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For Someone Who Wants to Take Cooking to the Next Level

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  1. Pepe

    AdHoc Chili Mill

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    Why It's Cool: It cuts (not grinds) dried chilies into tiny pieces to add a hit of flavor to any dish

    The “Pepe” Chili Mill from AdHoc features the unique SchneidWerk® cutting mechanism - a special stainless steel blade that cuts your choice of dried chilis against sharply etched teeth - so that you can enjoy the more intense, “fresh” flavor of real chilis, even when dried, instead of merely crushing long-dried pepper flakes onto your dish! Freshly cut = more flavor!

    And the Voyage offers the same features and benefits, in a sleek compact highly-portable design … so you can have your own chilis conveniently available wherever you are … in your picnic basket, at your favorite restaurant, on your popcorn at the movies, etc. … yes, we know folks who love their chilis anytime, anywhere! And the Voyage from AdHoc makes it possible.

    It’s all that simple: put the dried chilies of your choice into the storage portion of these Cool Tools - either the acrylic chili-shaped top of the Pepe or the simple smaller, more portable container of the Voyage - and turn the top. The unique SchneidWerk® cutting mechanism is the heart of these Cool Tools. You can cut the chilies into the removable base to measure before adding to your dish, or you can remove the base and cut the chilies directly onto your plate or dish. Then replace the base - it acts as a cover - to avoid making a mess on your table or countertop.

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  2. Professional

    Brod & Taylor Knife Sharpeners

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    Why It's Cool: Stylish, easy and incredibly effective knife sharpeners

    Sharpening your knives is an everyday task for everyone who cooks … but it’s often both a pain and a problem: are you doing it correctly? Is what you’re doing effective, or will it hurt your knives? You wind up avoiding the task because it’s one of those chores you don’t feel comfortable with, so you live with dull knives until you can take your knives to a professional, which is both expensive and inconvenient.

    A friend and customer (thanks, Suzy; you got 100 Cooks’ Club Points!) told us about a great knife sharpener that she got. We love leads from our customers, so we sought it out, checked it out, and tested it out, and we were hooked…! This is a truly unique, highly effective and easy to use approach to an everyday problem: getting and keeping your steel knives sharp! You can choose between the Basic, the Classic and the Professional models … all with Austrian Tungsten Carbide blades for the same highly effective sharpening experience!

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  3. Chef'n Buttercup (Butter Maker)

    Chef'n Buttercup (Butter Maker)

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    $14.99

    Why It's Cool: Make your own compound butters at home--wow your friends!

    I just made butter! Let me say that again: I JUST MADE BUTTER! OK, I did that once before in my life when I was in first grade, but that was hard, and this is so easy I’ve already done it several times. This is one of the coolest things ever. Why is it so cool? First, you know the quality of your ingredients, and it’s only what you choose to add. Second, you have unlimited possibilities to make thoroughly flavored compound butters to complement any dish without having to mash the flavor ingredient into softened store-bought butter. This handheld mini butter churn makes fresh butter in minutes!

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  4. Gefu "Tari" Mushroom / Strawberry / Egg, etc. Slicer

    Gefu "Tari" Mushroom / Strawberry / Egg, etc. Slicer

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    $44.99

    Why It's Cool: Offset blades cut more easily to deliver perfect slices

    OK, we’ve already established that if I can substitute one squeeze for 10 knife cuts, without sacrificing the quality of the result, I’ll do it in a heartbeat. I’m all about letting tools make it easier. The GEFU "Tari" does just that, for mushrooms, strawberries, eggs, mozzarella, kiwi,and almost anything else semi-soft that you want to slice. It has 10 Japanese serrated stainless steel blades that are slightly offset so that the pressure of the cutter on the ingredient is distributed, which makes cutting easier and the results cleaner and more precise. Besides that, it is incredibly cool-looking and works beautifully...truly a Cool Tool.

