Congratulations! You’re tying the knot and it's time to register. Never before have you noticed all of the wonderful, and expensive goodies in a kitchen you never knew you always wanted. As someone who has worked in the hospitality and culinary industries for a very long time, I have developed passionate opinions about all things kitchen and entertaining. It just so happens that my niece and nephew are getting married this year, so of course, I want to guide them on the best and worst in the kitchen gadgets and equipment arena. As I was thinking about some of my do’s and don’ts, I kept coming back to the following three most common mistakes I see engaged persons make when deciding on their registry for kitchen/cooking items.
#3: Registering for lots of one-use gadgets such as an avocado slicer or an apple slicer
There are a few reasons why I recommend against registering for a lot of these types of gadgets. The first is space. These types of tools have a way of overtaking one’s drawers and as time progresses, you will think you need them all, only leading to overstuffed cabinets and a frustrated human trying to find things.
The second reason is efficiency. I don’t find one-trick pony tools to be efficient precisely because they only have one use. My rule is if I cannot use a tool for at least 2 different jobs, then I don’t buy it, except for a wine opener, of course!
The final reason is skill development. Many of the tasks completed with these specialty tools can just as easily be done with a sharp knife. By learning to use your knives well and for varied jobs, you will increase your skill level and ultimately your enjoyment in cooking.
#2: Registering for everyday dishes in ceramic instead of porcelain or even fine bone china.
This one may seem a little odd for a chef to be focusing on, but the dishes you choose to serve your handmade edible love on really do matter. My experience has taught me two major lessons about dishes, the first being the food should be the decoration and the main attraction, so the plates should be a plain canvas, preferably white, cream, or black.
The second is that the durability of porcelain and fine bone china far exceed that of ceramic. When ceramic chips you will see the raw clay color underneath and if you use the microwave regularly, ceramic will crack over time due to the stress is places in the clay.
With porcelain and fine bone china, the materials are much harder. Don’t worry the porcelain and fine bone china of today are not your Grandma’s flowery plates brought out once a year at holiday time. Today’s porcelain and china come in sleek, contemporary designs to fit many budgets and styles. My plates pictured here are from Bed Bath and Beyond and are part of a large collection of varying shapes and sizes. I have had many of these pieces for years and use them every single day. They were a little more of an investment on the front end, but have yet to chip, crack or break.
# 1: Registering for an entire knife set with a block, etc.
This is probably the most common mistake many engaged people make because when you go to the store so many of the knives are displayed in sets. The truth is more likely that you will only ever use 4-5 different knives in your lifetime, and yet knife sets often contain 10-12, not including the steak knives! I've written two posts which may help you decide which ones would work best for you:
I would also recommend The Chopping Block’s Knife Skills class because it is designed to help you explore and experiments many different knife styles, lengths, handles, etc., before you buy.
- View Knife Skills class options at the Merchandise Mart.
- View Knife Skills class options at Lincoln Square.
I encourage you to comment below on what kitchen tools you wish you hadn’t registered for, or ones you wish you had but didn’t, and if you received any unexpected kitchen/cooking related gifts that actually changed your cooking for the better. And if you have any questions about knives, cookware, or tools, please stop by one of our locations as we always have a chef, culinary assistant and/or a retail associate ready to help.