Kenny’s kitchen essentials…and what can I get my wife for Christmas?

Kennys Kitchen
Borderfields HQ
Borderfields HQ

Kenny’s kitchen essentials…and what can I get my wife for Christmas?

Michelin star chef and Borderfields’ resident guest blogger Kenny Atkinson, a staunch advocate of Borderfields cold pressed rapeseed oil talks kitchen must-haves.

Picking my number one kitchen essential, is a tough choice but it isn’t some fancy high tech gadget that nobody has heard of that sits in the cupboard in a never opened box. In fact, here‘s my top five:

  1. For me, it’s all about pots and pans. So many people don’t realise the role pots and pans play in easing the preparation of meals and achieving good quality food. Improve your cooking by investing in decent pans. Non-stick pans and big pots for braising are musts for me.
  2. Knives are another thing. I can’t stand rubbish knives.  They are also something you shouldn’t buy without holding first. You want them to feel right. Please, buy the best knives you can afford, whether you’re a master chef or not. Good quality knives will last you for years and you’ll notice the difference.
  3. Puff pastry is another gem that is handy to have in the freezer because there’s so much you can do with it. If you haven’t planned a pudding and fancy a little something sweet, you can rustle up a wonderful tart in no time. Or, if you’re keeping the kids entertained in the kitchen for half an hour you can use it to make pizzas and let them get creative with their own recipes and topping ideas.
  4. As many chefs will tell you, an ingredient which can transform anything from bolognaise to a winter stew is a good quality stock base. It might be a small ingredient but it can make a massive difference. Make your own and freeze it – then you’re half way there when it comes to making some soup when you get home from work.
  5. And lastly, no kitchen is complete without having a bottle to hand, and I don’t just mean a bottle of Borderfields cold pressed rapeseed oil either, I’m on about cooking with wine. The rich notes of a red or the delicate flavour of a white can both add that special something to your cooking.
  6. Actually, can I have six? A mixing machine. I got my wife one for Christmas last year and it proved a great success. If you’re wondering ‘what can I get my other half for Christmas?’ maybe there’s an idea for you…

– Kenny

Kenny Atkinson is the Chef Proprietor of House of Tides restaurant on Newcastle’s quayside. Please visit for more information.