Kitchen Talk: 5 Favorite Tools

Govind Armstrong, executive chef/owner at Post & Beam in Los Angeles, and 8 oz. Burger Bar in Miami and Seattle: "Auber Instruments' PID temperature controller holds the temperature in a regular bath, which is perfect for holding temps while we're sleeping! It does more or less the same thing as an immersion circulator, but without the price tag (and the circulation part)."

Edward Lee, executive chef/owner at 610 Magnolia, Louisville, KY: "Microplane. It's lightweight, portable, and nothing beats it when you are going for light, fluffy textures. We use it for everything from lime zest to chocolate. I especially like to grate ginger on it to get rid of the fibers."

Jeff Halmos, designer and co-owner, Shipley & Halmos, NYC: "My favorite kitchen tool is my plastic vegetable dryer bowl thingy. That's the official name."

Nico Muhly, contemporary classical music composer, NYC: "A Cuisinart. This is, I think, the most useful thing in the world. Basically if it's out, it reminds me to make mayonnaise and hummus and not buy those things. I'm perpetually looking around the house for things to introduce into its feeding tube: stale bread, mysterious parsley stems, almonds..."

Tony Maws, chef/owner, Craigie on Main, Cambridge, MA: "Vitamix blender—the anti-mortar and pestle. Quick, powerful, I can make anything happen with a Vitamix."

Designer Jeff Halmos is partial to his "vegetable dryer thingy."

Louisville chef Edward Lee can't live without his microplane.

Contemporary classical composer Nico Muhly likes to whip up mayonnaise and hummus in his Cuisinart.