Despite fervorous attempts at a sourdough starter and a dedication to concocting of-the-moment summer recipes, some of us are more of a novice in the kitchen than we’d care to admit. But for those looking to improve their skills (*slowly raises hand*), taking a peek into an expert’s kitchen is never a bad place to start. Why? Because tools are important, people, and this is especially true when it comes to cooking. Which begs the question: Are there certain appliances that are gimmickier than others? Or specific knives that’ll help us on our way to slicing and dicing like the pros? What about utensil types that we should reach for more frequently than others?
To get to the bottom of things, we turned to Carrie Nahabedian, a professional chef who has spent decades (since high school, to be exact) honing her craft. Chicago resident, Nahabedian worked a near 12 years as an Executive Chef at the Four Seasons Hotel and Resort, and now co-runs a restaurant with her cousin, Michael Nahabedian, called Brindille, which showcases upmarket Parisian cuisine, in addition to the duo being partners in Kostali at the Gwen Hotel. In short, she’s exactly the expert we needed to help us navigate what we should avoid buying—and what to stock our shelves with instead.