What tools would celebrity chefs prize the most in their home kitchens? Anis spills the beans on her top favourites
Home cooking enthusiasts should be familiar with Malaysia’s star personality Anis Nabilah, known as the creator (and gorgeous face) of the YouTube cooking show ‘Real Cooking With Anis Nabilah’ on OfficialKartelTV. She’s recognised by Malaysians for being on 35 local TV shows and as the host of TV3’s ‘Selera’ for the last 6 seasons. Anis also has several other international cooking shows on TV, including one with TLC Asia ‘My Taste of Hong Kong’.
A childhood fascination with the culinary arts turned into a career pursuit when she enrolled in the Food Institute of Malaysia, graduating with a Diploma in Culinary Arts in 2007. Her work has taken her on a magnificent food expedition covering Europe, South Africa, Australia and all over Asia.
With so many shows set in fabulous kitchen settings, one cannot help but wonder what a celebrity chef’s home kitchen looks like… More importantly, what are the best kitchen tools one should keep at home to cook and eat like a celebrity?
Anis gives us a peek into her top kitchen must-haves.
1. KitchenAid mixer
Having a kitchen mixer, no matter what brand, is pretty essential in most kitchens. This is due to the fact that mixing something can be easily done at the push of a button, instead of wasting a lot of energy (and arm strength) to mix ingredients together.
“I do quite a bit of baking and a good cake mixer is very important for me. I love this mixer because it’s multifunctional, I can use other attachments for different features,” Anis says. “I can grind meat, make fresh pasta and even churn ice cream, all by using just one machine.”
2. Toaster oven
This is a back-to-basics tool that is found in almost every kitchen in Malaysia. Even if you don’t have a toaster oven, a conventional oven is a good substitute (but not a microwave!). Think of all those late night hunger pangs, when toasting a simple slice of Gardenia bread with butter or kaya (or both) is enough to make you happy.
For Anis, her Khind toaster oven is her go-to for such treats and smaller meals. “I have a big convection oven but when I want to do a grilled cheese sandwich or grill a piece of meat, I’ll use my toaster oven instead. It’s compact, powerful and distributes heat evenly. The design is nice too and it doesn’t take up a lot of space!”
3. Bamix hand blender
Blenders are one of the most popular (and powerful) tools to own in a kitchen. Everything from crushing ice, juicing, making homemade smoothies to puree and sauces are made possible with just one tool. They come in a variety of forms and volumes – the conventional full-sized blender cup types, the blend-and-go and Anis’ favourite version – the hand blender, sans the large blending cup attachment.
“This is one of my favourite tools in my kitchen. I love making hearty homemade soups, from mushroom to pumpkin, I make all sorts all the time. Bamix hand blender is so powerful, I only need a few minutes to blend all the ingredients to a fine texture,” says Anis, who states that this tool saves her a lot of time. ”I don’t have to pour the ingredients into a blender then pour it back into the pot. It’s also easier to clean than a blender. Just like my mixer, Bamix is another multifunctional tool which I can use to grind dried spices, turn bread into breadcrumbs, make smoothies, homemade mayonnaise and loads more.”
4. French/Dutch oven
Before you roll your eyes at another ‘oven’ apparatus, we are not talking about an electronic gadget here. French/Dutch ovens are traditionally pre-heated brick ovens, using heated brick walls to do the cooking. A modern adaptation of these is cast iron pots. This is a serious kitchen workhorse that tends to be heavy with a tight fitting lid. It can be used both on the stove and in the oven.
“I love cast iron pots,” Anis declares. “I’ve got a couple of Le Creuset that I use all the time. I enjoy cooking recipes that require braising, so a good cast iron pot is a must-have! Apart from braising it’s also great for pot roast, and because it’s so pretty, I can just serve my dishes in the pot itself.”
5. Solid Countertops
“One of the most important things at home is to use a solid surface material as my countertops,” Anis tells us. “It’s easy to clean and I can knead my dough right on them without needing any additional surfaces placed over.” A good work surface should be easy to clean, solid and scratch/stain resistant.
Good examples of solid countertop materials are marble, slate, granite, quartz and other natural stones. Not to mention, these can double up as beautiful, IG-worthy surfaces for #flatlay food images.
Alternatively, you can opt for solid surfaces made of 100% acrylic or 100% polyester (or a mix of both) for a highly scratch and stain resistant countertop. Plastic laminates or Formica are also a popular option that is durable and hard-wearing enough to survive the toughest kitchens. You can also get creative with various ceramic tile designs available in the market and create your own unique kitchen work space.
We hope you have enjoyed this personal tour of Anis’ kitchen essentials and can now be one step closer to having a celebrity chef-approved kitchen space. Keep up with Anis Nabilah on Instagram and her cooking channel here.