I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

February 13, 2011

Beauty Spots

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things...

Well, these are Maria Von Trapps favourite things, how about I show you some of mine in my kitchen?
What have we here?

My lovely big oven that holds the largest size commercial bain marie tray. Yes, it's the same one that burnt out, but it's all better now.

My single dish drawer. We really don't need two. When we had a full size washer it would take a couple of days to fill it. These ones are surprisingly roomy and accommodating.

My two tone kitchen. We have offset drawers and cupboards here and there for a bit of interest. The colours are actually much better in real life.

A cute little Two Timer. This has two dials so you can be monitoring two things at once. I like the old style 'brrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiing' when the time is up.

My gas top. If you have a close look at this, you'll notice that it's actually sunken. If I haven't mentioned it before, I'm probably a bit shorter than you. Just a tad under 5'2". When we built the house we made the whole kitchen bench top an inch lower than average, but next time I'll go still lower. When we went to a gas top, I realised that they sit really high- the burners sit higher than the benches, the racks sit even higher still, and I already have height issues! I opted for this top that has the racks sitting at bench level. It has the added bonus of catching any spills before they overflow onto the floor too.

My cheffy qualifications. This is my apprenticeship certificate. Yes, I have it framed in the kitchen. I am very proud of achieving this. I came to cheffing later than most, and felt I needed to prove something. I did consider copying and laminating it to use as placemats for my family. That way If they had any complaints about my food - not that they would of course!- I could instantly prove that I indeed, know best.

These are some of my Shun knives. Japanese sharpness. Very strong and light, also great for smaller hands like mine. A sharp knife is less dangerous than a blunt knife. You should use a steel each time you use your knives, and get them sharpened properly every now and then too.

My big mortar and pestle. Made of stone and great for making curry pastes. It's very therapeutic to smash the dickens out of something now and then. As you can see, when not in use, it makes a very stylish door stop.

My favourite teabag tea. Strong and flavoursome. The perfect pick-me-up any time of day. I even take them to work with me.

This is my tasting spoon. Every chef needs one. You see them stuck in our little arm pockets on our uniforms. You really don't want us sticking our fingers into your food, so a handy spoon is the answer. BigJ had these specially engraved for me for my birthday one year. I wanted something a bit different and unique, with a bit of attitude- like me!

My fridge door. Stuffed to the brim with exciting odds and ends. These door shelves hold my sauces, pastes and condiments. There is pomegranate molasses, wasabi mustard, flavoured oils, and goodness knows what else.

Moving on to one of my pantry shelves. I need a much bigger pantry. As you can see, I like things lined up neatly and labeled. My fridge shelves are labeled too. No, I don't have issues- really! I can see wasabi sesame seeds, tinned sugar cane, and other weird stuff that I'll get around to using eventually.

This is a cute picture stuck on my fridge. It makes me smile.

Here is my absolutely fantabulous Kenwood mixer. With a 6.7lt bowl, it's about the largest non commercial unit available. Actually, you can get smaller commercial ones. The reason I went for this particular mixer came down to weight. The same type in a professional machine was much heavier at 20ish kilos instead of a more reasonable 12ish. This way I can manipulate it around the benches and even take it on catering jobs if I need too. I love it. I have a drawer full of attachments- food processor, icecream bowl, and others. The only problem is...... Kenwood have just bought a new model out in the same size that also has an induction plate. Just imagine, cooking and mixing at the same time! Risotto, custards, sauces, and my nemesis- caramel. I have many a fading scar from splashes of that sticky beast. I just can't justify buying a new mixer just yet. But if Kenwood ever wanted to give a deserving chef a break.........

And finally, my De Longhi coffee machine. It's top of the line, fully automated, and very fancy pantcy. We actually won it at the Good Food and Wine Show one year. It makes a yummy coffee, but I use it to make my half-strength lactose-free decaff. At work I have it with soy milk and they call it my 'crappachino'. I think this is very rude of them, and I chose to extract my revenge on the staff meals when they are not looking. Just by saying this, I have sown a seed of doubt in their minds and stomachs. Whether it's true or not, maybe I will now get the respect I deserve!

I won't bore you with any more bits and pieces- like my cookie cutter collection, engraved chopsticks, herb and spice drawer, etc, etc. These I will save for another day.

So dear Readers, what makes you happy in your kitchen? And do you get the respect you deserve?


  1. İ think 5'2 is being a bit generous but anywho love all the stuff. İ get no respect honestly I try and make a simple thing like apricot chicken and my husband turns his nose up saying I dont like this foreign food. I say to him 'Why did you marry a foreign wife? as they make foreign food!

