The 5 Best Everyday Gluten-Free Products

The 5 Best Everyday Gluten-Free Products

Over the last few years of eating gluten-free, it has been a struggle to find decent gluten-free versions of regular products. However, over that time, and through a lot of trial and error and a serious lightening of my wallet I have found some products I like. In the hopes of helping to save my gluten-free brothers and sisters a little time and a lot of money, I put a list together of my favourite Everyday Gluten-Free Products.

Before I get into this I want to make it clear that I am not sponsored by any of these brands in any way. However, the Presidents Choice brand is included in this list and I teach occasional cooking lessons for Loblaws. Of course the opinions I express in this post are mine and mine alone. And are a true and accurate representation of my experience with each of these brands.

Okay, in my opinion here are…


1. Hotdog & Hamburger Buns – Kinnikinnick

I am a man who loves a good burger more than almost anything. For a long time trying to find a bun that didn’t take away from the flavour of the burger was really hard. Then I discovered Kinnikinnick. You’ve absolutely heard me talk about this brand before.

If these burger buns, were not gluten-free they would fall into the category of a kind of middle of the road white bun. There would be nothing that special about them. No one at a barbecue would complain but they probably wouldn’t compliment you on the buns either. But, that is exactly what makes them so incredible as a gluten-free product. When you are eating them, you don’t think about them. You’re mind is saying, “Hey, this is pretty good for a gluten-free bun.” It is saying, “Hey, this is a really good burger.” I think that is a good burger buns job, and these do it well.

The Kinnikinnick hotdog buns fall into the exact same category as the burger buns. They are actually the same thing just in a different shape.

The downside of these, like most gluten-free products, is the price compared to regular buns. Where a bag of eight regular buns might cost you $2-$3 at most. These are closer to $7 for four. But, if you have to eat gluten-free, they are worth that price and more.

2. Bread – Little Northern Bakehouse

Little Northern Bakehouse is a brand of gluten-free bread that I started eating only a few months ago. After years of trying different brands, I randomly picked this one out of the freezer at the grocery store. I’m so happy I did. Like all the products on this list, this bread stands out because it doesn’t stand out. Eating this bread you won’t think ” This is really good gluten-free bread.” You will just think you are eating good bread. In fact, the first time I bought Little Northern Bakehouse bread I took a bite of a slice and had to double-check to make sure it was actually gluten-free.

Like most gluten-free bread this falls into the $7 range per loaf. But, it is well worth the price.

3. Frozen Pizza – Oggi’s

I have talked about Oggi’s Gluten-Free frozen pizza a few times on the blog now. Why? Because it is that good. I said it before and I’ll say it again, this is the best-frozen pizza I have ever had, period. That is really saying something since it is gluten-free. Even if you are one of the lucky ones who can chomp down on as much wheat as you can, I suggest trying this pizza at least once.

4. Best Pasta – Catelli

I’m saying that Catelli makes the best all-around gluten-free pasta. But that comes with a little caveat. I’ll get to that in a second.

Catelli, which is a good Canadian brand, makes a really good quality gluten-free pasta. What’s interesting is that I find every box I buy gets better and better. I think they have continued to work on and develop their recipe which is awesome. They make a variety of shapes including a no-boil lasagna noodle.

One issue I had with Catelli Gluten-Free pasta in the pasta was that I always had to undercook it by a minute or so or else it would fall apart. And, it was terrible for leftovers because it would fall apart when reheated. However, I’ve found that in the last six months or so these issues have largely been resolved. This is why Catelli is my number one all-around gluten-free pasta brand. Also, it is a bit more expensive than regular pasta but not outrageously so.

I said there was a caveat and this is it. Garofalo makes an incredible gluten-free pasta. Like, it is amazing. However, it is really expensive coming in around $8 for 2-3 portions. This is the pasta for a special occasion or a very specific dish, you’re not going to eat this brand once a week. That’s why it isn’t my number one. Also, I know Garofalo makes different shaped pasta but I’ve only seen the casarecce which isn’t a shape of pasta suited to a lot of sauces.

5. Best Gluten-Free Pancake Mix

The final item we are going to look at here is one that is difficult for me. Prior to having to cut gluten out of my diet, I would have never dreamt of using a pancake mix. Ever. Growing up my mom was adamant that cakes, pancakes, muffins, cookies, all be made from scratch. I still hold close to those values. However, it is really difficult to make a good homemade gluten-free pancake. Having said that, there are two brands that really stand out in the gluten-free pancake mix arena.

The two brands of gluten-free pancake mix that I like are Kinnikinnick and Presidents Choice. As close as the race is I have to give it to Kinnikinnick. I find the colour, texture, and flavour of Kinnikinnick pancakes ever so slightly beats out PC. But again, either one will do well. And they are about the same price which I think falls into that $7 range.


Even just a few years ago, if you were told you had to stop eating gluten it meant you had to give up everything you loved. Luckily, today there are a lot of really great products out there that will help you maintain a sense of normalcy.

Is there a gluten-free product you love that I didn’t mention? I’d love to hear about it in the comments or on social media. Thank you as always for reading and check out this post all about gluten-free snacks.

My 5 Favourite Gluten-Free Products

My 5 Favourite Gluten-Free Products

Having to eat gluten-free can be annoying, to say the least. It means that you have had to give up a lot of foods that you love and often if there are gluten-free versions, they don’t come close to the original. Not to mention how much more expensive gluten-free food is in comparison to the regular stuff. Because of price, and the high probability of disappointment trying new gluten-free products can be a bit exasperating.

Being a chef that can’t eat gluten means that I get asked a lot about my opinion on gluten-free products. In an effort to help other people who can’t eat gluten I thought I would put together a list of my top 5 favourite gluten-free products. To keep the list as straightforward as possible I have omitted items that are naturally gluten-free like rice noodles, sesame snacks, and tomatoes. All of the items on this list are made to replace a gluten version and in some cases are actually better than the original.

Whether you are stuck eating gluten-free, know someone who is, or are just a regular person looking for the best frozen pizza you will ever eat, this post is for you. Okay, let’s take a look at…

My 5 Favourite Gluten-Free Products

I have listed prices beside each product. These prices are based on what I usually pay where I live. I find that the price fluctuates based on where I’m buying my groceries, so the prices listed may not be the exact price you pay.

1. Catelli Gluten-Free Pasta

Price – $2.49

There are a few different gluten-free kinds of pasta out there but by far the best is the Catelli brand. Catelli is actually a Canadian pasta brand that dates back as far as Canadian confederation. Ever since 1867 when Carlo Onorato Catelli started selling handmade pasta from a pushcart in what is now Montreal’s Little Italy, Catelli pasta has been innovating and pushing the pasta industry forward. This innovation and forward-looking continues today as the company has become a leader of gluten-free pasta production in Canada.

