Outside view of VIDA Building

Four Kitchen Essentials

Woman chopping herbs with a chef's knife

July 2020

For many, the pandemic has meant going out less and cooking at home more. If you been trying new recipes and getting a bit more adventurous, you may feel you’re missing some specialized kitchen tools. Since there’s no end to the gadgets you could acquire, it can be hard to decide what you really need in your apartment.

Cooking is one of those activities where there’s always more than one way to accomplish a task. For example, it’s certainly easier to knead bread dough in a stand mixer, but you can save the expense and get a brief workout doing it by hand. To that end, here are 4 tools that together represent the “swiss army knife” of kitchen tools. They’re versatile, essential, and well worth the investment.

Food Processor

Sure, it can chop, dice and mix…but wait, there’s more. A food processor can churn heavy cream into butter, turn rolled oats into gluten-free flour, grind meat, make homemade mayonnaise, and more. Since it’s one of the most versatile tools in the kitchen, be sure to invest in a quality machine.

Immersion Blender

Consider it the apartment-friendly alternative to a blender. Anything a blender can do; an immersion blender can do…and take up a lot less space. Mix smoothies, purée soup, make whipped cream, blend hummus, or create your own pesto. The immersion blender will become the magic wand of your kitchen.


While often overlooked, once you’ve owned one, you’ll never be without it. Want to deliver dishes to the table that look like they came from a high-end restaurant? Grab your microplane and grate a little cheddar on top of those scrambled eggs, put chocolate shavings on your dessert, or citrus zest on baked goods. Micoplanes are also perfect for grating things like garlic, nuts and ginger. And if you’re not convinced yet, they’re a great way shred a thin layer of butter on bread to avoid tearing things up when the butter isn’t soft.

Chef’s Knife

You need a knife to cook and you probably have lots of them. But if you’re like most cooks, you’d be better off taking what you’ve spent on all your other knives and investing in a single, high-quality chef’s knife. From chopping to slicing to paring, an 8 to 10-inch chef’s knife is the most used item in any kitchen. Its worth finding a few knife skills videos online to learn how to use it correctly – and see how just one knife can serve all your needs. A high-quality knife will feel balanced in your hand, require less frequent sharpening, and last you forever.

A food processor, immersion blender, microplane and chef's knife