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The Top tools for every professional Chef

Chef in kitchen on blog.chefuniforms.comHave you ever heard the saying “A Tool is only as good as the person using it?”

Every professional chef has their favorites that they just can’t live without! They will use these items over and over even when it’s falling apart or broken, until they are like, “okay, I have to replace them now!”

From all of our Chef of the Month interviews this year, one of our questions asked was “what is your must have kitchen tool for professional chefs?”

Here’s the list of their “must haves” that made our Chefs of the Month celebrated for what they do in the kitchen:

Chef Ron Duprat – Thermal Circulating Bath. It enhances the flavor, texture and aroma of dishes.

Chef George Duran – Pickle Picker. It is a device that has 3 prongs and so easy to use to get those must have pickles! I love the name and it is a tool that not everyone has.

Chef Jenn Louis – Bob Kramer’s Knife. “Bob Kramer lives in Olympia, Washington. He’s one of the only guys in the US who makes handcrafted knives of really high quality. (He has an interest in samurai sword-making and has made a few.) I met him at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen in 2011. I told him I’d been wait-listed for years and that it was my birthday, and he made me a workhorse steel knife. He takes many, many layers of metal and puts them in a 2,300-degree kiln. His skill level is just phenomenal.”

Chef Brian Rutherford – Japanese Mandolin. It is a versatile veggie cutter and it cuts vegetables very thin and very fine like a julienne cut (cutting into long, thin strips, like matchsticks) and batonnet cut (another type of long strips).

Chef Anish Rana – Knives! I love Wüsthof knives which is a German brand.

Chef Jason Connelly – Spoons. I love my spoons like Banquet Spoons. They are versatile and can use them on fish and veggies and saucing.

Chef Lorenzo Boni – French Made Cast Iron Dutch Oven – I love the way it is designed and it cooks so easily and the food comes out great!

Chef Robyn Almodovar – Spoon. A nice tablespoon.

Chef Charlise JohnsonKitchenAid Mixer – they are so amazing. I make all kinds of things with it like dinner rolls and cupcakes. It makes life so much easier.

Chef Andrea Litvin – A Scale – I must know exact measurements down to the gram!

Chef Lisa Nakamura – A great pair of Knives – you can do anything with them. I like the brand, Global because they are easy to sharpen and maintain.

Chef Carlos Gaytan – Vitamix Blender. I can do many things with it like sorbets and purees.

Chef in kitchen on blog.chefuniforms.com

Professional Chef Knives seem to be the leading choice…..

We would like to know what are your favorites that you cannot absolutely live without in your kitchen?

 

The Birthplace of our Chef of the Month, Chef Robyn Almodovar

September’s Chef of the Month, Chef Robyn Almodovar was born in Brooklyn, New York. It is one of New York City’s most populous boroughs with approximately 2.6 million people. Brooklyn is a mosaic of the diversity of its inhabitants, places to go and history. It is well known for The Brooklyn Bridge, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn Tabernacle, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Brewery and Brooklyn Museum.

The Birthplace of our Chef of the Month, Chef Robyn Almodovar found on blog.chefuniforms.com

Location: Brooklyn, known as Kings County is one of New York City’s 5 boroughs.

The Birthplace of our Chef of the Month, Chef Robyn Almodovar found on blog.chefuniforms.com

There’s alot of Celebs and Athletes Born in Brooklyn but here’s a select few:

Aaliyah – actress, dancer and singer

Marisa Tomei – Oscar-winning actress

Barbara Streisand – Oscar-winning actress, singer, director, political activist

Jerry Seinfeld – actor and comedian

Joan Rivers – comedienne

Chris Rush – stand-up comedian

Busta Rhymes – rapper

Saul Rogovin –Major League Baseball pitcher

Jayson Paul – professional wrestler

Barry Manilow – singer-songwriter

Vince Lombardi – Pro Football Hall of Fame coach

Michael Jordan – basketball player

DeStefano's SteakHouse in Brooklyn found on blog.chefuniforms.com

DeStefano’s SteakHouse in Brooklyn

 

TripAdvisor’s Top 12 Most Recommended Restaurants in the Area:

DeStefano’s SteakHouse

Oregano

Juliana’s Pizza

Michael’s of Brooklyn

Table 87 Coal Oven Pizza

The River Café

Ample Hills Creamery

Five Leaves

Gino’s Restaurant & Pizzeria

Roberta’s Pizza

Piccoli Trattoria

Maison Premiere

Popular Brooklyn Quotes found on blog.chefuniforms.com

 

Have you ever been to Brooklyn? What are some of your favorite dishes you have eaten over there?

