A Kitchen Expert’s Favorite Gadgets

The smartest tools for a cutting-edge kitchen

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Oakland, California-based kitchen consultant Mark Stech-Novak has equipped restaurants for some of the world's top chefs, from Thomas Keller to Alain Ducasse. Here, Stech-Novak's guide to the latest status gear for kitchen obsessives:

1. The Smoking Gun This handheld food smoker adds flavor at the last minute and is great for delicate foods like seafood. cuisinetechnology.com

2. The Anti-Griddle A unit that freezes sauces and purees on contact. Stech-Novak uses it to make granita "à la minute" or frozen fruit gels that he wraps around mascarpone. cuisinetechnology.com

3. Sous Vide Sous-vide circulators-essential for any chef worth his molecular-cuisine salt-are coming down in price. Try: Sous Vide Professional, cuisinetechnology.com; SousVide Supreme, sousvidesupreme.com

4. Rotary Vacuum Evaporator San Francisco chef Daniel Patterson introduced Stech-Novak to this futuristic contraption, which extracts herb aromas and distills flavors to their essence. cuisinetechnology.com

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5. Miniature Pizza Oven "Small, discreet, and high-powered, this countertop unit lets you do paper-thin, Neapolitan-style pizza in 90 seconds," he says. New Artisan Fire Pizza Oven, above; kalamazoogourmet.com

6. Kalamazoo Hybrid Grill A "really well-built grill" that combines gas and charcoal capabilities: "They will even laser-cut your monogram into the rack so you can brand it onto your steaks." kalamazoogourmet.com

7. Coffee Roaster Roast your own beans at home. Stech-Novak got his from Sweet Maria's, an Oakland shop that also sells green coffee beans from all over the world. sweetmarias.com

8. Pro Ice-Cream Maker This machine lets you make small batches (one to two quarts) and incorporates mix-ins-from M&Ms to cashews- without pulverizing them. Stoelting Vertical Batch Freezer; stoelting.com

9. Pacojet Create frozen purees and sorbets in individual portions. "Chefs go crazy for this unit," says Stech-Novak. pacojet.com

10. Ice-Ball Mold An ice-cube maker that forms a sphere. "I'd serve it with that perfect shot of scotch or vodka," he says. japantrendshop.com

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