10 Kitchen Essentials From a Top Vegas Chef

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Written by:  ethrillist
With Permission From: MGM Resorts International
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There are rooms that people gravitate to at parties and then there are kitchens – well equipped, organised and the reason that everything the pros cook looks and tastes better than your amateur offerings. Want to up your game? Thrillist is curating on eBay, so you don’t have to. This round: kit out your kitchen. 
  
We asked Anthony Amoroso, Executive Chef at Las Vegas’ Aria Resort & Casino and victor of the syllabically epic 2009 Iron Chef episode, “Morimoto vs. Amoroso,” to help us navigate. He's served up his top 10 essentials in one handy list, so ditch that blunt knife (carefully – you never know), stop using the worktop as a cutting board, and for the love of god, put a shirt on. Culinary greatness begins here: 
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4 Basic Knives

Well duh. “I can’t overstate how important well-made, sharp knives are to any serious cook [that’s you]. Your repertoire should comprise paring, butcher, serrated bread and  chef’s knives. Look to German and Japanese brands for quality and durability.” 
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Heavy Hitter Pans

Believe it or not, there is more to cooking evenly than keeping an eye on the heat and stirring when a recipe tells you to (though you should probably do those things too). Pots and pans are your friends. To stretch this analogy even further, you can never have too many. But let's not get crazy: Start with these three key types:
  
Stainless Steel Pan  
“Look for heavy-bottomed  stainless steel with stainless handles (no plastic) of 8” to 10”. Durable, heavy pans heat more evenly to guard against scorching and the stainless handles mean that they can be put directly into the oven.” 
  
Dutch Oven 
 “A heavy, enamelled, lidded 8 to 10 quart  dutch oven is great for braising and roasting, and for making soups and stocks. They are durable and come in a variety of colours. They look cool as well.”  

12”-14” Cast-Iron Pan 
“These are great for searing and pan roasting and can also go directly into the oven.  Cast-iron pans are also really durable and look better with age.”
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Microplane Grater

You didn’t come this far to sully your creations with pre-grated Parmesan. “  Microplane graters are perfect for grating cheeses, nuts, ginger, garlic, nutmeg, citrus zest, truffles etc. I like to add these as close to serving as possible for freshness and flavour impact.”
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The Right Cutting Board

(Samurais with sweet mid-air slicing skills may jump ahead.) “Wood cutting boards are good for decorative purposes but for business we stick to non-porous. They are machine washable, sanitary and durable."
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Dual Temperature Thermometer

Undercooked meat can cause all kinds of fallout, from embarrassment to a homicide charge. There’s only one way to know for sure, and “Looks done!” isn’t it. “ Dual temperature thermometers use a probe and infrared to test meat temperature without messiness.”
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Real Chef's Apron

Chefs spend the day surrounded by freshly sharpened blades and open flame, so consider the  apron a calamity shield. “I recommend the heavyweight bib type. It looks professional but also protects you and your clothes.” It also takes care of Halloween, so there’s that. 
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Versatile Strainers

Leave that cauldron of scalding water where it is. “One large and one small  strainer are all you need to drain a variety of stocks, soups and sauces, as well as pasta and grains. They can also be used to blanche vegetables.”
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Variable Speed Blender

“Your friend for everything from smooth soups, pureed vegetables and pestos to blended cocktails and smoothies.” But slow down speed king. “The  variable speed is key. You don’t want to start on high, especially with hot liquids, because the pressure build up will shoot the contents onto the ceiling or worse, your face.”

Also on eThrillist

Whilst you’re reinventing yourself, check out our eBay guides to building your own  man cave and recreating your ‘90s self. You knew what was up back then. 
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