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A Two-Time "Top Chef" Finalist's Kitchen Essentials

Chef Sheldon Simeon is helping to bring Hawaiian food to more of the mainland.

suisin inox honyaki wa petty knife 210mm

This is Chef Staples, where professional chefs dish on the gear they couldn’t cook without. This week: Chef Sheldon Simeon of Tin Roof Maui in Kahului, Hawaii.

Everyone loves Sheldon Simeon. The Hawaiian-born chef appeared on two seasons of "Top Chef," making it to the finals each time, and winning Fan Favorite both times. His stints on the show helped to bring wider attention to local Hawaiian food beyond gentrified poke bowls and stereotypical loco moco brunches, except in Hawaii it's not "Hawaiian food" – it's just food.

In a way, it's like Simeon is the unofficial ambassador for Hawaiian food on the mainland. Fittingly, Simeon was featured on Gordon Ramsay's show "Uncharted," in an episode on Hawaii's Hana Coast. When he isn't cooking on television, Simeon is heading his restaurant Tin Roof Maui, a homestyle eatery that specializes in the dishes that Simeon loved to eat such as saimin, a noodle soup, and mochiko chicken.

The chef's next venture is a cookbook "Cook Real Hawai'i" ($32), out on March 30. The book is as much of a cookbook as it is a history of Hawaii, delving into the influences that make Hawaiian food what it is, from Japanese influences to Portuguese flavors.

chef sheldon simeon

Suisin Inox Honyaki Wa-Petty Knife 210mm

suisin inox honyaki wa petty knife 210mm

"I love the versatility of this ‘long' petty knife. I find myself reaching for this knife more often than my gyuto nowadays. This petty is excellent for vegetable prep, slicing protein, cleaning whole loins for steak, filleting and sushi."

Price: $300


Unicorn Magnum Pepper Mill

unicorn magnum pepper mill

"Super simple to use, easy to refill, holds a ton of pepper and gets an amazing grind — all that you'd want in a pepper mill."

Price: $49


Rubbermaid Commercial High Heat Spatula

rubbermaid commercial high heat spatula

"The industry standard when it comes to spatulas. It has a tough rigid hand that won't bend when mixing doughs or thick sauces and its blade has the perfect flexibility to contour to the shape of bowls."

Price: $14


JB Prince Sizzle Platter Rectangular

jb prince sizzle platter rectangular

"My go-to vessel for broiling fish and steaks. It's made out of thick gauge stainless steel, which is far superior than aluminum oven trays, which are more widely available."

Price: $27


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