Forget the Kitchen Sink, One Will be There Already.

It was only two years ago that I was filling out the paper work and sending in a hefty sum of money to Johnson and Wales to finalize my enrollment.It wasn’t long after signing on the dotted line that I received an email with a list of names of current and previous students that I could talk to about attending JWU.I gained so much information about attending culinary school from these students, and it was great to feel prepared before actually starting school.

Now that I will be a junior, it is my time to talk to future and perspective culinary students and answer as many questions as they may have.With all of the emails that pass back and forth, I have noticed one question that seems to be on a lot of people’s minds.They all seem to want to know; what do I need to bring with me that will not already be in my knife and tool kit.

Now, I know that each set of tools that you receive will vary from culinary school to school but here are some general items that I know are necessary.

  • A camera to record everything you make
  • Scissors
  • Tape (scotch tape for labeling)
  • Permanent markers
  • A nice microplane
  • Ruler (one that can be washed)
  • Calculator
  • Keep a small square of cupboard lining, this can be put under cakes while on a turntable or under anything to keep it from sliding around

On top of that, I have found that it is nice to have some of the following tools.Some of these tools are geared mostly towards baking and pastry but can be used on the culinary side as well.

  • Exacto knife
  • A small sifter (this is great for doing detailed dusting)
  • Decorative cutters (fun shapes are a great way to make your products stand out against the other students)
  • Extra piping tips
  • Extra bowl scrapers and bench scrapers
  • Tylenol or Aspirin, band-aids, and a granola bar ( they will all come in handy!)

As you progress in cooking labs, you will learn what you need or might want to add to your kit.My last piece of advice is to use colored electrical tape to mark ALL of your tools.Electrical tape does not easily come off after repeated washings and the bright colors make it easy to identify.Culinary labs are notorious for peoples tools getting stolen so make sure you never leave any of your tools in the dish sink or out of your sight.