Foodie television fans are mourning the recent ending of Top Chef's Season 5. But if you've been inspired by the culinary creations of the competitors on the show, you can at least attempt to cook like them.
Check out some of the cooking equipment that the Top Chef competitors used in the show's kitchens. With it, you might be able to create a meal that's worthy of Padma's and Tom's discerning palates.
If you're going through Top Chef withdrawal, take heart – the show is already holding casting calls for Season 6. But no word yet on when the new season will air.
In the egg challenge during the Last Supper episode, Carla wowed guest judge Wylie Dusfrene with her rendition of green eggs and ham. She used a Vita-Mix blender to create a vibrant green salsa to drizzle over the plate. The Vita-Mix 5200 is a good option for home cooks.
Nearly every professional chef prefers a Y-Peeler to swiftly skin carrots and potatoes. The Top Chefs were often seen wielding these peelers to prep their dishes. Poor Fabio, hampered with a broken finger, had a little trouble using his peeler in the Last Supper episode, but he somehow was still able to score a win. This inexpensive Y-Peeler is made by Zyliss.
A chef's knife is one of the most personal possession in a chef's arsenal, which is why Padma's command, "Pack your knives and go," has even more of a devastating impact on the losing chef. Stefan's knives of choice are Messermeister, such as this unusual-looking Japanese knife, which has a distinctive bamboo handle. He was seen using it in New Orleans when he prepared a Duck and Rabbit Gumbo with Grits to serve Emeril Lagasse. Shown is a 6.5-inch Santoku knife.
Calphalon is one of the sponsors of Top Chef, so it's no surprise that most of the kitchens that the competitors used were stocked with Calphalon Cookware. Most frequently seen were pans from the Calphalon One Infused Anodized line, which has a super-hard coating that browns food nicely but also has excellent food-release properties. One option is this 2.5 quart saucepan.
If you wondered about those mesh cone-shaped tools that chefs were often seen with, that's a chinois
. This special strainer is made of fine mesh and is used to create smooth sauces (like the hollandaise that a few chefs made in the egg challenge) or velvety cream soups. They're pricey, but if you make a lot of stocks, soups and cream sauces, having one in your kitchen could come in very handy.
Miguel, one of the Top Chef candidates in Season One, returned to challenge Hosea in the Superbowl challenge. He cooked salmon on cedar planks. Commonly used on the grill, cedar planks can also be used in the oven to infuse fish, chicken and other foods with a woodsy, smoky flavor. Miguel lost to Hosea, but at least one judge raved about his cedar-planked salmon. Try making it yourself with this set of 6 cedar planks from Coastal Cuisine.
Gorgeous presentation is a hallmark of a winning Top Chef dish, and one of the secret weapons in the Top Chef kitchen (or in any restaurant, for that matter) is a simple plastic squeeze bottle—the kind that you might use for ketchup and mustard at a barbecue. These cheap plastic bottles get filled with sauces so the chefs can squirt designs across a plate or artfully drizzle their dishes with a flavorful sauce.