Of all the brands of gluten-free pasta, I have tried, Catelli is by far the best and most consistent. There were some issues when I first started using it where the pasta would only hold it’s shape for 10 minutes or so after cooking. There was no opportunity for leftovers of any quality. But, now it seems as though that issue has mostly been resolved. I also find that for best results I generally undercook the pasta by about 1 minute compared to the directions of the box.

Catelli Gluten-Free Pasta is so good that you can’t even tell you’re eating gluten-free. And that’s kind of what we’re all hoping for, isn’t it?

You can find this at Sobeys or Superstore.

2. PC Gluten-Free Mini Brownies

Price – $5.99

I’m not the type of person that buys mini brownies very often. Truth be told, I’ve only had these once or twice. But the two times I have had them, I was thoroughly impressed. When compared to the regular version, these PC Gluten-Free Mini Brownies stack up perfectly. I obviously can’t do a side by side taste test, but I’m willing to bet that if you did, you wouldn’t be able to tell which ones were regular and which ones were gluten-free.

You can find these at Superstore.

3. Udi’s Baguettes

Price – $5.99

I have always been a bread lover. Before I had to stop eating gluten, one of my favourite things to make was bread. Of all the bread in all the world, nothing compares to a really well made French Baguette with butter. Although these Udi’s baguettes are great for what they are, a French Baguette they are not.

Udi’s actually makes a lot of really great gluten-free products. I use their regular bread more than any other brand. However, the Udi’s product I use most is this one, their Gluten-Free Baguette. They come frozen, you put them in a 400°F oven for 10-14 minutes to defrost and toast them, then use them however you want. I use them mostly for things like Bahn Mi, Donair Sub, Steak Sandwiches, stuff like that. They also make a dinner roll version which is really good too. But again, keep in mind, that you should not buy these expecting a French Baguette. Just expect a really good gluten-free baguette.

You can find these at both Sobeys and Superstore.

4. Kinnikinnick GF Hamburger Buns

Price – $6.49

Kinnikinnick is another really great gluten-free brand that makes a lot of different products. I use their bread pretty often but the product they make that stands out most is their hamburger buns. They are by far the best gluten-free hamburger bun I have had. They are pricey but really good. I don’t know if I would say that they are better than regular hamburger buns, they’re close enough that you won’t miss regular hamburger buns. Like most gluten-free bread, these come frozen. You just defrost them before use.

One kind of strange thing I will say is that the Kinnikinnick hamburger buns and their English muffins are the same things. If they aren’t the same thing they are close enough that you can’t tell the difference. Other than this one strange little thing they are a great gluten-free brand that is worth checking out.

You can find these at Sobeys.

5. Oggi’s Pizza

Price – $9.49

Just like with the regular version there are a lot of terrible gluten-free pizzas out there. This is not one of them! Oggi’s Pizza is by far the best-frozen pizza I have ever had, and it is the best gluten-free pizza (frozen or otherwise) that I have ever had. The crust is light, airy, and chewy and topped with premium ingredients. Yes, it is more expensive than a regular frozen pizza, but it is worth the price. In all honesty, even if I could eat gluten, and normally would eat a frozen pizza, this is the one I would buy.

I have seen three different flavours of these pizzas; Margherita, four cheese, and roasted vegetables. On their website, they list a pepperoni, spinach alfredo, and a Caprese as well. I’m not sure how the Caprese differs from the Margherita.

Unlike some of the other brands I have mentioned on this list, Oggi does one thing and one thing only, they make badass gluten-free pizza and they do it really well. The next time you find yourself craving a pizza, do yourself a favour and pick one of these up, you will be happy you did.

You can find these at Superstore, Sobeys, and Costco. The Costco pizzas are bigger and come in a two-pack.


If like me, you can’t eat gluten, you should be thankful that you live in this day and age. Even just three or four years ago the available gluten-free products were not very good and way rarer. Today, we can find high-quality gluten-free products almost anywhere which is amazing.

What are your favourite gluten-free products?

My Top 5 Favourite Cooking Shows (on Youtube)

My Top 5 Favourite Cooking Shows (on Youtube)

Last week I wrote a post all about cooking shows and how in my opinion some are good and some are bad. I’ve been thinking about it a lot since then and there actually are a handful of cooking shows I watch regularly but they aren’t on tv. My favourite cooking shows are actually on Youtube. They are mostly, with one exception created by regular people doing something they love rather than big corporations just trying to make money.

All of the cooking shows listed below are very unique from anything you’ve probably seen before. I highly recommend actually taking a bit of time, maybe on the weekend and taking a look at some of the videos these channels have produced. You may learn something and you may find your new favourite cooking show.

Okay, let’s take a look at…

#5 Grandpa Kitchen

I love Indian food and one day while doing some research I stumbled across this youtube video of an older Indian man cooking butter chicken. I was completely enthralled. After watching I did my best to recreate his recipe and it was the best butter chicken I had ever made. Since then I have been a fan of this channel.

If you like Indian food and have always been interested in cooking it you will probably enjoy this channel. It is super simple and paried down and the food all looks amazing.


#4 Binging with Babbish

Binging with Babish is a very successful youtube channel built around the idea of recreating food from TV and movies. If you’ve ever wondered how to make that baked ziti from Good Fellas, or the food from Game of Thrones you should check this channel out.

#3 Gourmet Makes (Bon Appétit)

Bon Appétit has a lot of cool content but my favourite and the most successful of it all is a show called Gourmet Makes. Claire Saffitz is a pastry Chef with Bon Appétit and is tasked with recreating store-bought confections. In one episode she makes gourmet Oreos. In another she makes Doritos, and in yet another, she makes Starburst fruit chews. Claire pretty much always successfully completes her task but as you can imagine, there is some frustration and hilarity along with way.


#2 Food Wishes (.com)

Chef John creates really cool educational cooking videos. They are informative and easy to follow. But what makes Chef John stand out among the millions of other people that do similar videos? Chef John narrates all of his videos imparting his voice with a unique cadence that is soothing, calming, and somehow funny all at the same time.

I honestly just throw these videos on when I want to relax.


#1 Townsends

James Townsend owns a store in Pierceton Indiana that sells reproductions of tools, clothes, pots, and everything you could imagine form the 17th century. His youtube channel is all about cooking in the 17th century. He has a set that looks and works like a 17th-century kitchen, and he is always dressed in his 17th-century garb. Needles to say, this guy loves the 17th century.

