Talking in Pliers – Boulder Weekly
The first time I walked into Tundra I felt like a mechanic in a car junkyard or a florist in a field of flowers and weeds. Didn’t see rows of stuff and stuff. I imagined possibilities, meals that could be made, flavors created, and feasts held.
On a shelf are stacks of stainless steel mixing bowls ranging from tiny to huge. Another medium includes specialized metal and silicone spoons, metal whisks, ladles, potato mashers, peelers, spatulas and a world of measuring spoons. I was captivated by the large display of various and durable non-stick frying pans.
There are plenty of local kitchen supply stores and kitchenware departments – places like Sur La Table, McGuckin Hardware, The Singing Cook, the Peppercorn – and I’ve visited them all.
Tundra is different because it’s built for professionals. Where Target may have two sizes of one type of pliers, Tundra offers a menu of plier styles and sizes depending on the use.
Tundra is Dick’s Sporting Goods’ kitchen product, ideal for those who are really serious about cooking as well as parents trying to stock their child’s first apartment with inexpensive cutlery.
The irony is that I walked past Tundra in East Boulder for years on my way to and from KGNU studios. I’m just writing about Tundra – open in town since 1993 – because I had assumed the store was for people in the restaurant industry. A chef told me recently that home cooks can also shop there.
If you’ve never shopped at a restaurant supply store, it can be a bit daunting. It helps if you come with a list and a friend. That way you can chat with someone when you find the gluten-free toothpicks or a plastic storage bin big enough to use as a bed for a small child.
Some of these tools are exactly the same as the models you find at a hardware store. For example, a Microplane can shape soft wood, grate Parmesan or zest limes just as well.
Don’t leave without taking a look at the metal hobs, something anyone who has worked in a restaurant will recognize. Large sheets won’t fit in a home oven or dishwasher, but half sheets and quarter sheets will. They are great for baked goods like cookies, as well as roasting whole dishes. They are not pretty but they will last forever.
You can also find and order more obscure and hard-to-find supplies for sausage making, for cooking, as well as supplies for particular kitchens such as rice cookers and tortilla presses, and oven tools. pizza, including peels of different sizes.
Where else can you buy a cotton candy machine for your garage that isn’t a toy?
Honestly, you won’t need much of what Tundra sells. Some utensils like pans are just too big. Some items like coffee filters, plates, and glasses come in Costco-sized cases. You may need wait staff, a bartender, and a home cook, but most families won’t.
It’s worth shopping around for details at Tundra, as the right tools will save you time cooking dinner on a Tuesday night. Some (but not all) of the products are significantly cheaper than at big box retailers. For example, the great wall of chef’s knives ranges in price from affordable
Do-it-yourselfers and mechanics know that tools are investments and you get what you pay for. I take a similar long-term view. A decade from now, I’ll still be cooking with a professional spatula or a $1,200 Robot Coupe food processor.
You can find consumer-friendly cookware in more modern colors and styles at department stores. However, aesthetically, I appreciate well-designed modern utilitarian objects like knives and espresso machines as visual works of art that help me create
Chocolate and whiskey for dad
Two local artisan notables have teamed up to create unique gifts for dads on Father’s Day. Boulder’s Moksha Chocolate has produced a limited run of single-origin Belizean dark chocolate, made from dry-aged beans in a charred whiskey cask from Boulder’s Vapor Distillery. Bars are available in Moksha’s Boulder Tasting Room. On June 18, Vapor Distillery is hosting a whiskey and chocolate pairing event. Attendees will sample four single-origin Moksha chocolates from around the world as well as four Boulder Spirits handcrafted whiskeys. Tickets: mokshachocolate.com
Local Food News
Efrain Mexican Restaurant closed its east Boulder location and reopened in the former Shine location at 2480 Canyon Boulevard. … Patio season is back in downtown Louisville, where Main Street between Front and South streets is closed for the summer. … Coming soon: Boulder Social, a restaurant, bar and brewery at 1600 38th St., Boulder, formerly Ska Brewstillery, FATE Brewing and Jose Muldoon’s. …We’re assembling a comprehensive guide to farm stands in Boulder County and beyond to support local family farming. Help complete the guide by emailing detailed Farm Stand times, offerings and locations to: [email protected]
“A meal is never just a plate of food. He has the power to change the world. … We are not Democrats or Republicans, Americans or immigrants, meat eaters or vegans. We are people of the world, cooking, eating and drinking together.
—Chef Jose Andrés