Cooking at home is healthier and cheaper, compared to dining out, so it makes sense to invest in and stock up on at least these essentials for your kitchen!



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  • Spice: Black peppercorn

It complements a wide variety of food, such as fish, meat, vegetables, fruits and even chocolate. Those from Madagascar taste sweeter but still have a strong kick.
– Stephane Cocu, chef de cuisine at The Waterfall, Shangri-la Hotel, Singapore 

  • Herb: Bay leaf

The fresh sprig can be used in almost all types of dishes, from stews and soups to meat, seafood and vegetable dishes. It adds a distinctive flavour and aroma, and even aids digestion.
– Antonio Facchinetti, executive chef at Prego, Fairmont Singapore

  • Condiment: Sea salt

It doesn’t dissolve in food as easily as table salt and adds flavour without covering up the natural taste of other ingredients.
– Stephane Cocu, chef de cuisine, The Waterfall, Shangri-la Hotel, Singapore

  • Glass-bottled cooking oil

Go for glass bottles when buying cooking oil. Plastic may contain a common chemical called Bisphenol A (BPA) which can leach into food. It is said to disrupt normal hormone levels and development in children among other things.
– Pooja Vig, nutritionist at The Nutrition Clinic 





Image: Pixabay

The most useful cooking utensils:

  • Good quality non-stick cookware

The ideal amount of cooking oil to use per person at each meal is one teaspoon. But, if you invest in good quality non-stick cookware, you won’t need to use much cooking oil!
– Vanessa Mcnamara, dietitian at The Travelling Dietitian 

  • Cast-iron skillets and pans

For cooking food over an open flame though, bring out cast-iron skillets and pans. Unlike non-stick pans, their surfaces are not chemically coated. They cook food more evenly and, if properly maintained, such durable cookware can last for generations.
– Kevin Thomson, executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton Beijing & JW Marriott Beijing 

  • A good stainless steel chef’s knife

A thick blade that’s 15cm to 20cm long gives you better control and makes chopping and slicing much easier.
– Marisa Bertocchi, chef and owner of Original Sin 

  • The kitchen timer

Timing is crucial when creating the perfect dish. It affects the taste and texture of the final outcome.
– Moon Kyung Soo, executive chef at Mikuni, Fairmont Singapore 

  • One big pot

This kitchen ally helps you with numerous cooking possibilities, such cooking an entire chicken in stock with other ingredients.
– Ee Ming Hwa, chef de cuisine of DOMVS, The Italian Restaurant, Sheraton Towers Singapore Hotel 


This article was first published on Shape.