James meticulously researches all of his recipes and recreates them as accurately as possible which is partially what makes this channel so interesting and number one on my list.

If you love both food and history as I do, you will love this channel.


Bonus Hot Ones (First We Feast)

So, Hot Ones isn’t actually a cooking show at all. Though it is produced by the Youtube channel First We Fest which has loads of food-related content. So, if it isn’t a cooking show why am I including it? Well, because it’s a talk show built around the idea of getting celebrities to eat progressively hotter chicken wings while answering thoughtful and interesting questions. How could I not include it?


I hope that you enjoyed this post and thank you for checking it out. Remember to subscribe to the blog so you never miss a post. Have a great weekend, I’ll see you on Monday!

Cooking Shows – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Cooking Shows – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I get asked all the time about cooking shows. “Do you watch Top Chef?”, “Have you been watching the latest season of Master Chef ?”, “Are you into the Great British Bake Off?” and of course, “What’s your favourite cooking show?”. Because I get asked about this so much I thought it was time I did a post about it. So, let’s talk about it.

Today we are going to get down to the nitty-gritty and I’m going to tell you what I really think of modern cooking shows as a whole, cooking as entertainment, as well as what I think actually is the best cooking show out there right now.

This is…

Cooking Shows – The good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Ugly

Cooking shows are not a new phenomenon. They date all the way back to 1946 when the first-ever cooking show “Cookery” aired on the BBC. It was 10 minutes long and the Chef/Host Phillp Harben, widely recognized as the first celebrity Chef, made lobster vol-au-vents. A few months later James Beard debuted his American cooking show “I love to eat.”. From then on food has been a mainstay on televisions around the world.

The important thing about those original cooking shows, and really all cooking shows up until the late 1990s early 2000s is that they were all about teaching people about food and cooking. They were entertaining, yes, but they weren’t entertainment.

Today, many, many cooking shows, or more accurately food shows, have nothing to do with teaching people about food. They are overdramatized, unrealistic, and create a disrespect of food and cooking which creates an unhealthy relationship with food. You may think that I am being overly dramatic right now, but am I really? Think about it.

The food itself has become entertainment. With that, expectations of what food should be have risen and become unreasonable. Yes, if you are going to a restaurant or hiring a chef, then the food should be amazing. Otherwise, what are you paying for? The problem really starts in the home. We see “chefs” cooking ridiculous things in competition shows. Or we watch a really well-shot video of avantgarde food with dramatic classical music behind it, and it raises the assumption that this is what food has to be. Gone are the days when a well made but simply made shepherd’s pie will suffice. Now, the shepherd’s pie has to have truffled potatoes, with foie gras, and goddamn gold leaf for people to want to eat it. And, because most people can’t make that at home, they just don’t bother trying. That’s a problem.

In Canada right now, 54% of people eat out at least once a week. When looking at just millennials that 54% becomes the number of people who eat out at least three times a week. That’s crazy! Obviously, I understand that there is a lot more going on here than just food tv, but millenials happen to also be the group that watches the most food tv.

The Bad

One other problem that modern food tv has created is what I like to call the oxtail effect. Oxtail is literally the tail of a cow or ox. Fifteen years ago you could buy oxtail for pennies. Very few people wanted it, and so it was classic peasant food. The type of thing that requires a lot of effort but that in the right hands can be absolutely delicious. As I sit here right now, the grocery store nearest to me is selling oxtail for $19.82 a kg. Keep in mind, oxtail is mostly bone and cartilage. So why is it so expensive? Because about 10-12 years every person on the food network, every show, everything was using oxtail. This drove the price through the roof and it has never come down. Now, all those people who used to rely on cheap cuts of meat like oxtail to survive can’t afford it. Now, they are forced to turn to cheaper alternatives which usually come in the form of frozen meals.

Again, I know that food tv is not the only problem here. There are a lot of food security issues that we are facing beyond this. But, it is a contributing factor.

The Good

Okay, so this post has obviously gotten away from me a little bit and has become less about cooking shows and more about societal food issues that we are all facing. I think it is important that we talk about these things because they are happening to us and all around us. But, this post is supposed to be a cooking shows, so let’s bring it back.

Cooking Shows I don’t watch.

If it is a competition, I’m probably not watching it. The only cooking competition show I have watched in the past 5 years has been “The Final Table” on Netflix. Mostly I watched it because a lot of the Chefs are highly regarded and I wanted to see what they’d do. I thought it was okay but I probably won’t be watching season 2.

Chef’s table is a show that I watched the first season of but I can’t watch it anymore. I find it has almost become a characture of itself. Anytime I try to watch it I just think of this…

Shows I do watch.

I like “The Mind of a Chef” though I don’t think I caught the last season. Other than that there is really only one other cooking show airing right now that I watch and in my opinion, it is the best one on tv right on. It is “The Chef Show” on Netflix.

There are a few reasons I like this show but the biggest reason is this, there is no bullshit. All this show is about is Jon Favreau wanting to hang out with Roy Choi and learn from him and cook with him. That’s it. They make good food, you can learn something by watching it. It is entertaining without being entertainment. And, you can tell that they are having fun and enjoying themselves. That’s what food should be about.


Alright, I feel like I have dug myself into a pretty deep hole with this one. If you like food tv and watching cooking competitions, good on you. I don’t want to make you feel bad about that. I just think that it is important to watch those shows with the understanding that their relationship to food and cooking is the same as porn’s relationship to sex. They are not the same thing. They’re barely even related.

All I can say is that as entertaining as cooking shows can be they will never be able to provide the same satisfaction that actually cooking can. Taking the time, putting in the effort, and being rewarded with something delicious at the end, that is much more satisfying than watching Gordon Ramsay yell at yet another unprepared novice on Hell’s Kitchen.

The Truth About Wooden Cutting Boards

The Truth About Wooden Cutting Boards

For years we have been told that plastic cutting boards are more sanitary and safer than wooden ones. In professional kitchens, pretty much all wooden boards have been replaced by plastic and have been for years. But why? Is there any truth behind this or is it all just perception? Are plastic cutting boards really safer than wooden ones?

Let’s get into it.

Wooden cutting boards vs. Plastic Cutting Boards

Anyone who has been following me for a while knows that I only use wooden cutting boards. Specifically, AshWurks Cutting Boards. I use them for cutting vegetables, preparing fish, even for meat and poultry. People often question me on this. The assumption being that it is unsafe to use wooden boards, especially for meat, poultry, and fish. But is it true?

