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What Tools are need for cooking Gourmet Meals - - at beach rental

Posted by angela12345 (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 2, 12 at 19:09

I posted this on the cookware forum. Then after posting I saw that posts from June were still on the first page. Obviously not too much traffic over there. I normally would not cross-post, but I wanted to draw some attention to that thread please ...

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What Tools are need for cooking Gourmet Meals - - at beach re

A low-end sous vide cooker ($400.00)

A high-end blender ($500)

A large end-grain cutting board

A Stand mixer

A convection toaster oven

(Don't get good knives, will be stolen)

I am sure there are more.


RE: What Tools are need for cooking Gourmet Meals - - at beach re

We are renting a Florida property for a month this winter. A fairly well equipped kitchen is essential to me.

A reasonably good set of knives
In addition to a reasonable set of of pots and pans a good nonstick fry pan
Several wooden stir spoons
Two sets of measuring spoons and two or three measuring cups of different sizes
Mixing bowls
Chopping boards
Hand mixer....
A good set of Tongs !!!!!!
pepper grinder

And decent wine glasses !!!!!

RE: What Tools are need for cooking Gourmet Meals - - at beach re

One more thing....a decent sheet pan for cooking everything from appetizers to breads and biscuits.

RE: What Tools are need for cooking Gourmet Meals - - at beach re

A couple of my thoughts, based partly on past frustrating experiences with "fully stocked" kitchens:

1 - The largest cutting board that's DW safe and will fit upright in your DW. Plastic or Epicurean.

2 - Cheap but decent knives, a step or two up from a $30 toy set. Non-serrated so you can give them a sharpening once in a while, and please do.

3 - Cheaper but usable cookware, which would probably mean disk bottom. I think 8 qt stock-pot, 2 and 4 qt sauce pans, a 3 or 4 qt saute pan, and a 12" skillet sounds about right. Not non-stick, yes lids. Add one non-stick pan, perhaps a 10" or 12" skillet. A large, cheap "boil" pot if you think it'd get use.

4 - A FULL-SIZED box grater.

5 - A medium sized medium mesh strainer to go along with the collander I'm sure you already have.

A food processor with basic blades would be nice. A blender would also be nice - you'd want one strong enough to survive frozen drinks, but I'm thinking closer to $50 than $500.

RE: What Tools are need for cooking Gourmet Meals - - at beach re


We own a vacation rental home at the beach that people rent for one week stays. Our rental company is going to start rating the houses from one star to five stars. To get the five star rating, one of the criteria is that the house have "tools for cooking gourmet meals".

My question to you all is ... at a minimum, what tools would you EXPECT to find in a house advertised as having tools for cooking gourmet meals ? We already have a very well stocked kitchen, much more than most of the other beach houses. But I want to make sure I am not overlooking anything.

We are very simple cooks and usually eat things fairly plain ... meat (baked fish, meat on grill, rotisserie chicken), with a vegetable or two usually from the freezer, and a carb of some sort (pasta, rice, potato). I wouldn't even begin to know what was considered "tools for cooking gourmet meals"!! I'm not talking about every possible little gadget that you may use once a year. Just a list of the necessary items to include ?

This is the main cookware set that we have, although we also have a few other pieces as well, primarily larger stock pots for crab boils etc. It's not the top of the line expensive cookware, but things get stolen from the house sometimes. We wanted nice cookware but not toooo nice, LOL. It is nicer than what is in the other houses that we have seen, although granted we haven't seen very many of them.
We also have a few nonstick pieces that have a lifetime warranty and are metal utensil safe

RE: What Tools are need for cooking Gourmet Meals - - at beach re

I wouldn't expect a vacation rental to have a food processor or a mixer. Maybe a hand mixer to whip cream. Perhaps a blender or immersion blender to blend drinks and sauces/soups.

Along with decent pans and knives, I'd want a garlic press or plane, decent spatulas and mixing spoons, a chopping board or two, a nice wine opener and glasses, fixings for good coffee - like a grinder, carafe and Melita drip system. Baking dishes, cookie sheet, and a pie pan. Mixing bowls and a nice salad bowl with servers. Salad plates (often rentals just have full size plates). Microwave.
A pepper grinder and peppercorns - maybe a salt grinder, too. Something to juice lemons, a small strainer and a good size colander, a salad spinner. A selection of spices/dried herbs or a planter with a few fresh ones (if you can maintain it) - like a pot of mint and one of rosemary. Kitchen twine and scissors. Foil and parchment paper, skewers. A grater.

RE: What Tools are need for cooking Gourmet Meals - - at beach re

The good news is that we do have most of those things listed so far.

