Chefs Toys at Melissa’s Produce

Last week, I was blessed to attend a demonstration of chefs tools from Chefs Toys at Melissa’s Produce in Los Angeles.  This hard-working team of people put together a scrumptious lunch and  informative presentation for a lucky group of bloggers and social media influencers!  We learned all about Chefs Toys, their history, their future and were able to see their top-rated tools for 2016!

Melissas Produce and Chefs Toys

Photo Credit: Melissa’s Produce

So, what *is* Chefs Toys?  Chefs’ Toys is the leading restaurant equipment and supplies company here in southern California. Founded in 1988, they have six different superstores located in West Los Angeles, Torrance, Van Nuys, Fountain Valley, Anaheim and lucky for me, one location in Corona.  Which means I will be visiting often, since they are open to the public and it’s not too far from my house!  Yay!

Chefs’ Toys features professional cooking appliances, smallwares, and clothing and a full range of professional services including design, planning, consulting and project management services for restaurants, bars and commercial kitchens!  Basically, they have great products for any kitchen enthusiast (me!!), chefs, caterers and they’re also a one-stop-shop for anyone who is interested in planning, building or managing high performance commercial kitchen projects.  There’s some seriously cool stuff happening here!  I love that Chefs Toys caters to anyone from the every day home cook just looking for an easier way to do something all the way up to owners and executive chefs of some major restaurants!

Mike Krepistman Chefs Toys

This is Mike Krepistman. “Hi Mike!” He is the owner/founder of Chefs Toys. He shared with us, not only the history of his company, but a little bit about some of the cool tools we’d be seeing in the demo!  Let’s just say, after the demo, I wanted one of everything!  You will probably feel the same.  Take a look!

Chef Doug Schonfeld

This is Chef Doug Schonfeld!  “Hi, Chef Doug!” He’s the executive Chef and Sales Manager at Chefs Toys.  He’s showing us a Saf-T-Grip White Cutting Board.  See the purple corners?  They’re ridged so the cutting board won’t slide around on your counter.  It comes in different sizes too and is NSF certified! I use a towel under my cutting board to keep it from slipping, but these corners make it so much safer!

Chef Doug Schonfeld Chefs Toys Mandolines

Chef Doug also showed us several different mandolines with either fixed or interchangeable blades.  We saw a Super Benriner Japonese Mandoline,  and a Bron Vegetable Slicer with 38 different blades!  Plus, the Victorinox PerformanceShield Cut Resistant Glove  you see Chef Doug wearing in the picture are total finger-savers. The mandolines come with finger guards, but these gloves provide extra protection.  Something I would need if I used one. (Can you say klutz?) Those blades are sharp and it’s important to stay safe.  Actually, the gloves are great any time you are cutting in your kitchen!

Vegetable Spiralizer

The Turning Spiral Vegetable Slicer has three different sets of blades and makes cooking and prepping vegetables so much fun!  I wish I’d had one of these when my kids were growing up!  They’d be veggie lovers now for sure!  I may have to get one for Mini Sous, so we can make epic dinners and salads together.  That’s right, I’m using my granddaughter as an excuse to buy cool kitchen toys.  Don’t judge!

Carrot Peeler

This interesting gadget had us all curious!  We couldn’t figure it out for the longest time!  By the way, I loved all your answers when I posted this on Facebook and Instagram.  Many of you wished it were a potato peeler and I can’t say I disagree.  However, the truth is, it’s a carrot peeler!

Carrot Peeler

Fun, right?  I think this one has more of a restaurant application, than home use, but it would be a interesting conversation starter for your next dinner party!

Several items had us food bloggers all abuzz during the demo! See the green wedge on the cutting board?  That’s a silicone plating wedge.  That, along with the blue silicone plating brush in Chef Doug’s hand, create beautiful patterns on your plate with dressings or sauces.  We love it when food looks pretty, but these tools take presentation to a whole other level!

Chefs Toys Plating Tools

Sadly, I don’t have a picture of the tool I want the most!  Chef Doug called it a pickle slicer, but it’s a Garnishing Slicer with five blades used to fan your food out in even slices!  Pickles, strawberries, green onions, anything!  After I go shopping at Chefs’ Toys and bring one home, I’ll share with you what it can do.  You’re going to want one of these too, trust me.  Don’t say you weren’t warned!

Chef Toys Demo at Melissa's Produce

Photo Credit: Melissa’s Produce

Oh hey look!  It’s my hand! That’s me, taking a picture of Chef Doug during the demo!  Thanks for this fun picture Melissa’s Produce!

Events at Melissa’s are not complete without sharing great food that utilizes their amazing produce!  After all, what’s the point of seeing these great Chefs’ Toys products if you don’t showcase how you can use them!  Chef Doug created this Crunchy Asian Vegetable Salad with a Ginger Cilantro Dressing that was incredible.  I might have gone back for seconds…

Asian Salad with Ginger Cilantro Dressing

Crunch Asian Salad

Photo Credit: Melissa’s Produce

Packed with Napa Cabbage, Red Cabbage, Baby Bok Choy, Baby Mixed Greens, Mini Bell Peppers, Edamame, Asian Pears, Carrots and Cashews, this salad was a real crowd pleaser!  Can you guess all the Chefs Toys tools used to create this lovely salad?

Before we left, we learned Chefs Toys recently acquired Michael Blackman and Associates.  This acquisition allows them to enhance their Restaurant Consulting and Commercial Kitchen Professional services.  Michael Blackman and Associates (or MBA as they are referred to in the foodservice world) is one of the top restaurant kitchen designers here in southern California and across the nation.  Their client list includes Sizzler, Spago, Johnny Rockets, Pieology, Hyatt, Kansas Star Casino, Lemonade, Urban Plates, The Veggie Grill, Bar Toscana, Fuddruckers, Poquito Mas, Houlihans, Umami Burger, Baja Fresh, Nobu and more!   Sounds like a perfect pairing to me!  I’m looking forward to following along and watching other great projects unfold!

I’ll be making and sharing Chef Doug’s Crunch Asian Salad with you very soon, so make sure you come back for more of my life adventures and plenty of great recipes!  I really enjoy bringing you along on these trips. I hope you enjoy them too and learn a little bit along the way.

Till next time, friends!  Keep life delicious!

P.S. Thanks to Chefs Toys and Melissa’s Produce for a great event!  Y’all should check them out!



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