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  5. Gefu Asparagus Peeler

    Gefu Asparagus Peeler

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    $19.99

    Why It's Cool: Curved blade and contoured holder assure even, easy peeling (and peeled asparagus just tastes better!)

    Why peel asparagus? If you have white asparagus, it’s almost required, because the peel can be very tough. But what about our standard green asparagus? If it’s less than 1/2” in diameter, we don’t bother, but those big, lush and often tastier spears really benefit from removing the peel from the bottom third or so. In addition to the improvement in taste and texture, it seems to hold any sauce better, and, to us, at least, it’s just prettier.

    Now, once you’ve decided that peeling might be worth some effort--the question is: how can  you do it with the least amount of effort, and the best results? You can use a standard peeler, but that has two major drawbacks: 1) the straight edge of the typical peeler takes off too much of the asparagus, and 2) it’s awkward to use: you have to lay each spear on a flat surface and then peel horizontally. Or you can hold each spear in your hand and risk peeling your fingers! But now there is a better way... we have a Cool Tool for that!

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  6. Gefu Nutmeg Grater

    Gefu Nutmeg Grater

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    $34.99

    Why It's Cool: Easiest nutmeg grater we've found—great throughput

    Nutmeg is a wonderful spice; it may not be something you use everyday, but if your recipe calls for it, there is no real substitute...and you don’t want to use it pre-ground! And it’s not just for egg-nog and ramos fizz (although it’s wonderful on both.) We like to use it on vegetables (think spinach with currants or green beans with butter) and it’s a beautiful addition to spiced pancakes, pumpkin flan, and many Middle Eastern, Indian, South Asian and Caribbean dishes. In short, nutmeg should be in your flavor arsenal, but only in its fresh, unground form. So what (you ask) is the best way to grind fresh nutmeg? A lot of nutmeg graters are either knuckle scraping (if you use the kind where you try to hold the little nutmeg and rub it against some sharp metal grates -- ouch!) or clunky looking and take a lot of grinding for just a little nutmeg. That leads us to one of our newest Cool Tools: the Gefu Nutmeg Grater.

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  7. Gefu Ring and Tamper 10-piece Set

    Gefu Ring and Tamper 10-piece Set

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    $49.99

    Why It's Cool: 3 Sizes to make a beautiful presentation easily

    Ever wondered how restaurants make the beautiful stacked desserts or salads that make a plate look so spectacular? Or what the essential Cool Tool is to make our new favorite (easy) hors d’oeuvres: a goat cheese and smoked salmon torta? Or how to make any dish stacked an statuesque.. The answer is rings: round molds that are open at both ends so that you can put stuff in at the top (layering as you go), tamp them together so they don’t fall apart, and then remove the ring to reveal a beautiful presentation.

    We tested a bunch of different rings to see what the differences were and what qualities and characteristics were important. We knew that we wanted not only to mold, but sometimes to cook food in the rings, so the material had to be oven safe. It also had to be smooth with no protrusions top or bottom, otherwise it would be difficult to unmold the food. So with those features in mind, our first choice of materials was stainless steel with no seams that might interfere with the perfect round shape. The next thing we wanted was a tamper, a flat pusher that compresses your layers so they don’t fall apart when you remove the ring. To be effective, the tamper should be sized to match the ring so that ingredients don’t squish up along the sides. And last, we wanted some variety, because if we wanted to start using rings, we wanted some choice of sizes: a small ring for a tower of crab in a soup to a large ring for the hors d’oeuvres torta we mentioned above. Our search led us inevitably to one set that met all our “ring” needs…

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  8. Kitchen Grips Chef's Gloves (Pair)

    Kitchen Grips Chef's Gloves (Pair)

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    $29.99

    Why It's Cool: The protective, comfortable, flexible oven gloves that almost feel like you're not wearing gloves at all!

    I’m a little protective in the kitchen: of my space, of my clothing (although not as much as Kennedy sometimes thinks I should be), but most of all, of my hands. While burns in a professional kitchen are supposed to be a rite of passage (according to Anthony Bourdain), burns certainly don’t have to happen in a home kitchen. So that brings us to the various choices for protecting your hands while grabbing hot pots and pans.

