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Why a Good Pocket Knife Is Absolutely Essential in the Kitchen

From a sturdy pocketknife to a world-famous pepper grinder, these are the kitchen tools Chef Jeremy Hansen couldn’t live without.

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The James Brand

This is Chef’s Staples, where professional chefs dish on the gear they couldn’t cook without. This week: Chef Jeremy Hansen of Fork in Philadelphia, PA.

James Beard semi-finalist Chef Jeremy Hansen helms the kitchen at Fork in Philadelphia, serving up hyper-local fare prepared with technique developed under the legendary Gray Kunz. His menus are gastronomical incarnations of things are not always as they seem, with dishes that front as standard American fare, but go a step further (think mussels with mole, or A5 Wagyu with persimmon). Hansen is also a gear nut — the chef moonlights as a photographer and filmmaker on top of his day job — and runs a non-profit called 509Cooks, a first-responder organization that deploys chefs to emergency situations and disaster zones to serve up food. From a sturdy pocketknife to a world-famous pepper grinder, these are the things he couldn’t cook without.

The James Brand “The Carter”

“An easy-to-carry-around-for-everything tool. Good for breaking down cardboard boxes, cutting twine, opening up caviar tins, opening up sous vide bags and for any other thing you don’t want to use your chefs knives on.”

BUY NOW: $139

Heart Whisk

“Lightweight and great for emulsifying warm sauces on the fly. It reaches all the edges in a sauce pan and is great for just about everything that needs whisking — like quicker froths, whipped creams and vinaigrettes. Highly recommended for a cooks tool kit.”

BUY NOW: $31

Binchotan Charcoal

“I use this every day as a water filter. Its charged molecules attract impurities like chlorine and lead to make water healthy taste fresh. It’s also eco-friendly. You have to boil it every two weeks and after a few months you can add it to your konro for grilling meats.”

Buy Now: $19

Peugeot Pepper Grinder

“Probably the most used tool on our hot line during service. Freshly cracked peppercorns release volatile oils for fantastic aromatics and is the best way to get the highest medicinal properties from the peppercorn.”

BUY NOW: $35

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