Everyone has seen the late-night infomercials hawking must-have kitchen gadgets that will slap-chop, air-fry, and squeeze-dry your food in ways you never imagined.  Before you add “the next big thing” to your shopping cart for your foodie-friend’s stocking stuffer this year, think about whether a professional chef would ever be caught dead using it?  Through roughly two centuries of professional restaurant cooking, even though kitchens have gotten shinier and smarter, very little has changed in terms of equipment that a chef relies on every day that you would use at home.  I have used knives and ovens worth more than a year’s salary, aerated foamy sauces with repurposed aquarium bubblers and immersion-circulated espumas of all kinds, but I could do-away with all of them without a tear, as long as I have these essentials:

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