This is Chef’s Staples, where professional chefs dish on the gear they couldn’t cook without. This week: Chef Jordan Terry of Dirty French in New York, NY.
In the opening paragraphs of Pete Wells’ New York Times review of Dirty French in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the restaurant critic-of-record describes the restaurant through a series of observations: neon pink lights, a wall-length mirror shipped from France and waiters donning limited edition Jordans. “Dirty French is one cocky restaurant,” Wells writes. “It can also be an immensely enjoyable one.”
Helmed by Chef Jordan Terry, Dirty French is not a subtle place. But Terry, who rose from meat cook to sous chef to executive chef, isn’t as fanciful as his restaurant. Where the chef’s menu is covered in elevated french bistro classics like mushroom millefeuille and terrine of foie gras, his kitchen is stocked with better versions of the gear you have at home. From buying deli containers in bulk to a cutting board that beats out wood and plastic, these are the things Chef Jordan Terry couldn’t live without.
Rubber Cutting Board
“This isn’t some thin, plastic malarkey. It’s a solid, beautiful and terribly functional cutting board. It’s heavy and made of rubber, which is so much kinder to your blade, absorbing the metal instead of fighting it like a plastic one. And unlike wooden cutting boards, that’s all that it absorbs. It cleans up like a champion and it’s significantly faster than other boards; your blade just bounces back, ready for more. Bonus, you can use a scrubbing pad to take it down if it gets pockmarked or stained — no need for a sander like with a wooden one. They are just a joy to cut on.”
ChoiceHD Deli Containers (32 oz.)
“I use these for everything: storage, portioning, mise en place, sweet tea during service, to make lunches for my wife — they really are the backbone of the kitchen. They come in different sizes, but they have universal lids. They are reusable, they are cheap, they are sturdy and with a roll of masking tape and a sharpie, you can keep everything in them labeled and organized.”
Hall China 1-Quart Jars
“We each have our own and store all the tools we will need for service: like spoons, spatulas, tweezers and whatever else we might need. I love having a few extra around, filled to the brim with spoons for cooking and tasting. They are quiet, elegant and a great way to keep everything you need within arms reach.”
Opinel Oyster Knife
“Never will I have to break my keys opening oysters when I find myself in this situation (which has happened more than you might think). It’s beautifully made with a smooth and strong handle and a stout blade that flies through whatever size oysters you stumble upon, and fits comfortably in your pocket. Just don’t forget it’s there when you go to city hall to get a marriage certificate… they don’t care about your reasons.”
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