Hello!  It’s fast approaching Christmas and I wanted to share with you my top five Christmas gifts that I will be giving to people that I don’t really spend that much time with.  They are five pieces of equipment that are usually found in commercial kitchens but are incredibly useful at home too.

If you’re looking for a super practical Christmas gift that will score you zero affection points, then read on.

Restaurants need just three things from their kitchen operating equipment. They need to be durable, functional and inexpensive, and I like all three of those in my Christmas gifts.  That I give, not receive.

1. Bench Scraper

Otherwise known as a Bench Knife, is one of my favourite tools to keep around the kitchen. As you can see from the pictures, it can be used for a bunch of things, such as portioning dough, scraping clean work counters, decorating cakes, picking up large quantities of chopped onions and stuff, and cutting large amounts of errm, white powder.  About 50 AED

Bench Scraper with ruler
Bench Scraper and White Powder








2.Plastic squeeze bottles

Standard issue in restaurants, these squeeze bottles are really cheap and really useful. I keep things like cooking oils, sauces, dressings, and honey in mine, decanted from the larger bottles. They are kept close to the cooker and are super convenient and keep things clean. Sometimes I suck honey straight from the nozzle like a sugar-crazed hamster. About 50 AED for a pack of six

The Boy Band of Squeeze Bottles










None of these fancy tongs with silicon tips and non-slip grips. These tongs are made tough and are uber functional. Although they come with a closing pin, their natural resting position is a sensible 30-degree angle, and they make a wonderful clacking sound when you use them. They can be used for pulling pans out of the oven, turning pieces of meat and fish over or flipping roast potatoes without burning your fingerprints off. You can also spin them round your middle finger like a gunslinger. About 130 AED

No Nonsense Tongs







4.Stainless Steel Prep Bowl

Multi-functional and highly durable, this prep bowl can be used to collect food prep waste, helping keep your counter clean. They can hold ingredients ready for mixing. You can mix sauces or dressings in them, or you can marinade meat or wash vegetables in them. You can also eat a full box Cinnamon Toast Crunch out of them at 4 in the morning. Highly versatile and highly recommended. About 10 – 15 AED each

prep bowls
The multipurpose Prep Bowl








5.Half Sheet Pan (with rack)

This perfectly sized stainless-steel baking tray can be used for so many different things. You can lay out your chocolate covered strawberries on them, or you can use it for roasting vegetables or making your homemade hipster granola. You can turn it over and use it as a pizza peel, or put the insert in and it becomes a cooling tray or a perfect rack to cook a Sunday roast.  About 150 AED

sheet pan cooling rack sheet pan sheetpan dinner










The prices I have given are based on what I could find online, on professional trade websites.  They are ballpark figures only and are subject to change.  Try visiting a trade warehouse here in Dubai for better prices and products than retail.  Al Difaya Trading in Al Quoz Courtyard has a pretty good stock of kitchen stuff.

Merry Christmas and let me know if there are any other must-have items.  Like the automatic omelet sausage maker.

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