For this annual poll, F&W quizzed top chefs and sous chefs on their top kitchen tips, from the best way to stay energized, season a dish, mop a kitchen floor and more.

July 01, 2011

In this Article:

Kitchen Tips: Super Tools

Kitchen Tips: Cleaning Up

Michel Nischan of Westport, CT's the Dressing Room rubs dishes with lemons at home.

Chore Boy scrubs keep stainless steel shiny, says sous chef Howard Kalachnikoff of New York City's Gramercy Tavern.

Howard Kalachnikoff uses Bar Keepers Friend for scouring copper pots.

Chef de cuisine Spencer Minch of New Orleans's Delmonico disinfects cutting boards with vinegar.

A fast OxiClean soak does the job on aprons, says sous chef Brandon Rodgers of San Francisco's Benu.

Clean Counters

A window washer's squeegee is the best way to keep stainless steel and marble countertops looking immaculate.

Perfect Mopping

"I use steaming-hot water and a small amount of soap, so there won't be any residue. I move the mop in a figure-eight motion as I sweep myself into an exit in order to get every corner. The finishing touch is a water-only mop to make sure there's no soap left."

—Executive Sous Chef Stephen Lyons, The Inn at Little Washington, Washington, VA

Kitchen Tips: Staying Energized

Jump-Starting the Day

"We started serving Organic Avenue juices at Nougatine in New York City a few months ago ( Now I have the juice every morning to get me going. Later I head to the gym to jump rope, which makes me feel like I'm a kid again."

—Jean-Georges Vongerichten of Jean Georges in NYC

  • Sunday: Ginger-Spiked Lemonade
  • Monday: Grapefruit Juice
  • Tuesday: Orange Juice
  • Wednesday: Carrot Juice
  • Thursday: Beet-and-Carrot Juice
  • Friday: Celery-and-Spinach Juice
  • Saturday: Cucumber Juice


Unsung Vegetables

Frank Falcinelli of NYC's Frankies loves kohlrabi raw in salads and cooked in gratins.

Joe Wolfson of Ham and High in Montgomery, Alabama, uses purple chive blossoms to garnish Sweet Onion & Corn Soup.

Sustainable Fish

With many tuna species on the decline, Erik Anderson of Nashville's Ortolan (opening this fall) likes meaty, mild Hawaiian opah.
Recipe: Grilled Opah with Olives

Grilling Tactic

Michael Schwartz of Miami's Michael's Genuine grills winter staples like turnips in summer to bring out their sweetness.
Recipe: Grilled Turnips with Garlic

Seasoning Strategy

"People who cook at home go to restaurants and wonder, Why does the food taste so good? So much of that is seasoning. Tasting every step of the way is important, because flavors change. Tasting before seasoning and after seasoning is one great way to learn—add salt, taste, add salt, taste more. Experiment until the dish gets too salty; that's how you learn."

—Emma Hearst of NYC's Sorella

Kitchen Tips: Technology

Twitter Geniuses

What if Twitter had been invented in the 19th century? Three chefs fantasize about "following" history's great minds.

Gerard Craft of St. Louis's Niche: "I'd love to know what Edison was thinking as he changed history."

Photos © Time Life Pictures/ Mansell/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images, Henry Leutwyler

Lee Richardson of Ashley's in Little Rock, Arkansas: "I'm fascinated with the breadth of his storytelling."

Photo of Lee Richardson Courtesy of Ashley's

Bryan Voltaggio of Volt in Frederick, Maryland: "It'd be amazing to watch Escoffier build his repertoire."

Photos © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS, Rhys Ziemer

Top Apps

Several chefs picked these as their favorites:

Turns metrics into US standard measurements, and vice versa.

A digital version of Michael Ruhlmann's 2009 cookbook of the same name, this app calculates the amount of ingredients necessary to double, halve or otherwise alter the yield of more than 30 basic recipes.

Word Lens
This app translates menus using the iPhone's camera.

Seafood Watch
Finds sustainable seafood markets and restaurants.