Chef Robyn Almodovar

September 2014 Chef of the Month, Robyn Almodovar

Chef Robyn Almodovar, Chefuniforms.com Chef of the Month for September found on blog.chefuniforms.comChef Robyn Almodovar is the owner and chef of her own Gourmet Food Truck, Palate Party. Whether she is catering for celebrities such as mega producer Timbaland, actor John Corbett, Gym Class Heroes Travie McCoy and DJ Irie or hosting viewing parties of her own shot to stardom on Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen, a Season 10 “Top Finalist,” Chef Almodovar is out to ensure there is a party in the mouth every time. Since then, her path to the kitchen has made many twists and turns. Some of her accolades include Fabulous Five Female Chef’s Flavors of Fort Lauderdale 2012, Best Of the Best Miami New Times 2013 – Best Food Truck,  Al Gusto Homestead Food Truck Basket- First Place and Top 30 Taste Makers of Broward County by Broward New Times 2013. The beauty school drop-out pursued nursing and cosmetology before officially coasting into cuisine professionally thanks to the coaxing of a late night infomercial.  Throughout her career, Chef Almodovar has methodically mastered every position in the kitchen. Her culinary experience ranges from working as a line cook at Big Bear’s Brewing Company in Coral Springs, Florida, to Executive Chef at Jeff’s Beach House in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In 2008, she took to the high seas and managed the kitchen of a 172″ yacht, Lady Windridge. In 2011, with enough courage and tenacity to strike out on her own, she purchased a 24″ food truck and founded “Palate Party,” a fresh, mobile food caf that utilizes locally sourced ingredients. Plate Party was the first female-owned, non-dessert food truck in South Florida and it’s the only truck with a custom stage built on top for live entertainment, dancing and musical performances. Chef Almodovar manages the restaurant and splits her time between catering gigs and dominating the local food truck circle scene.

 

Congratulations Chef Robyn Almodovar on being our Chef of the Month for September!

Your food truck and Mushroom Risotto Balls rock!

 

1. What is the name of your company and where are you based?

Palate Party, South Florida

 

2. What is your birthplace?

Brooklyn, New York

 

3. What made you decide to become a chef?

I have always been great with my hands and found that the best way to help people is feed their bellies. Cooking is healing and I wanted to be a chef.

 

4. What do you enjoy doing outside of being a chef?

Riding bikes, skateboarding, dancing – hence the reason, I have a stage on top of my food truck).

 

5. What is your favorite social media platform?

Instagram and Twitter

 

6. What is your Must Have Kitchen Tool?

Spoon – a nice tablespoon

Robyn Almodovar's must-have kitchen tool found on blog.chefuniforms.com

 

7. What is your specialty dish?

Mushroom Risotto Balls

Robyn Almodovar's Mushroom Risotto Balls found on blog.chefuniforms.com

 

 

 Robyn Almodovar Palate Party Menu found on blog.chefuniforms.comRobyn Almodovar Palate Party Menu

 

8. What’s the strangest thing you ever ate?

Sheep Balls – just not for me.

 

9. Who would you most like to cook for?

My grandmother, “my Nanny.” She inspired me to become a chef.

 

10. Do you enjoy dining out on your free time? What is your favorite type of cuisine?

I do. I love Italian – Casa D’Angelo is my favorite restaurant.

 

11. What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat?

Mobility around the arms, lightness and flexibility. I like Egyptian cotton and short sleeves as I do a lot of outside events and ¾ sleeves for high end events.

Robyn Almodovar Palate Party Food Truck found on blog.chefuniforms.com

Food Truck Scene in Plantation Park, Plantation Florida

~Her experience and advice~

12. How long have you been a chef and where did you study?

4 years and I studied at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta.

 

13. What education or experience would you recommend for aspiring chefs?

To never give up. Stay true to who you are, be passionate and never stop learning. Starting from the bottom is not a bad thing.

 

14. What would you recommend as far as on-the-job training?

To be a sponge. Absorb everything thing you can. Respect the Head Chef and who you work with. Always ask questions. Don’t be afraid to continue your education.

 

15. What is your greatest challenge in getting the ingredients you need?

Finding local purveyors that have a reputable product.

 

16. Do you try to experience your competitors’ food? Do you ever get ideas from them?

Yes. I always find ways to make their ideas better.

 

17. Do you think it is important to visit the markets rather than just have standard orders?

Yes. It is very important to find out what the local farmers are putting out there. You can’t eat what we don’t have.

 

18. How do you test a new recipe without putting it on the permanent menu?

I run features to test my customer’s palette.

 

19. How do chefs use technology in their day to day operations?

Timers, computers, molecular gastronomy which younger chefs are practicing.


~2014 and The Future~

20. What dining trends do you see taking place for 2014?

Farmer Table – more support for local markets using fresh sustainable ingredients

 

21. How has the revolution to eat healthy influenced you as a Chef?

A lot of products have chemicals that are harmful and I cook with a cleaner palette using lot of fresh ingredients.

 

22. What do you think of “Green Kitchens?” Is it realistic to outfit your kitchens to be environmentally friendly?

It is very costly to have a Green Kitchen. If you have sponsors behind it, you can have one and also if you are a big company but for small mom and pop restaurants, you can’t.

 

23. How does Social Media play a role for Chefs today?

This is the way to get themselves known. Everyone is on their phones. If you want to put yourself out there, get on one.

Robyn Almodovar Palate Party Food Truck Logo found on blog.chefuniforms.com

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