“[For knives] Toshi likes Masamoto brand, which is 125 years old, but I like Masahisa brand, which is 150 years old. It is like ‘love at the first sight,’ but actually ‘love at first touch.’ When you hold the knives, some of them speak to you. It feels very natural how it fits into each chef’s hand. The size of the knives is important based on the purpose of the work. I personally prefer a smaller, more agile knife for the cutting board.”—Yasu Kizaki, co-owner, Sushi Denand Izakaya Den, Denver
“My favorite kitchen tool is the zester. I use it several times each shift. I love putting Meyer lemon zest in dishes like white beans or on grilled chicken. I use it to grate Parmesan to toss on pasta dishes. It can go low-end to grate garlic into marinades or high-end to grate fresh black truffles on steaks. I use it for everything!”—Christian Graves, chef, Citizen Rail, Denver
“It’s not fancy or sharp, but I’ve had a certain flat-nosed, shovel-looking spoon in my kit for 15-plus years. It is a great tasting spoon and I love it for saucing plates, but it actually really shines as a fish spatula.”—Sheila Lucero, culinary director, Big Red F Restaurant Group, Boulder
“My Ninja blender and my Member’s Mark knife are my favorite things since I blend most of my vegetables before cooking, and cut before blending.”—Theodora Osei-Fordwuo, co-owner and chef, African Grill & Bar, Lakewood
“My mini straight spatula from E. Dehillerin. It never leaves my side. It’s been with me all over the world. I use it all day, every day in so many applications.”—Adam Thomas, executive baking and pastry chef, the Broadmoor, Colorado Springs
“One of my favorite tools is the plastic bowl scraper. It costs less than a dollar but is so efficient in getting every last bit of batter, dough, or buttercream for maximum product yield.”—Emma Nemechek, owner and pastry chef, Sweetened Patisserie, Arvada
“I’d have to say my Austrian stone flour mill is my favorite tool, because the flexibility of [using] various freshly milled, organic, whole-grain flours adds to the quality and flavor of my artisan breads and pastries.”—Jeff Cleary, founder, Grateful Bread, Golden
Talk to us! Email your experiences (and thoughts, opinions, and questions—anything, really) to email@example.com.