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The Three Essential Kitchen Tools Of Chef & Restaurateur Robert Belcham

Tradecraft takes Scout readers into the workshops, kitchens, and toolkits of Vancouver’s most talented crafts-people. From trusty pencils and custom-built machines to good luck charms and bespoke chef’s knives, this new column aims to get to the bottom of every creative attachment. No laptops or cellphones allowed! Last week we checked out the prized tools of leatherworker Steven Enns. This week, we do the same with chef/restaurateur Robert Belcham of Campagnolo.

1. CLEAVER | “Knives in general are a physical manifestation of a chef’s personality. My favourite knife is a cleaver my friend Rob Clark picked up for me at a meat market in Shanghai. It is designed specifically for splitting pig skulls when butchering. I use this tool at least six times a month when we receive whole pigs. Some of the most succulent meat on the pig is found on the head.”

2. LARGE METAL SPOON | “I have been cooking with a spoon in my hand since 1999. It is used to stir, taste, baste, flip protein in a pan, open a beer, open a box, rap knuckles; a chef’s multitool. It is much more useful than tweezers. ”

3. NOTEBOOK | “A notebook and pen is the essential ‘hard drive’ for any cook, from the day they start out in the business to when they become a Chef. The notebook holds all of your accumulated knowledge throughout your career: recipes, techniques, list after list, after list — it documents your journey.”