These two blogs list the contents of the knife kit thoroughly, so I won't re-list them here. But I thought I'd list some kitchen tools from the kit along with other items I found useful during my practical classes at Le Cordon Bleu.
• A good chef's knife, used during every practical I had in the kitchens of Le Cordon Bleu
• A good paring knife
• A good boning knife...only if you want to break down rabbits, chickens, lamb, pork and beef! I would rather rely on my butcher, but Le Cordon Bleu doesn't agree with me. As recommended by one of the chefs at Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa, Capital Cutlery Services Ltd West on Caesar Street in the Merivale industrial park in Ottawa takes an old, dull chef's knife and turns it into a sharp, strong boning knife that's available for purchase at $6 a piece. Fill your stockings with sharp knives!
• A scale that weighs both dry and liquid ingredients in metric and imperial
This is a great scale that works perfectly as long as it hasn't been accidentally dropped into a sink full of water or squeezed into a very full knife kit.
• A good sauté pan...although I don't own All-Clad, someday I'd like to. I currently have one sauté pan that I picked up in a grocery store aisle that has been the workhorse in my kitchen.
• A good pot...I have many Paderno pots in a variety of sizes that I'm very happy with. All-Clad would be my second choice.
• A good pair of scissors
From cutting parchment paper for a lid for your vegetables or rice to cutting the backbone of a chicken or trimming fins from fish, you need a pair of scissors in the kitchen. If the blades can be separated for cleaning, even better.
• Stainless steel bowls
This is on my wish list. I want to get rid of the mish-mash of plastic bowls in my cupboard and replace them with several stacking stainless steel bowls. Supposedly, some stainless steel bowls work fine in the microwave too.
• Strainer (chinois, china cap, fine mesh strainer)
Everything in French cooking is strained. No chunks or bits are allowed in a fine French sauce.
• A whisk, of course! But don't whisk that potato leek soup. You don't want to develop the starch in the potatoes and make your soup glue-y!
• Tongs, used to rescue green beans from boiling water, turn meat on the grill, and even grab hot pots from the stove.
• Skimmer, used for skimming scum and foam while making stocks and sauces.
• Ladle, used for ladling the fat over the meat during sautéing to keep the fat from getting too hot.
• Offset Palette Knife, used to decorate cakes or to flip pancakes or fish on the grill!
• Vegetable Peeler. I like the y-shaped version, but it's a personal preference.
• Pastry Scraper for making pie dough, pasta dough, pizza dough and as a rubber spatula in a pinch.
• Wooden Spoon
• Cutting boards
This is on my wish list again since all of mine are warped from being washed many times in the dishwasher. At school, we used wooden ones for vegetables, red ones for raw and cooked meat and blue ones for raw and cooked fish. And always, we had to have a wet paper towel under it to ensure it didn't slip around on the counter.
• Last, but not least is the KitchenAid Stand Mixer (not part of the kit since we're asked to do everything by hand in Basic Cuisine and Basic Pastry!)
Every kitchen needs this tool if you enjoy baking. It makes quick work of a cake and with all the attachments you can buy for it, you can enjoy making pasta, ice cream, or even shred cheese!
• And the coolest new Kitchen gadget for your KitchenAid Stand Mixer: the beater blade.
I couldn't wait until Christmas for this one so I picked one up, and it's been worth it. My cake batter doesn't have any dry clumps of flour at the bottom of the bowl anymore. There are two models of this blade so make sure you get the right one for your mixer.
• Note that I left out the oft-used turning knife from our kit!
Unless you're going to Le Cordon Bleu or working for some fancy schmancy hotel restaurant, this knife is going to remain hidden in the knife kit (I hope!).
[Most of these items are listed in a widget on my sidebar.]