Plastic Cutting Boards

As I said in the introduction to this post, plastic cutting boards have pretty much completely replaced wooden ones in restaurants. But why?

Well, a few decades ago health departments all over the place decided that because plastic isn’t porus it must be a safer material for cutting boards than wood. Now, in all honesty, this may be true if we are talking about brand new cutting boards. But the problem is that a plastic cutting board doesn’t stay brand new for long.


Plastic is softer than wood and easier to cut into. This means that pretty much every time you use your knife you are leaving little divets in the plastic. These divets are next to impossible to clean and are havens for bacteria. Not to mention where are those little pieces of plastic going?

One of the touted benefits of plastic cutting boards is that they can be put in the dishwasher. Yes, it is true that wooden cutting boards should not be put in the dishwasher, or even submerged in water. But, is that really a problem? Dishwashers tend to leave people with a false sense of security. The assumption is that when something comes out of the dishwasher it is clean. I think we all know that isn’t always the case. And I can say that I have seen countless plastic cutting boards come out of commercial dishwashers with bits of chicken and fish still stuck on them. If a commercial dishwasher can’t do the job properly do you really think the one in your kitchen can?


One of the main selling points of plastic cutting boards is that they are not porous. Bacteria can’t penetrate the surface of the board. And yes, like I said, it is true as long as the surface is completely smooth. But this non-porous surface creates another issue, mold.

When it comes to plastic cutting boards it is vitally important that they be very dry when being put away. Surface moisture has nowhere to go and will cause mold growth. Drying the surface of a plastic cutting board doesn’t seem like that big of an issue until we go back and think of those little divets in plastic again. They collect moisture as well as bacteria and that leads to mold growth.


Now, you may be saying, but Ben, I can just bleach a plastic cutting board to prevent mold growth. Yes, you can bleach plastic cutting boards but how often do you really want to do that? And, will that bleach be able to penetrate those tiny divets and kill off the bacteria that live there?

Pros and Cons of Plastic Cutting Boards.

Let’s start with the pros.


  • Non-porous
  • safe when brand new
  • can be bleached
  • can go in the dishwasher
  • light
  • easy to store
  • cheap


  • non-porous so moisture can collect causing mold growth
  • soft material easily cut into creating ideal conditions for bacterial growth
  • little bits of plastic end up in the food
  • don’t really come that clean in the dishwasher

Wooden Cutting Boards

The biggest arguments against wooden cutting boards are the biggest arguments for plastic ones. Wood is porous, it can’t go in the dishwasher, etc. But, do these arguments hold water?

The Thing About Wooden Cutting Boards

Wood is porous.

The biggest argument against wood is that it is porous meaning it will absorb moisture. Well this is true, is it actually a problem? The answer unsurprisingly is no. Here’s why, wooden cutting boards, mostly end grain boards are often oiled with mineral oil which is absorbed into the pores of the wood effectively preventing them from absorbing too much moisture. Even if the board isn’t oiled its porous nature isn’t a problem because even though this allows the wood to absorb moisture it also allows it to dry properly.

What about bacteria?

What about bacteria on wood? Multiple studies, including this one, have shown that wood actually displays antimicrobial properties. What that means is that wood actually kills microbes and bacteria or at the very least prevents them from multiplying. Plastic doesn’t do this.

You can’t put wooden cutting boards in the dishwasher.

It is true that wooden cutting boards shouldn’t be put in the dishwasher. The heat will melt the glue that holds the board together and can even warp the wood. But does it really matter if a wooden cutting board can go in the dishwasher or not? No. It doesn’t. If you were to take two cutting boards, one plastic, one wooden, and rub them with e coli then wash the plastic in the dishwasher and the wooden one by hand with soap and hot water, the plastic one would have more e coli on it after cleaning than the wooden one. So, does it really matter that the wooden board can’t go in the dishwasher? I don’t think so.

What about mold?

Mold isn’t really an issue with wooden cutting boards because they are porous. Moisture will be absorbed into the wood where mold can’t grow. And wood drys much more efficiently than plastic. Think of it this way, a wooden cutting board is essentially a living thing. It breathes, it changes with the weather, it’s alive. A plastic cutting board is dead. There is no life in it. It doesn’t breath or change. So, ask yourself this, is mold more likely to grow on a living thing or a dead thing?

The downside to wooden boards.

There are a few other arguments I have heard against wooden cutting boards that I think it is important to mention here.

Wooden cutting boards are big, heavy, and difficult to store.

This is all true. But here’s the thing, a good quality wooden cutting board can be left on the counter all the time and will become a showpiece of your kitchen. There is no need to move it around or store it.

Wooden cutting boards are difficult to clean.

Fales. All you need is some hot soapy water and a dishcloth. Just don’t submerge the board in the water.

Wooden cutting boards are difficult to maintain.

There is a bit of effort involved, sure. But oiling the board with mineral oil once every few weeks will prolong its life and make it even more beautiful than it already is and it takes like two minutes.

Wooden cutting boards are expensive.

Define expensive. Yes, a couple of hundred dollars may seem like a lot to spend on a cutting board but think of it as an investment. If you treat that board well you will have it for the rest of your life. Imagining that you’re 30 and you’re going to live for another 30-40 years, that couple of hundred dollars works out to be a few dollars a year. You should be replacing plastic cutting boards every year which is $15 – $20 a year. Plus with wood, you have something that can turn into a family heirloom.


I think my stance is pretty obvious, I much prefer wooden cutting boards to plastic ones for every use. But, don’t take my word for it, do a bit more research and see for yourself.

If you are ready to invest in a beautiful wooden cutting board check out my friends over at They sponsor my facebook cooking show but more than that they make beautiful handmade wooden boards right here in Nova Scotia. They are the only boards I use and one look at them will tell you why.

I hope that you enjoyed this post if you did please share it and remember to subscribe to the blog so you never miss a post.

Thanks for reading!

Oh, I almost forgot, I wasn’t able to post on Monday because we didn’t have the internet due to Hurrican Dorian. Other than losing some food out of the fridge and power and internet being down for a few days we made out pretty well. There are still lots of people in the province that don’t have power so we got off pretty lucky. But, things are back to normal for me and hopefully, they will soon be for everyone else.

Today on the blog we are separating fact from fiction and getting to the truth of whether plastic or wooden cutting boards are better.

My Top 5 Movies About Cooking

My Top 5 Movies About Cooking

People ask me all the time about what my favourite cooking shows are. Truth be told, I don’t watch many cooking shows. I do however love movies about cooking. So, today I thought I would put together a top 5 list of my favourite food/cooking movies.

