Spoons, the most underestimated Tools

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Everybody uses spoons when they cook. But still this is one of the most underestimated tools in the kitchen.
How many spoons do you have for cooking?
Not enough.
You will need at least five of these.
You don’t want to use the same spoon in two or more pots at the same time as you don’t want to stuff to be transferred from one pot to the other.
Then spoons get dirty and you need some spares if you don’t have the time to wash them inbetween.
That’s why I have five spoons, leaving me ample reserves in case I use several pots and pans at the same time.

For cooking, you need proper spoons.
Personally, I prefer wooden spoons made of beech. They are hygienic, the are durable, they don’t get hot like metal spoons and they don’t melt like plastic spoons. Also, they don’t scratch coated pots and pans like a metal spoon would do.

Wooden spoons need a little care when they are new. Done properly, they will go a very long way.
The trick is to wipe them down with kitchen oil (use a neutral oil, e. sunflower oil) and let the wood take up the oil over night. Then wipe off the remaining oil and you’re good to go.

I always use the spoons from https://diepfanne.com (see photo on top).
They are very durable and with a diameter of 13mm, are much more sturdy than what you get in the supermarket.
In addition to that, you’ll notice that they have a wooden “corner” which makes it very easier to get all tat stuff out of the corner where your normal spoon won’t go.

The Gastronorm-System GN

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There is a system for professional kitchens called “Gastronorm”. This covers devices, containers, etc.
The system is standardized worldwide, so wherever you go, you will find the same standard.
Most non-professionals don’t know aboutthis system but it’s really useful, even in private kitchens.
The containers are square and have different depth.
GN 1/1 is a full container with the dimensions 325mm x 530mm.
GN 2/1 is double that size with 650mm x 530mm.
You also get GN 1/2, GN 1/3, GN 2/3, GN 1/4, GN /2/4, GN 1/6, GN 1/9.
They also come in different depths, shown in milimetres behind the GN X/X-name.

I personally prefer GN 1/4 in 20mm and 65mm. In addition to that I have a few GN 1/4-100.
That’s really all you need for cooking even larger meals.

They are stackable so they don’t take a lot of space when you don’t need them.

The photo shows six bowls (2x20mm, 4x65mm) plus four lids, stacked for storage.

Also, they make it very easy to organize yourself even in a small kitchen.
When I prepare a meal, I prepare the different components which I then put into GN containers, each component into its own container.
I then stack them in the order that I need them, i.e the first one I need is on top, the last one at the bottom. That way, I can stack them using only an area of 265mm x 162mm, which is next to nothing.

The photo shows four GN 1/4-65 containers stacked on top of each other.

As they get empty, I stack the empty ones to be cleaned later. Again, not a lot of space consumed and you have everything prepared so that you always use your components in the right order, even when under stress.

And best of all, they come at really affordable prices.
Check out “Gastronorm” on Amazon or eBay. You’ll be surprised at the huge variety of items on offer here.

The complete list reads as follows:

GN 2/1-20650×530 mm 4,5 litre
GN 2/3-20354×325 mm1,25 litre
GN 2/3-40354×325 mm3 litre
GN 2/3-65354×325 mm5,25 litre
GN 2/3-100354×325 mm8 litre
GN 2/3-150354×325 mm11,5 litre
GN 1/1-20530×325 mm1,9 litre
GN 1/1-40530×325 mm4,5 litre
GN 1/1-65530×325 mm7,4 litre
GN 1/1-100530×325 mm12,6 litre
GN 1/1-150530×325 mm18 litre
GN 1/1-200530×325 mm25 litre
GN 1/2-20325×265 mm0,85 litre
GN 1/2-40325×265 mm1,75 litre
GN 1/2-65325×265 mm3,5 litre
GN 1/2-100325×265 mm5,5 litre
GN 1/2-150325×265 mm8,5 litre
GN 1/2-200325×265 mm11 litre
GN 1/3-40325×176 mm1,5 litre
GN 1/3-65325×176 mm2,25 litre
GN 1/3-100325×176 mm3,5 litre
GN 1/3-150325×176 mm5,5 litre
GN 1/3-200325×176 mm7,25 litre
GN 1/4-65265×162 mm1,5 litre
GN 1/4-100265×162 mm2,5 litre
GN 1/4-150265×162 mm3,75 litre
GN 1/4-200265×162 mm5,25 litre
GN 2/4-65530×162 mm3,5 litre
GN 2/4-100 530×162 mm5,5 litre
GN 1/6-65176×162 mm1 litre
GN 1/6-100176×162 mm1,5 litre
GN 1/6-150176×162 mm2,25 litre
GN 1/6-200176×162 mm3 litre
GN 1/9-65176×108 mm0,5 litre
GN 1/9-100176×108 mm0,8 litre

Why “Mad Chef”?

Having had a long chat with “The Masked Chef“, I decided to start my own blog.
I chose the name “The Mad Chef” because it reminds me of the proverbial mad Scientist from these old movies.
You know what I mean. The chap with the skew eyes who speaks funny and tries to conquer the world with his mad inventions.
World dominations seems like an interesting challenge, but for now I’d go with giving you some new ideas for your cooking.

I like to combine elements of the molecular cuisine with classic cooking. Molecular cuisine is cool if you don’t make it a religion and don’t try to do everything molecular style.
Combining foams, espumas, jellies, spheres, etc. with traditionally prepared meals is awesome, taking taste to a completely new level. You have to be open for this kind of thing though.

I like to do experiments. Think out of the box. Try and try again. Try to improve my cooking using self-built, sometimes crazy devices.

The first thought is always “Why hasn’t anybody thought of this before?”

In most cases the second thought is “Wow, that’s bad! What a waste of good food. What’s wrong with me that I even thought this might work? No wonder nobody thought of this before. Or if they did, they didn’t tell anyone because it would have been too embarrassing.”.

Sometimes though, just sometimes, I think “Wow, this is awesome! Why hasn’t anybody thought of this before?”.
And these few occasions are worth the hassle.

These are the things you’ll find in my blog.
“Mad Devices” that actually work.
Recipes that actually taste good.
I won’t share the stuff that went wrong, though. 🙂 Trying to spare myself the embarrassment.

Regarding Recipes: yes, you will find a few recipes on this Blog. The focus of the blog is more on tools, devices, machines, etc.
I want to give you ideas on how to approach cooking differently, thinking out of the box, doing things in a way you haven’t tried before.
Also, DIY is a topic. Some devices aren’t available in shops so I had to build them myself.
The recipes I post are usually examples to demonstrate the practical use of “mad” and “not so mad” devices.

One final note on freebies and free samples:
Many bloggers and so-called influencers advertise items which they were given free of charge or they even receive cash for writing positive reviews.
The Mad Chef doesn’t receive or accept money, goods or anything else for reviewing or writing about products
I love cooking and experimenting in the kitchen and I simply want to share the experiences I make.
In case you’re a producer or distributor of a product you would like to read a review about, you may of course send me some information on this product. Please refrain from sending me freebies or samples though.
If I like your product I’ll buy it and pay the full price. If I don’t like it, I won’t buy it.
If you send me stuff anyway, please note that it won’t be returned. I don’t have the time to go to the post-office to return stuff.
Whatever I get will be donated to charity if I think it worthwhile or I’ll simply scrap it if I think it’s shit. I will not review any freebies though, whether I like them or not.  I’m independent and I want it to stay that way.

Unpaid Avertising:
Because I’m located in Germany and there is some German law that says so, any reviews that I make must be marked as “advertising”, even though I don’t receive mone for these.
You will therefore find the caption “Unpaid Advertising” at the beginning of each review.