Sometimes I really can’t believe what writing about last night’s tea does for you. Imagine my delight at receiving a clutch of Jamie Oliver’s new Kitchen Kit. It’s a stunning set of utensils developed by DKB Household. It’s no slap-a-name-on-it-and-collect-the-royalty-cheque, there’s real craft in them.
First up is the 3-in-1 Peeler. I’ve used a vertical swivel peeler for years, and never used a Y-shaped one. But I found it much faster using this gadget. It also comes with a pair of julienne blades, for peeling things into a fine and wiggly mess. Great fun but not something I’ll use a great deal. For peeling though, it does just the job.
Next is the Garlic Press-come-Slicer. This was a twist of fate. I’d disregarded garlic presses years back, seeing loads of waste and poking at the teeth afterwards. Yet seeing Jamie use this same model on 30 Minute Meals had convinced me to try it again. This model has a real weight to it, and the brushed steel looks lovely. And what a joy it is to use one again. No peeling, and practically all the useful stuff passes through the mesh. It also doubles as a slicer, although I found this to have mixed results, so it’ll be staying as a press for me. No more stinky garlic fingers for me.
The Apple Corer is a neat gadget. I’ve never owned one but this one has neat gimmick: after coring you twist the handle and it pops the core out. Cool. I’m also thinking about using it for Michelin-esque potato fondant thingies. Not something I’ll use every day but good fun.
There’s also a set of hanging utensils – on the surface there’s not a lot to say but it has some twists. There’s a curve in the handle which makes a lot of sense to dangle it out of a pot, and the brushed steel finish is really functional.
Ah yes, the coarse grater. Not impressed with this at all. The angle doesn’t feel right – I can’t hold it in a place that is comfortable for both hands. The handle is curved away from the grater, so it’s a bit clumsy. Also both Mrs. RP and I have cut ourselves quite nastily on this, and I can’t recall ever drawing blood whilst grating before. On the positive side, it does produce the prettiest curls, perfect Fibonacci rolls.
Top of the heap is the knife set. These five knives are Japanese MoV steel with lovely weighting and superb balance. They come wicked sharp and make light work of all chopping jobs – I’m ashamed to say I haven’t used my Henckels since I started using these.
With many of these things, it’s not their function that strikes you, nor their form (which is all brushed steel and elegant lines). It’s the small details that elevate them above Matalan’s “2 for £3” range. Take the knives – each is emblazoned with it’s purpose on the hilt. Or the peeler – it snaps together with it’s spare heads to make a convenient stand. Or the hanging tools – bent in just the right place with a rubber end to stop them slipping into your casserole. It’s these little sparks of genius that show they’re designed by people who really care about the end result, and that’s what I like about them.
All in all a great set, and a wonderful Christmas gift for the Jamie fan in your life.
Thanks to Aaron Huckett of Publicasity.