With South Florida’s stay-at-home orders in full swing, many people are using their kitchens a lot more frequently. And while most home cooks will have the basics like pots and pans and standard seasonings, what if they want to take their meal up a few notches?
Below eight different chefs from around Miami share the ingredients and tools that help them prepare restaurant-caliber meals at home. So stock up on those groceries, and get to cooking.
Robata Grill ($109.99) — I love Robata grills. It holds heat very effectively. It’s cold to the touch on the outside of the grill so you can use it as a centerpiece on the table. Sear and serve your dish. — Dewey Losasso, Bill Hansen Catering
Vacuum Sealer ($69.95) — Definitely having a vacuum sealer is very important during these times. We are leaning towards buying bulk and being able to make individually frozen meats or have batches sauces amongst other things is ideal. It makes things last longer, and it is organized and you can portion control. Also, if you buy a circulator it can be easy to just drop your sauces in a bag, your meats or even eggs. Consistent, easy, and let’s clean up. — Brad and Soraya Kilgore, Kilgore Culinary Group
Tabletop Gas Grill ($134.10) — I would love a gas stove during this time. Having recently moved, my electric stovetop just doesn’t compare. — Victor Toro, executive chef MC Kitchen
Mediterranean Raw Sea Salt ($7.89) One of our secrets is the that we use. It’s so much more flavorful and maintains its texture in the food that gives a different taste without overpowering the food. It’s one of those small details that make a big difference in the balance of ones’ tastes. — Giannis Kotsos, executive chef/partner at Meraki Greek Bistro and Meraki Coconut Grove
Shio Koji ($14.95) — If you never tried shio koji before — now is the time! Get your hands on some shio koji and marinate your animal or vegetable protein. I love chicken thighs marinated with shiro miso and shio koji overnight (vacuum sealed in a bag). After cooking, I remove the chicken from the bag and sear in a pan with a little bit of brown butter and soy. The juices from the bag make an excellent sauce in the pan after you sear the chicken. — Oliver Lange, Zuma Corporate Executive Chef
Thermomix ($1,499) — The Thermomix is truly amazing, I’ve had one for a while. I learned how to use it in Spain, and I can honestly say that it changes lives. — Jose Mendin, Pubbelly Global
Fresh Wasabi Root ($59.95) — If you’re looking to take your pantry to the next level with a luxury ingredient, I recommend fresh wasabi root. It is a completely different experience than the bright green paste made by mixing horseradish powder and food dye. It has a little kick, sure, but has a unique ability to draw out the natural sweetness often hidden in savory proteins. It can be used for fish (cooked or raw), steak, noodle dishes, and in all sorts of sauces. It’s best used in the first few days, but will hold for a couple weeks if kept wrapped in a damp paper towel inside a Ziploc bag. For a quick and easy fancy Sunday Brunch, try a shrimp cocktail. Quickly poach frozen shrimp and serve chilled with a cocktail sauce of ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and fresh grated wasabi. — Ben Steigers, corporate chef 50 Eggs Group
Sous Vide Machine ($249.95) — An immersion circulator will be a great tool for most home cooks, giving them excellent results with out the need of the ever watchful eye. Do follow instructions and don’t be afraid to play around a little bit. — Adonay Tafur, Osaka