Kitchen classics

We salute the investment pieces that will set up your kitchen for a lifetime
Sue Stubbs

Style and durability are key when investing in everyday kitchenware.

Durable plastics have their place, but for the benchtop appliances you keep on display, it has to be metal – the shinier the better. Chrome and stainless steel have a chic European feel and just need a quick polish with a clean tea-towel to look their best. 

White crockery is a breakfast mainstay. Snow-white stacks of plates and bowls look beautiful on display in open shelves. For these everyday basics, go for pieces you can safely put in the dishwasher and microwave – Maxwell & Williams’ White Basics porcelain range is ideal. 

Kitchen classics
(Left to right) Gordon Ramsay ‘Maze’ casserole dish, Royal Doulton // ‘Moka Alessi’ coffee maker, Alessi // Retro four-slice toaster in Silver (Chrome), Smeg.

The right cutting board can rise above its workhorse status to become a thing of beauty. A thick slab of timber has natural antibacterial qualities and becomes more rustic with use. Marble, which as been a kitchen classic for centuries, is easy to wipe clean and its cool surface is perfect for working dough and rolling pastry. 

A great cook’s knife is an essential investment. You want a knife that looks good, but equally important is how it feels in your hand. German-style knives tend to be heavier and thicker, while Japanese-style varieties are lighter and thinner. To keep your knife in tiptop condition, wash it in warm soapy water, not in the dishwasher.

Kitchen basics shopping
(Left to right) Essentials granite mortar and pestle, Davis & Waddell // ‘Barbry’ cutting board, Georg Jensen // ‘Heritage Triply’ 5-piece pan set, Tefal.

Choose oven-to-tableware according to what your create most often. Among the most useful shapes are a classic casserole, a lasagne dish for everything from pasta bakes to roasting vegies, and a set of ramekins for your Jamie Oliver moments.

For pans, a robust set of four stainless-steel saucepans with lids and a frypan will cover nearly every culinary possibility. Non-stick versions such as the ‘Heritage’ range from Tefal will make after-dinner clean-ups magically easier.

“A top-of-the-line set of saucepans doesn’t come cheap, but it will serve you well for years.”

Jane Parbury, HB features director

We have more beautiful basics. Click here classic dinnerware and bedlinen basics.

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