Masterchef star Matt Sinclair shares his top 5 kitchen essentials

The chef shares his must-have kitchen tools at home and in the restaurant

Since first bursting onto our screens as runner-up on Masterchef Season Eight, Matt Sinclair has made a name for himself as a master of simple, modern Asian cuisine. Whether cooking at home or in his Sunshine Coast based restaurant, Sum Yung Guys, Matt has a few essential tools of the trade. 



“There’s a myth that chefs don’t cook at home, but that’s definitely not the case for me – just ask my wife!” Matt says. “Between cooking for my family and working in the restaurant, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so having the right tools ensures that I’m being as efficient as possible.” 

Here, Matt shares his essential kitchen tools to help you cook like a master chef at home. 

1 Chef’s knife
Knives are often considered a chef’s most important tool, and for good reason. One of the most basic, foundational skills in the kitchen is learning to use a knife quickly and precisely. To do this successfully, we need very sharp, multipurpose knives. A stainless steel blade is a must for reliability, but the handle is equally important – find one with a non-slip grip and extra weight to keep it steady. Don’t forget to buy a sharpening steel too so your knives stay sharp!

2 Spray bottle
This is the cheapest object on the list but one of the ones I use the most. You can get a stainless steel spray bottle from Kmart for around two bucks. Given my love for Asian cuisine, I make hundreds of dumplings and wontons every week. One of my top tips when cooking these is to spray the dough with water to help them stick and retain their shape when folding and rolling them. It’s a simple trick that works every time!

3 Wok
Asian cooking is incredibly diverse, and the wok is one tool that can be used to cook dishes from a range of cuisines including Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese and more. There are several kinds of woks to choose from, with the key difference being the material – they are usually made from either carbon steel, cast iron or stainless steel. Cooking with a wok is usually all about high-heat and speed, so most chefs prefer carbon steel because it is lightweight and heats up fast.

4 Thermomix TM6
The Thermomix TM6 is a staple both at the restaurant and in my kitchen at home. It’s super multifunctional so I can use it to cook a whole dinner for the family, from start to finish – which means less washing up. It also has built-in scales and can set timings and temperatures automatically, which really speeds up the cooking process and gives me time to prep other elements of the dish.

5 Rubber spatula
Another cost-effective kitchen essential I have is a rubber spatula. This is an incredibly useful tool when cooking. Like other items on this list, rubber spatulas are quite versatile – I use them for dishes ranging from easy scrambled eggs to risottos. Aside from using them while cooking, they’re also great for cleaning out appliances.

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