    While there are many choices of form factors (potholders, fingertip grabbers, mitts, and gloves) in many fabrics (quilted cotton, asbestos, silicone, neoprene), I’ve always been a glove kinda gal. I love leather gloves when it’s cold, and I love oven gloves when I’m putting my hands into a very hot oven, or grabbing a hot pot. Gloves give me a sense of security to know that the back of my hand is protected, as well as my finger tips.

    And when it comes to oven gloves, we have a few other requirements, in addition to the basic (and crucial) #1: hand protection …

    • Flexibility: you need to be able to pick up dishes from the counter or oven rack without dropping them; as if they weren’t sizzling hot and your hand wasn’t encased in a glove
    • Comfort: you don’t want sweaty hands inside your gloves that will make you hate to wear them; and
    • Cleanliness: let’s face it, we will spill or slosh something on our gloves: it’s inevitable; so the key is - how easy are they to get clean again?
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  9. Kuchenprofi Decorating Spoons

    Kuchenprofi Decorating Spoons

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    $29.95

    Why It's Cool: Easy way to make your dishes look spectacular

    Have you ever had food porn envy? I have always wanted my food to look like it came out of the kitchen of a fine restaurant, but I thought it was waaay above my skill level. Well, now beautiful food plating that elevates your offering from good food to spectacular dish is easier than you think. We found this long, but charmingly informative video on YouTube that shows you how easy it is (with the help of a Cool Tool) to make any dish look fabulous!

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  10. Tweezer Tongs by Kuchenprofi

    Kuchenprofi Tweezer Tongs

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    $11.99

    Why It's Cool: For precision cooking and plating with style

    We’ve all learned the benefits of cooking with tongs: lifting instead of scraping, not piercing the seared surface of your food, and better control, both in and coming out of the pan, or on and off the grill.

    But sometimes standard tongs are too much for the task: metal tongs will scrape your nonstick surface (but you can get silicone-tipped tongs to solve that problem) and the business end of standard tongs sometimes can be too large for detailed tasks, like turning bacon evenly in a pan or on a rack, ensuring even cooking and distribution of solids in a pot of broth-intensive soup, or plating your food to show some style.

    It’s in situations like these that you need Fine Tongs - aka Kitchen Tweezers. And the more we work with these fine tongs, the more uses we find for them, and wonder how we ever got along without them for so long.

    We tested a number of these tweezer tongs, with - surprisingly - widely differing results. All were about the same length and weight, but they differed in the width of the “open” position and in several factors relating to ease of operation, especially the size of the grip point and the flexibility or “springiness” of the tool.

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  11. Lékué Silicone and Ceramic Spring Form 9" Pan

    Lékué Silicone and Ceramic Spring Form 9" Pan

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    $30.00

    Why It's Cool: Even cooking, easy clean-up, ready to serve, more compact storage.

    What I love about a springform pan is that it hugs your batter until it becomes a cake, and then, without regret, it lets it go. OK, maybe that’s too much personification for a baking tool, but it really is the easiest thing to bake a cake in, whether it’s a cheesecake, a tort, or my new favorite, an almond cake (here's the recipe--you’ll love it!).

    What’s so very special about the Lékué 9”/23cm Springform Pan is… well, just about everything ….

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  12. Lekue 3-4 Person Steamer

    Lékué Steam Case

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    $24.99

    Why It's Cool: Make fast, delicious, healthy meals in the microwave or oven—designed for effective cooking in less time

    It's that time of year when we all think about eating and cooking healthier, with less fats and more natural flavors. And you want to make sure that you maximize the nutrient value of your food by cooking in a way that doesn't remove the nutrients from the food. And let's face it, we're all looking for a way to cook great tasting meals easily and more quickly.

