Like any art, cooking is done best when you have the proper tools at your disposal. For those who cook at home and those who cook in restaurants alike, the right equipment will make all the difference in both the labor that goes into your task and the quality of the final product. Whether you are stocking a brand new kitchen or redoing a kitchen that needs a refresher, reviewing this basic rundown of the most critical cookware to have may help you as you select and stock up on your utensils.
No matter what kind of cooking you do, having a quality set of knives is going to make your job easier. Good knives will have you cutting quicker and applying less pressure, which also leaves you less likely to make a mistake and cut yourself. The type of knives you choose is going to depend entirely on the type of cooking that you perform frequently. If you are in a restaurant this is probably a bit more predetermined, but for home cooking you are going to want options to allow for a lot of versatility. A large chef's knife is a no brainer, and other than that you should aim for a range of sizes, blade types (serrated or smooth) and grips, so you can chop, dice, and slice with ease.
A nice set of cooking spoons is another critical part of your utensil list. A spoon is an item of which you will probably want a measure of variety. Basic mixing spoons are offered in a surprising amount of options. A basic mixing spoon will be oval shaped and flatter than a table spoon or soup spoon. You will also want to get one with some more depth, one with holes so you can more easily stir things with liquid bases, and a ladle shaped spoon so liquids can be scooped. Smaller spoons will also be necessary for mixing individual ingredients. It may help to consider what you usually would be mixing, and what features might make that job easier.
There are a variety food turner options a bit more complex than your basic spatula. Longer shapes with more flattened edges can let you carefully flip even the most delicate foods without damaging the presentation. Some food turners have slots in them, allowing juices to drip or creating an attracted imprint on certain dishes when pressed. This is a very versatile tool that you will likely be using to prod and flip all kinds of dishes, so it is wise to invest in a good quality turner.