I am an amateur cook, I say that because I don’t work as a cook for a living but I have been cooking for over 30 years. There are certain tools that every cook should have in their kitchen to be able to properly cook gourmet meals. First off you need to have good quality cutlery in order to be able to cut the meats and vegetables for your cooking needs. The number one item on this list of cutlery needs is a good quality chef’s knife that will probably cost you as much as seventy dollars.
Secondly you will need a couple of good cutting boards so that you aren’t chopping up your counter tops. I suggest two cutting boards because I use one for meats and one for vegetables. I like to keep them separate. You can make many choices here from cheap to higher quality, but if you want the cutting board to last you awhile I suggest that you invest a little more in a higher quality board. There are many different sizes to choose from as well and you can get one large enough to span your entire sink or one that sits on the counter, I like having one of each. As far as whether to go with wood or plastic, it is more a personal preference really but plastic will cause your knives to become dull quicker. Regardless of whether you choose a wood or plastic cutting board you will need a knife sharpener.
If you are already a great gourmet cook or are intent in becoming one you will also want some specialty knives such as Filet Knives, Carving Knives, Paring Knives, Cleavers, and possible a Bagel Cutter. You will also want Whisks for mixing, Tongs for pulling items out of hot pots or off of the grill as well as Pasta Tongs for handling pasta dishes. Of course, you will also need a variety of large spoons and ladles for soups, gumbos, and gravies.
Next we need to take a look at cookware so that you have a place to put all those items you are chopping up on your new cutting boards. The best way to go here to save money is to buy the pots and pans in sets. If you buy them one by one you will spend a fortune. One thing that is an absolute must have is a sauté pan. This is used in almost every meal I prepare and I suggest that you make sure you have one that is high quality. For the most usefulness and flexibility choose a medium size one.
Next you need a large soup pot or gumbo pot as I call it. Most people call them soup pots but they can be used for pasta, chili, and more. This is one of the most well used pots you will have in your kitchen so don’t be afraid to invest a little here to get a quality one that will last a long time. Just remember you don’t have to get everything you need at once, you can add more items gradually.