Why Thomas Keller Isn't A Fan Of Kitchen Gadgets

Chef Thomas Keller
Chef Thomas Keller - Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

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The adage "less is more" applies to countless arenas in the kitchen -- garlic, truffle oil, and (of course) cook time. (Nothing's worse than a tray of burnt brownies.) But less is certainly more when it comes to your gadget drawer. Perhaps you're familiar with the unsavory scene: The drawer is too full to open, you can't find your peeler, or (worst of all) you cut your hand on a mystery item in the archaeological dig. Don't let this happen to you.

Nobody becomes a world-class chef overnight -- not even the multiple triple-Michelin-starred chef, Chevalier, and over 10-time restaurateur Thomas Keller. Keller's culinary prowess is the product of decades of experience, and one of his key tips to home cooks for achieving similar chops is more of a "don't" than a "do" -- resist the temptation to buy more kitchen gadgets. "I really have an aversion to useless tools," Chef Keller tells MasterClass. "We tend to clutter our drawers with things that we don't need. Gadgets, we feel we need to have them."

Foodist Alton Brown vehemently agrees. Single-use devices like garlic slicers, avocado savers, and other aesthetically pleasing, if severely limited, trinkets only serve to waste your money and storage space, asserts Brown. As he despairs in an interview with The Daily Dot, "You buy these items, you use them, and then they simply pile up until you have to tear down your house and build another one."

Read more: 15 Kitchen Tools You Shouldn't Waste Your Money On

Take A Cue From The Pros: Quality Beats Quantity

Cluttered kitchen gadget drawer
Cluttered kitchen gadget drawer - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

Rather than fill drawer after drawer with gadgets, opt for quality over quantity. With this in mind, one of the basics Keller does love is a good old-fashioned cutting board. But you don't have to run Per Se or the French Laundry to know that the un-flashy cutting board is, as Keller told MasterClass, "the foundation for all of your prep." And you'll impress neither Keller nor David Chang with fancy polycarbonate or color-coded sets — both opt for a simple solid wood block that is spacious and easy to clean.

Anthony Bourdain (who called Keller his "idol" in one episode of "A Cook's Tour") shared this quality-over-quantity sentiment. In his magnum opus, "Kitchen Confidential," Bourdain wrote, "I wish sometimes I could go through the kitchens of amateur cooks everywhere just throwing knives out from their drawers -- all those medium-size 'utility' knives, those useless serrated things you see advertised on TV, all that hard-to-sharpen stainless-steel garbage, those ineptly-designed slicers -- not one of those damn things could cut a tomato."

The only tool cooks really need, according to Bourdain, is one good chef's knife. When quality counts, the pros are investing in one or two good tools to get the job done; save all the money you might spend on multiple cutesy gadgets and put it toward one killer piece that'll last the long haul.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.