This is Chef’s Staples, where professional chefs dish on the gear they couldn’t cook without. This week: Chef Jimmy Papadopolous of Bellemore in Chicago, IL.
In the last five years, Jimmy Papadopolous has earned an Eater Chef of the Year award in Chicago, a Zagat ’30 Under 30′ designation and various ‘Best New Restaurant’ awards for his 2017 opening of Bellemore in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. Papadopolous describes the restaurant, a temple of dark woods, woven cane chairs and brass, as “artistic American.” From $30 whetstones to $2,000 vacuum sealers, here are four things he couldn’t cook without.
Japanese Water Stones
“I have long built my knife kit over my career to where it is. Collecting one of the most important and basic tools to great cooking; a knife. Right behind having a knife, the second most important thing is keeping it sharp. I like sharpening my knives to the point of being able to shave the hair off the back of my hand with a single stroke — a feat that wouldn’t be as easily attainable without the technique and skill that comes from mastering Japanese water Stones.
Polyscience Immersion Circulator
“I cannot stress enough how convenient, precise and how much these machines shrink the margin of human error in professional and home kitchens alike. An absolute must in my kitchen.”
Vita Prep Blender
“They literally can turn a brick to dust. Well, I have never tried to powder a brick in one so, not literally. But they are amazingly versatile. From silky purées, to powders, to emulsifications, my kitchen could not function without one.”
Minipack Vacuum Sealer
“One of the best inventions ever. Vacuum sealers have become complete commonplace in professional kitchens — I could not picture our kitchen functioning without one. From cooking sous vide to tight storage of all prepared food products, a vacuum sealer is an absolute essential.”