We do not have a sous vide cooker, I googled it but I'm still not sure what it is, haha. We do have a Vitamix blender. Bought off of Craigslist and we pretty much only use it to make daiquiris, but wow are they good !! Hopefully the renters get more use out of it as it is supposed to have a lot more capabilities. We don't have a stand mixer, but we do have 2 handheld mixer/beaters. I assume stand mixer means Kitchenaid ? I will keep my eye out for a good sale. We do not have a food processor. Any recommendations ? The house has 3 ovens so I think a separate toaster oven would be pretty redundant ? Although I don't think any of our 3 ovens are convection. We do have a 4 slice pop-up toaster that has several settings including bagel where it toasts the inside of the bagel.

We have lots of knives there and a sharpener. Pretty sure they would not meet gourmet standards. Any suggestions on the least expensive set I could get that would be decent ? Some of the knives are Paula Dean. Are they decent ones ?

Listed above we do have ... lots of wooden spoons, only one set of measuring cups and spoons and one glass meas.cup so I need to add to that, multi-sizes of plastic and glass mixing bowls, pepper and salt grinders, two nice sheet pans with low sides not sheetcake style pans and a few more that were coated but already don't look so great (see nonstick pans comments below), several size and style colanders, one of those can shaped things where you squeeze the handle over & over to sift the flour, and a wire mesh strainer that looks like below (is that what you mean?). LOTS of wine glasses plus 6 ea of beer mugs, pilsner glasses, martini glasses, margarita glasses, champagne glasses, and shot glasses. And beer huggers in can size and neoprene zip up bottle size.

Need advice on ... Tongs - I have looked at them several times in the store but have no idea which kinds to get. We try to stay away from having metal utensils there as the renters have completely wasted a decent set of nonstick pans already. Hence the most recent add of the 2 lifetime warranty pans ... Also, what is a full size box grater ?

Below is the wood cutting board that we have. We also have several of the plastic sheet style cutting boards. Is Epicurean the brand name or a type of board that means plastic cutting board ?

RE: What Tools are need for cooking Gourmet Meals - - at beach re

Oops, olychik, I missed your post while I was typing up my other reply. I am falling asleep on the computer so will reply tomorrow. : )

RE: What Tools are need for cooking Gourmet Meals - - at beach re

"-----Our rental company is going to start rating the houses from one star to five stars. To get the five star rating, one of the criteria is that the house have "tools for cooking gourmet meals". -----"

The sous vide cooker will seldom be used by the renters. I listed it because it is a sure way of getting a Five-Star rating for a gourmet kitchen.


RE: What Tools are need for cooking Gourmet Meals - - at beach re

Angela, if the purpose of this exercise is to get a five star rating, I would write and ask the rental agency. For all we know they may say 'salt and pepper shaker' and you're done.

RE: What Tools are need for cooking Gourmet Meals - - at beach re

I would not have any non stick stuff but for 2 "omelette" pans, one about 7 inch and another about 10 inches.
Every time I have stayed in a rental, I left something in the way of kitchen equipment. sometimes as simple as a bottle opener, other times measuring cups....I always take my own knives.
And don't forget at least 3 for flipping pancakes, another for serving pie and a small short one for removing brownies from a pan.
also a good pizza cutter and a board big enough to cut a pizza on....or they will use your counter.

RE: What Tools are need for cooking Gourmet Meals - - at beach re

Excellent points dcarch and jessyf !! I hadn't even thought of just asking the rental company what they expect the house to have, LOL. I will send them an email now.

I guess the point of the exercise is a little of both ... We do want the five star rating. Our house is brand new in 2011 and rents near the upper end of the market for rental rate, so one would expect the most expensive houses to have the highest ratings. Also, the houses with the highest ratings are going to be the most desired houses. (assuming they are priced competitively and have not priced themselves sky high out of the market)

But also, we do want the house to have the things the guests need. We spent five years designing this house before we built and had all kinds of lists of things we needed to remember to include. We had one guest tell us that everything she looked for, we had. We want every guest to feel that way, that our home exceeds their expectations.

My husband and I are not gourmet cooks by any stretch of the imagination. We sometimes go literally months without cooking anything more than an occasional breakfast. We are on a cooking kick right one, but as I said, when we cook it is fairly plain and very easy stuff. Therefore, we really have no idea what kind of tools gourmet cooks use.

We don't want it to be a frustrating experience cooking in our kitchen. We want our house to be well stocked with things people regularly use! We even want to include some of the occasional use items if they are not too expensive, for example maybe a garlic press is not a regular use item but they are used fairly often and are not very expensive so it would be a nice thing to include. However, we don't want to waste money on the specialty things that everyday gourmet cooks rarely use. It sounds like the sous vide falls in that category, LOL. There may be other things that are hardly ever used that we would not want to waste money on, no matter how inexpensive they are. (ok, maybe garlic press is not a good example as starting price on one that gets higher than 2 star rating is around $10 and quickly goes up from there)

I am very interested to hear what other things you guys would expect to find in a house advertised as having a gourmet kitchen.