This list is composed of scripted movies only. I left all of my favourite food documentaries off of this list. Maybe I will do a top 5 food doc. list in the future. Who knows?

I’m going to do my best not to give too much away about the movies on this list but be aware that there may be some spoilers. Okay, enough said. Let’s take a look at

5 – Dinner Rush

This movie centers around one night in a busy restaurant in New York. It is about the old ways versus new ways. About a son trying to prove himself to his father. This movie has gangsters, it has food, it has pretty realistic restaurant and cooking scenes.

All in all this a really well-made movie which you will likely enjoy whether you love cooking or not. Check it out.

4 – Julia & Julia

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I loved this movie. I love all things Julia Child and this movie was very well done.

This movie is based on a blog by a woman named Julia who cooked her way through Julia Child’s “Mastering The Art Of French Cooking”. The story follows both Julia Child’s journey and the modern blogger Julia’s journey. It intertwines the lives, stories, and timelines of these two women in a well-crafted narrative that leaves the watcher feeling a connection through time and space.

This is a great, kind of heartwarming movie that if you haven’t seen you absolutely should.

3 – Soul Kitchen (2009)

Soul Kitchen, where to begin? First of all, this is a German-made movie with English subtitles. It has a very German sense of humour. It is a well-made movie and a well-crafted story.

Soul Kitchen is about this young Greek-German guy named Zinos who owns a really shitty restaurant in a warehouse in Hamburg. The story follows the trials and tribulations of Zinos through the restaurant and his personal life. If you don’t mind reading subtitles you should check this movie out. There is a reason why it made it to number 3 on this list, it is really good.

4 – The Hundred-Foot Journey

An Indian family moves in across the street from a Michelin Starred restaurant in the French countryside. The family opens there own restaurant cooking food from their village in India. Needless to say, the owner of the high-end French restaurant (Hellen Mirren) is not too happy about it.

This movie is funny, heartwarming, and moving. On top of that, the food is absolutely beautiful and the cooking techniques are well researched and executed. If you are looking for a movie that will bring the whole family together and keep everyone invested for two hours, this is the movie for you.

5 – Chef

I don’t know of another movie that so perfectly encapsulates what it’s like to be a Chef.

This movie is about the internal and external struggle of a Chef who is stuck cooking food that bores him, and that has been out of style for years. He eventually leaves the restaurant he has been working in in a very spectacular way and ends up owning a food truck. Being able to cook the food he wants, his passion for both life and cooking is rekindled.

Let’s be honest, you’ve probably seen this movie. If you haven’t, go watch it right now. If you have, watch it again. It is worth it.

Did I mention that Jon Favreau, who wrote, directed, and starred in this movie was so adamant that the culinary details be perfect that he had Chef Roy Choi on set guiding him through all the cooking scenes? There is no bullshit there. It is a well-made movie with a great story.

Honourable Mention – The Five Year Engagement

This movie isn’t really about food or cooking. It just so happens that one of the main characters is a chef. The cooking scenes are intentionally bad, but the movie itself is really good. It is a Judd Apatow comedy so you will definitely laugh.

My Top Five Most Used Cookbooks

My Top Five Most Used Cookbooks

Normally on Friday’s, I write everything I know about a certain topic, but today in honour of the long weekend I wanted to do something a little different. I am regularly asked about what cookbooks I use and which ones are my favourite. So, today I thought I would put together a shortlist of the cookbooks that I use most often. These aren’t necessarily my all-time favourite books, but they are the ones I return to most.

I should also say that I use cookbooks a little differently than most people. I mostly rely on them as references rather than actual recipe guides. Flipping through them helps me to spawn new ideas, and solve creative issues.

Alright, let’s take a look at…

My Top 5 Most Used Cookbooks

5 – Garde Manger by the Culinary Institute of America

In professional kitchens, the section that mostly serves cold food like salads and charcuterie is called garde manger. This means the keeper of the food or keeper of the pantry. Traditionally, the duty of using leftovers and mitigating waste would largely fall to this section of the kitchen. Today this is generally considered an entry-level position, serving salads and desserts. However, in more traditional and high-end restaurants this position and still considered a highly skilled one and very important.

This book, Garde Manger, celebrates both the highly-skilled and entry-level aspects of this position. It includes recipes and instructions for everything from intricate patés and terrines to the not so intricate club sandwich. It talks in great depth about salad theory and composition as well as numerous other topics all relating to cold food presentation.

The Culinary Institue of America, or the CIA for short, is one of the preeminent culinary schools in the US. And their texts books, which this is one, are often considered some of the best culinary textbooks in the world. Some notable Chefs that attended the CIA include Roi Choi, Richard Blais, Michael Smith, Cat Cora, and Anthony Bourdain.

For everyday home cooks, this probably isn’t a book that you want to rush and buy especially considering the almost $70 price tag. But, for anyone with a deep interest in food, this is a great reference and instruction book.

4 – Heritage by Sean Brock

Sean Brock is the executive chef at Husk in Charleston, South Carolina. He specializes in using heritage breed and heirloom plants and animals to celebrate the culinary traditions of the South. He is a James Beard Award-winning Chef and in 2011 Bon Appétit Magazine named his restaurant the “Best New Restaurant in America”. So, he knows what he’s doing.

This book not only has lots of amazing recipes but is one of the most beautiful cookbooks I own and have ever seen. Its value translates both to professional Chefs and home cooks alike. If you love to cook, love cookbooks, or know someone who does, this book should be on your shopping list.

3 – The Silver Spoon by Cleia D’Onofrio

The Silver Spoon or Il cucchiaio d’argento is an Italian cookbook that has gone through eight editions since its first printing in the 1950s. It contains over 2000 recipes collected from all over Italy. It is organized into one comprehensive cookbook by Italian design and architecture magazine; Domus. This is generally regarded as the most popular cookbook in Italy.

If you love Italian food, like real Italian food then this book is a must-have for your collection. I find myself turning to it again and again for inspiration and find something new every time I open it. A definite must-have.

2 – Mastering The Art Of French Cooking by Julia Child, Simone Beck, and Louisette Bertholle

You are probably already familiar with this book. If you don’t have a copy, your mother probably does. This is the first of two volumes. Having said that, I don’t own the second volume, though I should, but this book stands tall on its own.

You likely already know Julia Child, if you don’t and your reading this you’ve missed a few steps. Stop reading, go to youtube and type her name in. To this day, this book along with her cooking shows are some of the most important culinary works of the 20th century. They helped to introduce a whole continent to culinary concepts and traditions that went on to help shape their culinary identities.

