quarter length hiking socks, chefwear ventilated performance pants, and sanita clogs or dansko wayne oxford walkers.

Comfort is key and over the years I have developed a very specific set of clothing that works best. I won't compromise my comfort in this sweltering hell that I work. If I can pass along the knowledge I have gained through trial and error feel free to take advantage and give it a shot. The **** works!

Eamon Burke
03-21-2012, 11:01 PM
Awwww Hell !!!! We have to start a "chef nutz" or a "swamp taint" thread. I've had it soooooo bad. Stuff wicking undies and gold bold can't touch........

done!

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/5694-Sous-Chafe

pumbaa
03-21-2012, 11:02 PM
What do you mean? I cant tell what you are saying. I swear by these things and have at least 15 or so pairs. They are essential. Along with Champion or Under Armour breathable muscle tees, hanes comfort stretch or wigwam breathable quarter length hiking socks, chefwear ventilated performance pants, and sanita clogs or dansko wayne oxford walkers.

Comfort is key and over the years I have developed a very specific set of clothing that works best. I won't compromise my comfort in this sweltering hell that I work. If I can pass along the knowledge I have gained through trial and error feel free to take advantage and give it a shot. The **** works!
TRUTH! I swear by the shoes I wear because they are the best I have ever owned. I am looking for boxer briefs. But I wear certain pants, certain undershirts, and coats.

slowtyper
03-22-2012, 12:33 PM
What do you mean? I cant tell what you are saying. I swear by these things and have at least 15 or so pairs. They are essential. Along with Champion or Under Armour breathable muscle tees, hanes comfort stretch or wigwam breathable quarter length hiking socks, chefwear ventilated performance pants, and sanita clogs or dansko wayne oxford walkers.

Comfort is key and over the years I have developed a very specific set of clothing that works best. I won't compromise my comfort in this sweltering hell that I work. If I can pass along the knowledge I have gained through trial and error feel free to take advantage and give it a shot. The **** works!
Its a dumb joke which does'nt quite work on forums haha...forget it..

I will def'n give these a try based on your emphatic recommendations. One question though, have you tried other cheaper brands that have the same design to see if they work or not? Or is this something not even available in other brands?

El Pescador
03-22-2012, 01:10 PM
exofficio briefs. That and orthotics. Orthotics help me with my posture and the underwear helps me with my monkeyballs.

steeley
03-24-2012, 12:00 AM
Monkey Balls

A nasty chafing of the nut sack region that causes the inflicted individual to walk in a monkey-like state.

Often caused by heavy sweating of the nether regions, combined with tight, ill-fitting clothes and excessive 70's style disco dancing.
From the look of that dude's apish stroll, he must have a nasty case of the monkey balls.

steeley
03-24-2012, 12:09 AM
http://www.limepic.com/img/monkeyball.jpgNot to be confused with monkey ball sushi which is yucky.