Chef Matthew Accarrino's Must-Haves

Matthew Accarrino here in my San Francisco restaurant SPQR. Whether I’m in the kitchen here, cooking at home for myself or with friends. Somehow I’m always cooking. Why not? So when the team at Hestan asked me what my ‘must have’ cookware items were for any kitchen, I started rattling off a list. They laughed, apparently I was describing the Hestan 10-piece cookware set, seems we think alike. So I’m going to quickly run through our seemingly joint list of the Hestan 10-piece cookware set and give you some ideas of what each piece can do and why you might want all these items in your own kitchen.

8.5″ Skillet
This small pan is perfect for sautéing or pan roasting a small amount of food or single portion protein. Think of searing scallops, roasting brussels sprouts or cooking a smaller amount of garlic, onion, ginger or other aromatics in a recipe. This pan also goes oven to table so you could even use it for baked pasta or my clafoutis recipe.

11″ Skillet
This larger pan works exactly like the 8.5” but the bigger size gives you a bigger range of options and ability to feed a larger audience. Multiple portions of proteins or larger items like steaks, asparagus fit here well. The increased surface also makes sautéing items like sliced potatoes go quicker. The 11” diameter gives a good balance between other options at 10” and 12”, just enough space to move food around but perfect for the average burner size and cabinet space.

1.5qt Saucepan with lid
This smaller sized saucepan works in the same way as the 8.5” skillet. This piece is for applications with high water content. Perfect for smaller amounts of soup, macaroni and cheese, side dishes like beans braised in tomato sauce.

3qt Saucepan with lid
Again this larger version of the 1.5qt works the same and doubles your capacity. Smaller amounts of pasta or even cooking pasta to be added to broth based soups. This pan also works well for sautéing or wilting greens as both this and the 1.5qt come with lids.

3.5qt Sauté pan with lid
This pan is unique and one I find myself using often. It has the wide flat surface of a skillet but with straighter sides to help contain wetter preparations and this piece comes with a lid. This piece works well for two-stage cooking such as steaming open clams and then finishing in the pan for Linguine with clams. This pan is also perfect for stovetop or oven braising of vegetables or meats. Searing short ribs and then braising in stock and wine, the lid or my chicken and mushroom risotto recipe here. This pan is my go to for all-in-one dishes. 

8qt stockpot with lid
This pan is another workhorse for a crowd. The largest pan capacity in the set. Perfect for larger batches of soups, stews, making stock or cooking pasta. No kitchen is complete without one of these (we have 6 at the restaurant!).