This is one few cookbooks I own which I actually use for recipes. I follow them to the letter and they work out perfectly every time. To the book’s credit, it is laid out in a way that a complete beginner could pick it up and cook something amazing.

This is one of my most prized possessions. Not just cookbooks, but possessions.

1 – The Professional Chef

This is another CIA textbook though unlike Garde Manger, this book covers cooking in a much broader sense. As the main textbook/cookbook for students attending the CIA you can bet it is chockfull of incredibly valuable information.

Where I don’t really recommend Garde Manger for home cooks this one I do. It is designed to take beginner culinary students and teach them the absolute fundamentals of cooking. It covers wide-ranging topics like knife skills to soup and sauce preparation, meat fabrication, baking, and pastry and so much more.

Just to be honest, it isn’t a cheap book coming in around $80. But, having said that, if I had to get rid of all of my cookbooks but one, this is the book I would keep. I mean Paul Bocuse called this “the bible for all chefs”. I understand that if your not a Chef you may not know who Paul Bocuse is. Just to put this into perspective the most prestigious culinary competition in the world is named after him, the Bocuse d’Or.

If you love cooking and want one definitive cookbook, this is the one.


I know that in the digital age that we live in cookbooks are not used as much. I mean you can just ask Google for a recipe and you have it under a second. But, the problem with Google is that you need to know what you’re looking for. With cookbooks, flipping through the pages reveals something new with every turn. You find things you didn’t even know you were looking for. Answers to questions you didn’t know you were asking.

The value of a real honest to god cookbook should not be understated. Having a volume of collected human culinary knowledge accessible with the turn of a page is a profound thing. Also, with a cookbook, you largely know what your getting. You probably trust the author, you trust the recipes. Pulling a recipe off the internet is often a gamble. You don’t know how it is going to turn out.

Anyway, that does it for today. I hope you enjoyed this post, and that you enjoy your long weekend.

Thanks for reading!

My Hello Fresh Review – From Box to Belly

My Hello Fresh Review – From Box to Belly

Based on the nature of what I do for a living I am regularly asked about delivery meal kits. I think it’s probably fairly obvious that I’m not the type of person who would generally buy this type of thing. But, I want to be able to answer these questions when I’m asked as I do see value in what these companies are doing. And so, with that in mind, I reached out to Hello Fresh. A few weeks ago. I asked them if they would be willing to send me a sample box so that I could honestly and thoughtfully answer people’s questions. I was asked to fill out an influencer application which I did and then never heard anything back from them. I did, however, get a coupon in the mail for 55% off the first box. And because I really just want to be able to answer people’s questions I used that coupon to get the box to write this review.

I chose Hello Fresh because frankly, I didn’t know there were other companies doing this until I started looking deeper into it. As I said, this isn’t something I generally would have any interest in. I do now know that there are other companies and in time I may do reviews of their products as well.


Hello Fresh Review 


Let’s take a second and talk about Hello Fresh as a company. According to Wikipedia, they are a publically traded company based in Berlin. They are the largest meal-kit company in the US and also operate in Canada, Australia, and Western Europe. Hello Fresh was started in 2011 and according to the company they were delivering over 1 million meals a month only three years later.


Pronto Plan Versus The Family Plan


The first thing you do is choose your HelloFresh Meal Plan. They give you three to choose from. The Family Plan. The Pronto Plan. And, The Veggie Plan. Both the Family and Pronto plans have the option of either three or four meals a week. The Veggie Plan only has a three-meal option. The Family Plan is for four people, the Veggie Plan is for two people and the Pronto Plan can be for either two or four people. So, clearly, the Pronto Plan Gives you the most choice.

The price per serving varies by the meal plan. For the Family Plan, the standard price is $10.83 a serving. So, for four people, at three meals a week you’re looking at $129.96 a week. $173.28 if you go for four meals.

For the Pronto Plan, the standard price is slightly higher at $13.33 per serving. On the low end, a two-person box for three meals would be $79.98 a week. On the high end of the Pronto Plan, that’s four meals for four people the weekly price would be $213.28.

As the veggies plan only has the option for three meals for two people the standard price is $73.98

HelloFresh Start Page

There is an obvious difference between the Veggie Plan and the other two options. No meat. However, the difference in food between the Family Plan and the Pronto Plan is much less clear. In fact, I’m not entirely sure there is a difference at all. But, when choosing either the Family Plan or the Pronto Plan you do have five meals to choose from. With the Veggie Plan, it seems that you get what you get.

The next step after choosing your plan is to sign up for a membership. You can also download the app for your phone. After registering, you fill in your delivery address, a method of payment and preferred delivery day and the date of your first delivery. I was given the option of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. You are then given an 8 am – 8 pm delivery window. They also ask you for any specific delivery instructions. As I found out, they just leave the box. I live on the corner of two busy streets in an urban area with only one step separating my front door from the sidewalk. They left the box on that one step. Luckily, I was home when they delivered it and was able to grab it before anyone else did.


HelloFresh Sign Up Screen

Once you have finished registering, you choose your meals from the five options and then wait until the appointed day for your food to arrive.

I should also mention that at no time was I given an option for allergies or anything like that. You do get to choose from a list, one item or ingredient that you don’t want to receive. I chose shellfish because I’m allergic. So, if a shellfish option ever came up I would be given the vegetarian option instead. I found it very confusing and frustrating that there were no gluten-free options.

The five-meal options that I was given to choose from were as follows:

Chorizo Burrito Bowl with Avocado Pico De Gallo and Cilantro-Lime Rice.

East Coast-style Beef Donair With Sweet Garlic Sauce and Frites.

Rich Lamb Ragu With Basil Ricotta Clouds.

Crispy Chicken Parmigiana with Baby Spinach and Yellow Pepper Italian Salad.

Burrata Margherita Pizzettes.

I chose the Chorizo Burrito Bowl, the East Coast-style Beef Donair, and the Rich Lamb Ragu.


HelloFresh Meal Selection


On Tuesday, around noon there was a loud vigorous knocking at my door. In the special delivery instructions, I asked them to know loudly which they did. However, I was sitting maybe fifteen feet from the door and by the time I got to it the person was gone, and the box was left alone.  I scooped it up off my step and brought it indoors. Unable to contain my curiosity, I opened the box. This is what I saw…

Hello Fresh BoxHello Fresh UnboxingHello FreshHello Fresh BagsHello Fresh Meat CompartmentHello Fresh Meat BagHello Fresh ChorizoSirloin Steak StripsGround Lamb


Inside the box is another, insulated box containing all of your ingredients and recipes. Along with the recipes, there were a few pamphlets about some of the packaging. Both the exterior and interior boxes are recyclable. The bag containing the ice packs is compostable. The ice packs can be melted and then the liquid can be poured down the drain. They also have a program in place for returning the ice packs for reuse. It is important to note that they are in fact trying to reduce waste because frankly there is a lot of packaging which you will see in a few minutes.

