His and Hers Must-Have Kitchen Tools

by Ben and Ann Edgerton

From the time that Ann and I met and developed a friendship, began dating, fell in love and got married, there have been a few constant themes in our relationship. One of the most consistent has been our mutual fondness for hospitality and entertaining. Ann is definitely the cook; as an interior decorator and former caterer, everything she creates is delicious as well as beautifully presented. And while I enjoy cooking, I have gladly taken my place as the Edgerton Family Beverage Director. These are some of the tools we love to use, even if we’re just entertaining each other. 



1. Seamless Yarai Mixing Glass. Before we opened Contigo, I enrolled myself in David Alan’s Tipsy Tech. This 12-week intensive course on spirits and cocktails opened my eyes to the history of beverages. I have never viewed cocktails the same way since, and I love using this mixing glass to stir up a pre-meal drink. It’s the perfect combination of form and function. 


2. Chemex Coffee MakeR. I have consumed coffee since high school; I even worked as a barista in college. However, I feel as though I truly discovered coffee at Houndstooth. Sean Henry and his team have a passion for coffee that I feel fortunate to experience on a regular basis. When I can’t make it to Houndstooth, I use my Chemex to make Ann coffee in the mornings. I find great joy in the methodical process of pour-over coffee. 



3. Two-inch Ice Cube Trays. There are two reasons I love using these ice cube trays. One is scientific: Large ice cubes have less surface area than the equivalent amount of small cubes, therefore they don't melt in your drink as quickly. The other is purely emotional: Big ice cubes are sexy. These are great to keep in the freezer for a cocktail or a whiskey on the rocks.


4. Mason Jars by Ball. I like to experiment and Ball jars are the perfect vessel for many of my little projects. Infused spirits, homemade bitters and liqueurs, and even some ferments all work great in various-sized mason jars. I keep them on hand at all times. 



There’s a quote by William Morris that I live by: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” This certainly holds true for the kitchen, as well.  



1. Marble Mortar and Pestle. When I first began a relationship with cooking, I spent hours reading cookbooks from front to back. One of the most influential books for me was “Sunday Suppers at Lucques,” by Suzanne Goin. In it, she uses her mortar and pestle for many different things, from crushing garlic to making a quick salsa verde. This technique stuck with me, and now I couldn’t live without one. There is something really satisfying about the smell and feel of crushing up your own sauce.


2. Le Creuset French Oven. Ben and I love cooking one-pot meals, and whether it’s a simple summer vegetable green curry or an all-day lamb stew, this pot—commonly referred to as a Dutch oven—does it all. And Le Creuset cookware comes in such wonderful colors, it looks lovely sitting out on the stove even when not in use.


3. Handheld Mandoline. This piece of equipment is not exactly beautiful to look at, but what comes out of it is. This thing does what I simply cannot do with a knife. I love very thinly sliced radishes tossed with butter lettuce and French vinaigrette, or a shaved fennel salad with olives and a squeeze of orange. A handheld mandoline makes these fresh salads easier, more delicious and more beautiful. 


4. Apron by Fog Linen.  I bring this with me everywhere I cook. There is something about putting on an apron that makes me feel like, “OK, now it’s time to get serious.” This particular apron is made from Lithuanian linen by a Japanese company. The fabric only gets better and better with time, and the print hides the numerous stains I am sure it has accumulated over the years. I hang it on a hook in my kitchen for a nice splash of pattern.  




Callahan's General Store
501 Bastrop Hwy.

Der Küchen Laden
258 E. Main St., Fredericksburg

Faraday’s Kitchen Store
12918 Shops Pkwy., Ste. 540

Métier Cooks Supply
1805 South First Street

Mission Restaurant Supply
6509 N. Lamar Blvd.

Serve Gourmet Gadgets & Goods
241 W. 3rd St.

215 South Lamar Blvd.

Edgerton-1Ben Edgerton is the co-owner of Contigo Austin, Contigo Catering and Gardner. Ann Edgerton is the owner of Ann Lowe Design.