The New Kitchen Gadget Philippe Chow Can't Live Without - Exclusive

Philippe Chow smiling
Philippe Chow smiling - Lars Niki/Getty Images

Philippe Chow is an illustrious chef from Hong Kong who has served in some of the most exciting kitchens worldwide. His eponymous restaurant in New York City, Philippe, is one of Manhattan's most celebrated Chinese establishments, focused on classic Beijing-style Chinese cuisine in an elegant dining room. He sat down for an exclusive interview with Tasting Table at this year's New York City Wine & Food Festival (NYCWFF), where his restaurant was serving its stand-out chicken satay during Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits Trade Day. During our conversation, Chow told us about one gadget that has recently entered his life and has been a complete game-changer in the kitchen: a machine that peels shrimp for you.

"[The machine] is much faster than the people who [peel by hand]," he said. We can see the appeal — one of the most common questions in shrimp preparation is whether home cooks should devein the shrimp before cooking. And before you can devein your shrimp, you have to peel it, which adds significant time to the cooking process; it's labor intensive and often frustrating. But with a machine like Chow's, preparing shrimp can be as simple as feeding the shrimp into the machine, picking up the cleaned, shelled meat, and popping the shrimp into whatever dish you choose.

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A Machine That Peels Shrimp For You

Peeled shrimp in bowl with lemon
Peeled shrimp in bowl with lemon - Mironov Vladimir/Shutterstock

Philippe Chow didn't divulge the name of the particular shrimp peeling machine that he's recently begun using, but there are a few on the market designed for restaurants that can peel and devein hundreds of shrimp per hour. While a home kitchen may not need something that meets quite those productivity standards, the potential for a similar peeling machine like this in a home kitchen is immense, as purchasing peeled and deveined shrimp in the grocery market or fish market is often quite costly.

But in restaurant kitchens, having a machine peel the shrimp for the kitchen staff is the ultimate cooking hack — it allows them to purchase fresher ingredients at a lower cost and to prioritize their time more effectively so they can focus on honing their culinary preparations. According to Chow, "The machine does [the peeling] really fast" — so fast that it completely streamlines the process. We may not be investing in our own shrimp peeling machines any time soon, but we're excited about any innovation that doesn't take away from the integrity of the ingredients and gives home cooks and professional chefs alike the ability to focus on seasonings and cooking styles.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.