Sunday, April 3, 2011

First Things First

Hello everyone, my name is Alise Lawrence. For those of you unfamiliar with me, I have known Sarah for...oh man, 18 years. For reasons I won't go into (sheer unadulterated laziness), I have been the silent / missing collaborator of this blog... until now. I have always enjoyed cooking, and so in October of 2006, I decided to enroll in and attend a culinary school named Kitchen Academy in Hollywood Ca. When I finished, I realized that the cooking repertoire of the home chef might potentially benefit from my own ideas and personal experiences gained from school and being a home chef myself. It is the sincere intent of myself, Sarah, and this blog to do exactly that, to give home chefs a leg up in the kitchen through techniques and inspiration.

Now that the introductions are out of the way, first things first: Aside from imagination, a chef can only be as creative as their tools and ingredients allow them to be. Not having all the necessary ( I say necessary because certain things like colanders or strainers, while nice to have, aren't detrimental to most cooking processes) tools can stop you from accomplishing even the most basic of tasks in the kitchen. That said, here is a list of things personal experience has taught me are handy to have in a kitchen. Most of them are probably already in your kitchen. Anything in parenthesis are good to have, but ultimately up to your discretion.


  • Kitchen / Chef's knife

  • Paring knife

  • Bread knife

  • (Filet / Boning knife)

  • Whisk

  • Mixing spoons

  • Spatula

  • Measuring spoons

  • Measuring cups, wet and dry, there is a difference

  • (Rubber spatula)

  • (Colander or a strainer)


  • Onions

  • Garlic

  • Rice

  • Potatoes

  • Pasta

  • Flour

  • Butter

  • Chicken, beef or vegetable bullion

  • (Carrots, celery...even I don't have these all the time)

  • (Canned or frozen vegetables)

  • Any spices of your choice (i.e. rosemary, thyme, basil, parsley, sage, bay leaves, pepper flakes.....)

Sorry this post was so long, but I felt that I had to make up for lost time...J/k. I'll be back soon with another couple of posts discussing basic stock making, and general ingredient substitutions in recipies. Always, Alise.