Washington City Paper: High Gear
“Sometimes a standard-issue piece of restaurant equipment just won’t cut it. Sometimes only a one-of-a-kind or top-of-the-line tool can get the job done. Whether decades old or laboratory grade, these chefs have found unique culinary gadgets that deliver results—and are pretty fun to use, too.
Separatory Funnel at Dram & Grain
The separatory funnel that bartender Lukas Smith introduced to Dram & Grain looks like it belongs in a laboratory rather than at a bar. The teardrop-shaped glass funnel is designed to separate liquids of different densities—perfect for clarifying juices and fat-washing spirits (infusing them with oils). Traditionally, perfumers use this tool, but Smith bought one (on Amazon) to avoid having to chill filter spirits after fat-washing them, which is thought to remove the delicate flavors. The funnel leaves the subtle aromas while filtering out the oil itself.
Bamboo Steamer at Indique
After a recent trip to Kerala, India, chef K.N. Vinod returned with a blissfully simple piece of equipment that can steam ground rice in just four minutes. The bamboo steamer is a cylindrical piece of bamboo with a small piece of coconut shell on either end. Puttu, a cylindrical steamed rice dish, is prepared by layering powdered rice and a mixture of coconut and cumin seeds in the steamer, placing it over a pot of boiling water, and waiting. It’s typically served with ripe plantains or chickpea curry for breakfast, but it can also accompany curry of any kind.”
Or, check out the spread from Thursday’s edition of the paper:
Headline photo courtesy of Mariah Hayes.