Okay, I think it’s about time we actually start talking about the food.


The Food 


I first want to say that I made every effort to go into this with an open mind. I did my best not to look at these three meals as a chef but rather just as a busy person trying to feed myself and my wife. I followed all directions explicitly and took no liberties except for two. Those two exceptions were simply to substitute gluten-free ingredients for non-gluten-free ingredients.

As I said, the box arrived around noon on Tuesday. My wife and I hadn’t eaten lunch yet so it made sense to try one of the meals. We started with the Chorizo Buritto Bowl.


The Chorizo Burrito Bowl


Hello Fresh Chorizo Burrito BowlThe Chorizo Burrito Bowl consisted of rice mixed with the whites of some green onions, lime zest and cilantro. Chorizo Sausage cooked with corn, Mexican seasoning, garlic, and a bit of water. Pico de gallo made with avocado, cherry tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, and lime juice. And finally, sour cream mixed with lime juice and lime zest.

The first thing that stood out to me was that the Mexican Seasoning on the Chorizo sausage seemed redundant. I found it actually took away from the dish. Chorizo is already very flavourful and would have worked well on its own. I’m just kind of being picky though I think.

All of the vegetables were very fresh. The avocado was maybe a little too fresh as it was very very hard.

The instructions were easy to follow and very accurate except for two issues. One issue which I found to be consistent with all three recipes was the temperature of the stove. All three recipes suggested a medium-high heat. I have an old stove that needs the elements replaced and even I found this was too high. The other issue I found was minor. It said to add two tablespoons of water to the Chorizo, corn and spice mixture. I found I had to add three times that much.

According to the recipe card, the prep time should have been ten minutes with a total time of thirty minutes cooking. I found this to be accurate. Also, according to the recipe card, the meal came to 942 calories per serving.

All in all. This meal wasn’t too bad. The portion was massive for two people. The pico de gallo was good, would have been better with a slightly more ripe avocado but I don’t fault them for that. The cilantro-lime sour cream was flavourful. The rice was perfectly cooked. The only two real issues I had were that everything was okay but not great and with the meat. Again, the Mexican Seasoning seemed unnecessary.

I think that most people would be happy with this dish. And in all honesty, I was pleasantly surprised. If I was served this again I would eat it.


Hello Fresh Chorizo Burrito Bowl Ingredients



The East Coast-Style Beef Donair


Hello Fresh East Coast-Style Beef Donair IngredientsHello Fresh East Coast-Style Donair Finished

All the goodwill that had been earned with the Burrito Bowl went right out the window the next day when I ate the train wreck described as an “East Coast-Style Beef Donair”. Now, to be clear, this is not East Coast Donair snobbery. You can tell by the picture on the recipe card that it is not even close to a donair. Even so, I went in with an open mind.

Again, the recipe was easy to follow and the timing was fairly close to accurate at thirty minutes. According to the recipe card, this dish contains 1234 calories per serving.

The first thing the recipe card asks you to do is to cut the potatoes into fries, toss them with half the provided shawarma spice, a bit of oil, and salt and pepper. It then tells you to bake them at 450°F for 25-28 minutes.

At the bottom of the card, there is a note that says “Add some fires to your pita for an extra crunch.” Based on this I made the assumption that the fries would be crisp. They were not. Even after a few extra minutes in the oven.

The next thing you have to do is “marinate” the beef. You mix the beef with some chopped garlic, onions, the rest of the shawarma spice a bit of oil, and salt and pepper.

The beef was strips of sirloin that were cut with the grain. When you cut meat with the grain it becomes very, very chewy which was an issue I faced later while trying to eat this.

Next, for some reason, came the coleslaw which consisted of a bag of sliced carrot and red cabbage mixed with 1 tbsp of vinegar, 1 tbsp of oil, half the provided parsley, and a bit of salt and pepper. That’s it. Now, I’m not sure if they gave us the four-person bag of coleslaw mix accidentally, but this was a lot of “coleslaw”.  I made myself and my wife each a plate, made a salad with the leftovers and there was still enough for at least one more plate. It was way too much coleslaw and it wasn’t good.

Finally, we have the garlic sauce. Mayo, mixed with vinegar, garlic, and a bit of sugar. It was fine. Mine was pretty thin but tasted all right. However, it definitely wasn’t donair sauce.

So, once you put this all together… the not crispy fries, the chewy “donair meat”, the bland but abundant coleslaw and the garlic sauce you are left with something that I really did not like at all. My wife thought it was okay but I didn’t even finish mine.

I should also say that I substituted the pita for a gluten-free bun. My wife actually really liked the pita. She said it was light and fluffy. However, in the picture on the recipe card, it very much looks like a Lebanese pita which would be traditional for a donair. We were given the Greek-style pita.

In conclusion, if you served this to me we would no longer be friends.

Rich Lamb Ragu

Hello Fresh Rich Lamb Ragu FinishedThe final meal on this journey was the Rich Lamb Ragu. I substituted the rigatoni for gluten-free rotini. This dish consisted of ground lamb cooked with onions, carrots, garlic, tomato paste, tomato juice, chilli flakes, Italian seasoning, and red wine vinegar. It was then tossed with the pasta, covered in ricotta and parmesan cheese and broiled. It was then finished with fresh basil.

This was by far the quickest of the three meals to make. The recipe card said it takes about twenty minutes and that was pretty much spot on. It also says the dish comes in at 892 calories. I did find the instructions on this one a little unclear or confusing at times.

This dish was okay. It would have done very well with a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg to balance the lamb and add a bit more flavour. And that’s kind of it. The flavour of this was just kind of flat. There was a bit of heat from the addition of the chillies (they offer a heat chart so you know how much to put in) but that was about it.

All in all, this wasn’t terrible. If I was served it again I would eat it but I would complain about it privately later.


In Conclusion

I think that anyone out there could easily make these same dishes, in about the same amount of time, for less money, and make them better. Having said that, it was nice to not have to think about what I was going to make for three days. The choice is already selected. But, you could easily preplan your meals and have a similar experience.

I think that for a busy couple, or family that has a bit of extra money this is an okay option. I think it makes a good starting point in getting people used to cooking and kind of seeing what’s possible. But to me, that’s all it is. It’s like culinary training wheels. Eventually, they have to come off.