RE: What Tools are need for cooking Gourmet Meals - - at beach re

I'm thinking about the things I use most and would be pleased to find in a rental.

~microplanes 2-3 sizes, fine, med coarse...these will do the job of numerous small gadgets...thus no need for a garlic press, lemon jester
~assorted sizes of serving bowls
~prep bowls or custard cups
~roasting pan
~bakeware...minimum 9" cake, pie and square pans, a 9X13 cake pan, bread pan, cookie sheets
~wet and dry measuring cup sets also 2-4-8 cup sizes (1 ea)
~measuring spoons
~rolling pin
~at least a 7cup size food processor, decent- Kitchenaid or Cuisinart.
~KA stand mixer...the 4 1/2 qt size is good enough for a rental. This in itself will add a WOW factor to a rental kitchen...match it to your colors and leave it on the counter.
~drip coffee maker and a french press

Along with items you've already mentioned, adding a few more everyday things should keep a gourmet cook happy. Anyone that loves to cook could make most of the foods they want over a weeks stay.
I live in a high end resort area with many lake rentals. The real key is to have quality furnishings that make the renter want to come back year after year and stay longer and longer....


RE: What Tools are need for cooking Gourmet Meals - - at beach re

When I rent a vacation place the biggest frustration is not enough of everything. Back when we were a family of four, there was nothing worse than finding eight plates, eight glasses, eight spoons, etc. We would use them in no time and too much vacation time was spent washing dishes. I would usually resort to buying paper.

Not in my wildest dreams would I be doing gourmet cooking on vacation. I would spend my time on the beach with a book. However, I know large groups sometimes like to whip up a fancy meal together, so multiples of the basics so everyone can do their thing.

RE: What Tools are need for cooking Gourmet Meals - - at beach re

A wine refrigerator.

A fancy looking bottle openner.


RE: What Tools are need for cooking Gourmet Meals - - at beach re

I have gone with a group of about 10 to a beach rental for the past few years. Generally each couple volunteers to make one dinner and maybe one breakfast or one lunch. We're a fairly foodie group, so our experiences may be relevant. This year even on the nights that I was not the primary cook, I made myself available as a sous chef, chopping, stirring, advising. (mainly because of our rule of "the cooks don't have to help cleaning up after the meal" and I hate cleaning.)

Complaints or observations that I heard from the various cooks were:
Not enough cutting boards, measuring spoons, and crappy knives.

Definitely not enough room in the fridge, a second one would have been useful, even if it was not in the kitchen.
Not enough large serving bowls, salad bowls etc.

Having a reasonable selection of herbs/spices would be really useful. If you need just a pinch of this or a dash of that, having to buy an entire bottle of each of them could be spendy for the cook.

Having a good organization of the kitchen would be useful. I often had to open every single drawer or look in every cabinet to find an implement of a pot.

Things various cooks brought:
a crockpot
a small steam expresso machine
a blender for frozen drinks
a full set of lowball type drinking glasses

Lastly I notice that your page lists your location as North Carolina, if your beach property is in the outer banks and is actually on the beach and more toward the southern shore/duck/corolla end of things, our group may be interested in getting more information.

RE: What Tools are need for cooking Gourmet Meals - - at beach re

For tongs, Angela, here in Oz we have (available in supermarkets and kitchen stores) metal tongs with silicone covered business ends, to minimise damage to non-stick pans. I would imagine they're available in the US as well.
If you're going to have bakeware you should probably have a couple of cake racks and a silicone spatula for bowl scraping as well IMO.
Also, I'd prefer more wooden cutting boards. Not only do the plastic ones dull knives more quickly, they're inherently less hygenic, especially under the conditions the average renter is going to be using them.
Something nice would be some plastic containers suitable for packing picnic foods in for a day out.

RE: What Tools are need for cooking Gourmet Meals - - at beach re

I hate to sound like the pessimist that I am,
but any 'high quality' items that are there,
will 'magically' disapear, by the end of the
rental season. Personally, if I were to rent
a fancy seaside cottage, and planned to prepare
any gormet meals, I would bring all of the
utensils that I needed, with me, regardless of
what the brochure said was available.

RE: What Tools are need for cooking Gourmet Meals - - at beach re

There is a huge difference between the people who own and rent out high end units and the "usual" rental. people who are paying $3,000 a week are not likely to be swiping the frying pans.
and if you want to rent to that sort of you have nice wine glasses and a a good cutting board and a salad bowl.

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