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  13. Norpro Big Mouth Chopper

    Norpro Big Mouth Chopper

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    $44.90

    Why It's Cool: Perfect dices with just a hit

    Man v. Machine

    Kennedy has often stated that all you need in the kitchen is a good knife (which begs the question of why we got into this business in the first place, but that's another story). I, on the other hand, think that the right tool makes you more efficient, saves you time, provides better results, and makes you far more attractive (really, when you're happy and not frustrated, you look better.) So we decided to put our respective theories to the test: Pico de Gallo.

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  14. Norpro Mini Popover Pan

    Norpro Mini Popover Pan

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    $26.99

    Why It's Cool: Make popovers for a crowd--12 at once with great non-stick properties!

    OK, I admit it, I’m late to the party--the “popover party”! I didn’t discover the wonder of popovers until relatively recently when a local Napa Valley restaurant featured them freshly made every half hour--you ordered them and waited (note: you should always wait for popovers, not the other way around!), and they would arrive hot, buttery, crispy on the outside and almost custardy tender on the inside. But the idea of tackling these myself never occurred to me… until recently.

    We have a potluck women's luncheon group, and this month had a gluten-free theme. Without remembering the theme, I volunteered to make homemade bread and butter...I have a killer bread recipe, and homemade butter is so much fun with the Butter Maker. Then it hit me that this had to be gluten-free. "Oh, fudge (polite version)", I cried, "what do I do now?" Well, thank goodness for the Internet! After rummaging around for awhile, I found a great starter recipe, added a few touches of my own, and, Voila! Gluten-Free Lemon Parmesan Popovers. And everybody at the lunch loved them!

    What I did learn in this process is that the key to a great popover is a great popover pan. You need the depth and straight sides of the cups, you need metal to transmit the heat for browning, and you need nonstick so you’re not trying to dig out these delicate airy treats while they deflate before your eyes. And, as far as I’m concerned, you have to be able to produce a sufficient quantity to serve them to company, and the popovers have to be the right size so you don’t overwhelm the rest of the meal.

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  15. Nuance Basting Brush

    Nuance Basting Brush

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    Regular Price: $19.95

    Special Price: $10.00

    Why It's Cool: Silicone bristles can handle any heat up to 572°F, handle is ergonomatically shaped, and it's beautiful!

    Remember back awhile ago we promised that we would have a silicone basting brush on the site? Well we’ve been looking around and testing various brushes for both great appearance and great functionality, and trying to find good value as well. Now, do we have a deal for you...

    A silicone brush is something we can’t do without--we use it to spread oil in a pan so that we use less, to spread melted butter on a hot griddle to make blinis or pancakes (because it’s silicone, the bristles don’t melt on a hot surface), or to spread sauce or marinade on meat or fish before we cook it.  In short, it’s an indispensible Cool Tool for any kitchen.

    One of our favorite manufacturers, the Danish company Nuance (think the Wine Finer and the beautiful Mortar and Pestle), offered us a deal, so we were able to pick up these brushes at a very good price--and we’re passing that on to you. But quantities are limited, so don’t wait!

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  16. Nuance Mortar & Pestle

    Nuance Mortar & Pestle

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    Regular Price: $79.99

    Special Price: $65.00

    Why It's Cool: Beautiful, comfortable, effective

    Every kitchen needs a mortar & pestle, to grind those dried herbs and spices, crush garlic and basil and other firm or semi-dry ingredients for pesto and other sauce bases, or grind dry ingredients - even salt and pepper - into fine powders to add to any dish. We use it to grind pink peppercorns to add to the recipe for Guilt-free Panna Cotta for an interesting variation.

    The Kitchn just included a mortar & pestle in it's article " 7 Things You Should Have in the Kitchen by Age 30", saying this:

    Cuisines from around the world - from South America to South Asia - rely on variations of this ancient tool for many recipes.

    Cooking reaches deeper flavor levels when you start using whole spices, and to do that you need a mortar and pestle or an electric spice grinder. As Faith [Durand] wrote..., a mortar and pestle is "perhaps the kitchen tool that blends utility and beauty better than anything else." It's just right for crushing herbs or cracking spices, particularly when you're working with tiny amounts, but it sits pretty on a shelf when you don't need it.