Is it worth the money?

I think that’s a question you need to ask yourself. For me, definitely not. But, you may find that it is. Especially, if you are the kind of person who finds cooking to be a chore and not at all enjoyable. I would say, take advantage of any one-time discount offer and see what you think. But, be aware that they are just going to leave that box wherever they can and that there is going to be a pile of packaging.

Hello Fresh Rich Lamb Ragu Ingredients

My Top 5 Favourite Foods

My Top 5 Favourite Foods

As I’m sure you can imagine, I think about food a lot. It’s my favourite thing. I think about it more than I think about anything else. Because of this, I can sometimes get lost in the commotion of it all. I find that it is sometimes important to take a step back and think about the things that really matter. To think about the foods that I love that kind of keep me grounded in a way.

Over the years my favourite foods have changed and evolved. In fact, I made a list like this five or six years ago and it looked quite a bit different than it does now. That’s only natural I guess. Tastes change as we grow, experience new things, and learn more and more about what we like and don’t like. In fact, the below list looks more it was written by ten years old me than thirty-three year old me.  So, with all that in mind, I present my…

Top 5 Favourite Foods.

Number 1.  Tacos

I love tacos! Now, to be clear I do not mean old el paso tacos. You know, those ones that come in a kit you buy at the grocery store. I think those are pretty gross if I’m being honest. When I say tacos I mean shredded meat, either pork, beef, chicken, turkey, or fish, on a soft corn tortilla. This is usually topped with a few different types of salsa, fresh cilantro and onions, and possibly something sweet like pineapple.

There are few things in the world that match the perfection of a well-made taco. I could eat them every day all day.

Number 2. Hamburgers

When it comes burgers I like simple. A thin patty seasoned with salt and pepper, maybe a little garlic powder and seasoning salt. Topped with a bit of cheese and a few condiments. Throw some caramelized onions on there or tomato, lettuce and pickle and we’ve got ourselves a party. The only problem I have with burgers is that when I eat them, I end up craving them for weeks after. I just can’t get enough.

The trend now is to put as much shit as you can on top of a patty and call it a gourmet burger. I hate it. There are too many flavours. Everything gets muddled together to the point that you can’t even taste the burger itself.

Number 3. Steak

It may seem almost cliche at this point to say that steak is one of my favourite foods but it is the truth. There are few things better than a perfectly cooked ribeye, tenderloin, or striploin. (Ordered from favourite to least favourite.)

Just like burgers I prefer the simplest approach. Salt and pepper, maybe some other minor seasonings. No barbecue sauce or HP sauce or anything like that. If the steak is good, the flavour doesn’t need to be covered up with a powerful sauce.

There are certain sauces that work on steak. Generally, these are made with beef stock and so compliment and enhance the flavour of the steak rather than covering it up. Having said that, bearnaise sauce (hollandaise with tarragon), and chimichurri go really well on steak too.

Number 4. Pizza

Again, simple is always better. I prefer a margarita pizza which is just basil, mozzarella, tomato sauce, and dough, to pretty much anything else. Pizza is on this list because it truly is one of the best foods in the world. The combination of cheese, sauce, and dough is perfection. Unfortunately, I can’t eat pizza anymore due to gluten issues but I crave it on a daily basis.

Before you say anything, I know there are gluten-free pizzas but I assure you they don’t compare.

Number 5. Spicy Noodles. 

The number five spot on this list was a tough one to fill. There are a lot of foods that could occupy this position. However, after much deliberation, I chose spicy noodles because I could eat them almost every day.

Spicy noodles cover a pretty wide range of options. And so to describe exactly what I’m talking about is next to impossible. The noodles could be stir-fried, or they could be in a broth. I don’t care. As long as there are noodles, and they are spicy, I’m going to be there shoving my face full of them.

So, there you have it. My top 5 favourite foods. And yes, like I said, it looks like I wrote this list when I was ten.

I just want to give a quick shout out to chicken wings. I love you chicken wings, and you very easily could have been on this list.

Which one should I buy? Kitchen Gadget Guide

Which one should I buy? Kitchen Gadget Guide

Cooking is an activity surrounded by a lot of people trying to sell you shit you don’t need. Even at the bottom of this blog post, there are Amazon links that pay me money if you click on them and buy something. It’s crazy! Every year companies come out with new things that are somehow better than their old thing. It might be identical except the colour is different and the price went up. It is a trap that is easy to fall in to. So, what are some things that you don’t need? Let’s take a look.

The one that I probably get asked about the most is salt. I know this seems like an odd thing but I get asked about it all the time. You don’t need fancy salt. I always recommend kosher salt or sea salt. Stay away from iodized table salt because it has a harsh flavour. It also dissolves more slowly and unevenly in food leading to over seasoning. Other than that it’s pretty much all marketing.

If you search Amazon for salt there are over 70 000 results. 70 000! There is black salt, sea salt from every modern and prehistoric ocean on the planet, smoked salts, flavored salts, etc. Then you have all of those in coarse, medium and fine flakes. You have cooking salts and finishing salts. I could pretty much go on forever. Here is what you need…salt. Just buy salt. There is very little noticeable difference between any of these in terms of flavours excluding infused salts. It’s all really just marketing and people trying to sell you shit you don’t need.


The other thing I get asked most about is knives. I’ve met home cooks who have a different knife for every task and they don’t even know why. Here is the exact number of knives an average person needs, one maybe two.

One good chef’s knife and one good paring knife is all you will ever need. To be clear, when I say good I do not mean expensive. You don’t need to buy a $500 Japanese chef knife to cook at home. You just need something that is solid, has a bit of weight, and that will hold an edge. That’s all. You can get that for $40 at any kitchen supply store. It may not be pretty, but it will do the job and last a lifetime.

What you should invest in is a good sharpening tool. I recommend something like this. It really takes the guesswork out of sharpening. You don’t really need to worry about angles or anything like that and you can have a sharp knife in seconds. As I’m sure you’ve heard, a sharp knife is a safe knife.

There are a million other things that we could cover here. Things like single-purpose tools. Other than a knife sharpener there shouldn’t really be anything in your kitchen that has only one use. You don’t need a tool to pull the hull off of a strawberry.

I would venture to guess that you also don’t need this weird pineapple thing.



There are so many things that we can spend money on, and so many things that we do spend money on that are useless. But for some reason, we generally don’t want to spend money on food. We want sales, discounts, the best deals. My argument is this, buy the essential tools that you need and nothing else. Spend money on good, high-quality ingredients. That’s all.

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