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Ask The Chef: Q&A with Personal Chef Brian

November 27th, 2010

Los Angeles Private Chef Brian answers your culinary questions!  Have a question of your own?  Please email him!

Dear Chef Brian:

Thanks once again for an awesome cooking class tonight.  The bacon wrapped chicken – OMG – I will ONLY prepare chicken using your direction ever again!

Ok – so I’m embarrassed to ask since EVERYONE I know comes to me for food advice, and I’m rapidly finding being an amateur holds no candles to anything you have expertly demonstrated.  And that’s got to change!  Well, baby steps…  SO for Christmas this year, I want to REPLACE all of my pots/pans/knives.  I cringe as I thought I was so smart last year to replace everything with this huge non-stick set, that, well, I really thought was grand.  That is, until you proved that theory completely untrue!
Without spending GA-TRILLIONS of bucks on stuff, and I like to cook “big”
– what would you recommend for probably brand for the pots/pans, and then secondly knives – good bread knife, good everything else knife and your sharpener thing-a-ma-gig.
Any other “you must have in your kitchen” items you’d recommend?
As always, thank you for your awesome presentations for our group – everyone raves about how easy you make everything to cook.
My takeaway from the FIRST event – how to make carmelized onions.  SO EASY and I’ve been trying to figure this out for way too long and failing miserably. I’ve made them using your direction like 2-3 times and they’ve been brilliant.

Have an awesome rest of your month and Happy Holidays!

Irvine, CA

Dear Garrett:

Thanks again for coming to the cooking class. I really appreciate your kind words; that is why I do what I do: io hopefully make everyone love food as much as I do. For very inexpensive pots and pans, I really like this brand from Target, believe it or not. Its call Chefmate, and they are stainless steel with a copper bottom.  Best of all, they are not expensive, like $20 per skillet. They also have a set for $100 or so, and it’s a great set. But, I do suggest buying the larger skillet and pot that is hanging on the racks.
Or, if you’re really serious, I really like any of the All-Clad sets. Thats a bit pricier and would last a few lifetimes. So unless you’re planning on handing your pots and pans over to your grandkids, the Chefmate brand is great.

As for the knifes, which are near and dear to my heart, here is what i suggest any self respecting home cook do.  Purchase four knives and a steel that is of the same brand. One chef’s knife, one paring knife, one long slicer, and a bread knife.  Now if you go with a longer chefs knife, then you eliminate having to buy the slicer. And I would really go to Williams-Sonoma or a really great kitchen store. Have the person helping you take out all the knives and seriously touch them. They all have such a different feel and weight. Once your determine what style of handle and feel you like, then make your purchase.  You can also turn to the Internet and do some bargain hunting. Voila!

All the best,

Chef Brian

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