    This beauty from Nuance - designed by Marcus Vagnby - features an extremely well-balanced and nicely weighted pestle - that very sensuous curved piece of stainless steel shown above - combined with a mortar of artfully-shaped Danish beechwood.  This is simply a pleasure to hold and work with! And it will look great on your counter or sideboard!


    Limited Quantity now in stock.

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  17. OXO V-Blade Mandoline Slicer

    OXO V-Blade Mandoline Slicer

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    $39.99

    Why It's Cool: Easy to use and effective for all kinds of slicing and julienning

    A mandoline is both awesome and scary. Awesome, because it really can do things a knife can’t (at least not when wielded by a mere amateur), like julienning a couple of pounds of anything, or cutting lots of thin, identical slices. And quickly. But scary also, because that’s a very sharp blade that you’re getting very close to your fingers. And you’re moving fast. Our first mandoline sat in the drawer for years, while we were too intimidated to use its power.  

    But when Zucchetti alla Colbrook, which uses a lot of julienned zucchini, became a regular addition to our entertaining menu, we figured we’d better develop a relationship with a mandoline. 

    Note: While a hand guard is included with the V-Blade, we've never found those as well designed as the main product.  (On Alton Brown’s “Good Eats”, Safety Officer Sam pointed out that the hand guards are probably the last item on the design list.)  Take a look at the Kevlar® glove that we found; using that with the mandoline has given usa whole new sense of confidence. Because we want you to have that same feeling of confidence when you use your Mandoline, if you buy the  Kevlar® glove with your Mandoline, you can get it for just $5 more (a $9 value).

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  18. RSVP Herb Scissors

    RSVP Herb Scissors

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    $9.99

    Why It's Cool: Chiffonade herbs (cut into thin strips) with ease

    The question ringing in my head - and therefore presumably in yours - is “if you (Kennedy) are a self-proclaimed ‘knife guy’, then why are you recommending what some people would call a “gadget” that arguably performs the same function as your knives?”

    And the answer is ...because this well designed scissor-like device performs its task exceptionally well, especially in those situations when you just need to cut-up a small amount of something - often quickly or at the last minute - and you don’t want - or can’t justify - the counter space or the additional cleanup of a knife - or 2 - and a cutting board, and a mise-en-place bowl … right? That’s when you need the RSVP Herb Scissors: a legitimately Cool Tool that simplifies those situations and allows you to assure that you have added all the ingredients you want: whether you forgot earlier, or you decided at the last minute that ‘a little something more’ was a good idea.

    The RSVP Herb Scissors always seem to be ‘in hand’ when we need to cut up some chives: often as last minute garnish on Asian soups, but also for salads, or even scrambled eggs. Same for scallions - aka green onions - and for cilantro, parsley, or any other flavor element like fresh dill or fennel fronds, where a fine, even cut allows the flavor and color to distribute throughout the dish. And it’s super convenient to be able to cut directly into the dish or onto the plate.
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  19. RSVP Salt Cellar with Spoon (like Alton Brown's)

    RSVP Salt Cellar with Spoon (like Alton Brown's)

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    $21.95

    Why It's Cool: Keeps your salt in easy reach, but protected from splatters

    Party like a rock star... dispense salt like Alton Brown!

    You know how we feel about salt, so we’re always looking for the best way to dispense it. We have a couple of great salt mills on the site, but sometimes a recipe calls for a specific amount of salt, and then it makes sense to be able to spoon it out (or even pinch it out). To do that you must have a container that will fit your measuring spoons or fingers (the box of kosher salt just is too cumbersome here.) There are lots of different salt vessels around, but it’s nice to have one that has a cover (so it doesn’t get splattered from whatever when you’re cooking nearby), that is easy to open with one hand, leaving your other hand free to dispense the salt. And it should be big enough to use easily without taking up too much space on your countertop.

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