  2. We actually designed our kitchen benches to be higher as Mr BBB is 6'3! My poor 5' mum hates them!

  3. Thankyou for the tour of your kitchen! It looks amazing and that pic of the duck chef is hilarious :P

  4. I'm getting jealousy pangs. My kitchen is TINY, I can't even fit a coffee machine on my benches! I love your oven, and that tasting spoon is really interesting - I never noticed them before, but now I'm going to look out for them on uniforms :)

  5. Holy cow!!! We may have been separated at birth. Let's see...I am only 5"2 (although I stretch it by saying 5"3 on a good day), I LOVE my special oven, my Shun Knives (I think I have all of the same as you-I take them to a special japanese Knife Sharpener guy once or twice a year), my mortar and pestle which never leaves my counter, and last but NOT LEAST....MY Fancy coffee/espresso maker. Mine is Saeco, not DeLonghi. It is what I look forward to every single morning!!! My friends always conveniently show up at my door in the mornings just for a cup of coffee from it!
    I love this post. I wonder how all of your favorite things would sound set to that song. LOL

  6. Oh man Soy and I are both salivating at your gas cooktop (Crappy electric for us since forever) and Shun knives!!!! And OH HOW RUDE re. the crappachino. Though it is quite innovative and funny :) That said though, Soy used to scoff at my tea made with soy milk for years, saying that it tasted like dish water. But she is even more fussy than me about having soy milk now!

  7. Gosh, I want to have your kitchen! Just n regular height for me, please! ;) Your tasting spoon is adorable, I love it says "Bite me"! And the duck picture is cute! Happy to meet another Earl Grey lover! :D

    I've just bought a mortar and pestle and am looking forward to trying them out.

    Things in my kitchen I love:

    - my tea mugs (I have various, according to mood)
    - my blender (which is the same as yours, as you know)
    - my new pots (no burning anymore!)
    - my frying pan (most used kitchen friend)
    - my oven (just discovering a new love)
    - my hot water boiler (I'd die without)
    - my pressure cooker (so quick!)

  8. I just need a little more space in the kitchen to be happier :)

  9. Hello Dear Readers, I'd love to tour all your kitchens too.
    *Simcha, I did say a tad under...
    *Lisa, BigJ is 6'1" so he'd like the benches too, but trust me, it's a real hassle at work- adjust your work chair to be shorter and try that all day, you'll see what I mean. I try and put bowls and stuff in the sinks when I'm mixing to get them a bit lower for comfort.
    *Lorraine, it's always important to have something around to make you smile, isn't it?
    *Kim, BIgJ got me the Shun electric sharpener as well, it does a great job. Maybe we are really twins? It could happen!I only use decaff beans in my machine- but they're so yummy and I don't tell anyone so they never complain!
    *Honey, the cooktop is really great. I like gas top and electric oven- seems to work the best, but I'd love to know more about induction.
    *Kath, I like a little quirkiness now and then. I'm still a bit scared of pressure cookers, and I choose my mug according to my moods too- I'm sure it makes it taste different. I drink earl gray all day, then switch to decaff tea about 6pm.
    *Tigerfish, my kitchen is actually woefully way to small for me. If we ever move we are getting a huuuuge one built, and a separate second one built for catering- there's a lot of health regulations so it needs to self contained away from the household one.
    Happy cooking Lovlies!

  10. Ooops, Sorry Jasmyne Tea, a little spoon is much better than fingers, trust me.You can rinse a spoon off quickly and stick it back in your pocket, but you might forget to wash your hands if you've licked your fingers clean. Yuck!

  11. We compromised on kitchen bench height - one to suit me and the centre island bench thing to suit hubby. Not that there is that huge a difference in our heights (or so I say anyway!). That extra little bit of height makes such a difference when you are kneading dough or chopping lots of stuff.
    So many things that make me happy in my kitchen...not sure where to start. Might have to do a photo tour as well one of these days. I do love my spice rack which is really a wall of shelves designed around these fairly large glass jars I bought (I don't do tiny quantities of spices and I have sooooo many that I do need a wall for them all). That would be the thing I would miss most if we ever moved out of this house.

  12. I love everything in your kitchen! I especially love your big Kenwood, and your big oven, and your gas hob...oh heck, I'll just go back to my first statement! What I want to know is..do you always keep it so clean, or did you tidy up for our visit? :)

    In my kitchen I love Bob, the oven, best of all. I also love the cutlery rack on my Miele dishwasher, and the revolving pantry that ensures I never lose anything, because all the shelves are shallow!

  13. Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u

    Kitchen Bench