• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Fat Guy

The Gray Kunz Sauce Spoon

47 posts in this topic

Brian Bistrong, one of the most talented young chefs in New York (a disciple of Gray Kunz and David Bouley, formerly at Citarella's restaurant and now at the Harrison), was recently interviewed by New York Times critic Frank Bruni. The interview is here.

One of the questions Bruni asked Bistrong was "Which three cooking tools or gadgets are your favorites?"

First on his list: "My Gray Kunz cook's spoon."

I initially thought maybe this was a token that Bistrong had claimed from Lespinasse (many of the former Lespinasse cooks have souvenirs; even I have one, an apron with a small gray "GK" embroidered on the bottom). But then I thought maybe it was an actual retail item. I googled for "Gray Kunz cook's spoon." Nothing.

A little while later, unable to sleep with this issue unresolved, I debated calling Bistrong at the Harrison. I decided I'd spend five minutes on Google and then call him if I couldn't solve the puzzle. As luck would have it, a search for "Gray Kunz spoon" brought up a JB Prince product, item number U715, as the first result.

The proper name of the product turns out to be the "Gray Kunz Sauce Spoon."

It costs $9.70 and appears to be a large stainless-steel spoon. The description is "The perfect size for saucing plates. Heavy stainless steel, 2-1/2 tablespoons. 9" overall length."

There is also available the "Gray Kunz Small Sauce Spoon. The perfect size for saucing smaller plates and more precise saucing. Heavy stainless steel, 1-1/3 tablespoons. 7-1/2" overall length. $5.50."

I suppose when you eschew squeeze bottles and you sauce 300 plates a night with a spoon, it makes sense to have the exact right spoon for the job. I sauce about one plate a week, so I may not be purchasing one of these. Then again, if I'm near JB Prince and I have twenty bucks burning a hole in my pocket I may not be able to resist getting one of each.

Would I be the first eGullet Society member to do so? Or does anybody else possess these spoons? Pray tell.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They most likely use it to taste with. I have worked with several chefs that keep a large spoon in their back pocket for tasting. And yes they do wash them in between uses.


check out my baking and pastry books at the Pastrymama1 shop on www.Half.ebay.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read that interview on the day that he posted it and I remember a strong sense of deja vu. I was able to resist the strong urge to spend the next several hours figuring out why. Now that you brought it up again, I could no longer resist. Fortunately, it didn't take quite as long as I imagined. See this previous Bruni blog entry.

Clearly, there's something about these spoons. I'm glad you asked because I'm curious, too. I hope someone can explain what's so special about this spoon.

-Stuart

Brian Bistrong, one of the most talented young chefs in New York (a disciple of Gray Kunz and David Bouley, formerly at Citarella's restaurant and now at the Harrison), was recently interviewed by New York Times critic Frank Bruni. The interview is here.

One of the questions Bruni asked Bistrong was "Which three cooking tools or gadgets are your favorites?"

First on his list: "My Gray Kunz cook's spoon."

[snip]

Would I be the first eGullet Society member to do so? Or does anybody else possess these spoons? Pray tell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Clearly, there's something about these spoons. I'm glad you asked because I'm curious, too. I hope someone can explain what's so special about this spoon.

I use 2 of these spoons everyday at my restaurant. For saucing plates, for filling ringmolds, for tasting, and most importantly, for making quenelles. They are well worth the 20 bux I paid for them, and I am never without them. One of the most funny stories is when I went to cook for a couple of close personal friends, and the first thing I took out of my knife roll was my spoons, they were both astonished that I would carry spoons around with me, but as they watched me use them, they understood how important they were to me.

I do not know if Gray Kunz gets any money from the sale of them, but if he does, he really should be able to retire. There is a picture of him in a past issue of Art Culinaire saucing a plate with one.

Yes they are that good at everything, I use them as much as I use my santoku and sashimi knives during service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chef Jay, can you say more about what makes a Gray Kunz spoon a better cook's tool than a regular spoon?


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chef Jay, can you say more about what makes a Gray Kunz spoon a better cook's tool than a regular spoon?

I would say the overall shape. They are larger than a soup spoon, but shaped more like a teaspoon, which helps put the sauce exactly where you want it to go, as well as creating nice quenelles. I guess it's harder to describe than it is to see in use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, here's the deal with the spoon.

They're big spoons, you can really lift and move things with a spoon that big. Theyre the perfect size for mixing salads, stuffing ring molds, lifting delecate elements to sit gracefully on top of other delecate elements, flicking hot oil over something youre roasting, fishing things out of braising liquid...esentially they're just a bit nicer to use then your fingers sometimes.

I was taught (by chef) to lift items with the spoons in order to gingerly place then on a plate...the famous short ribs were a two spoon endevor. you kinda scoop the item then use your other hand to secure it to the spoon and then land it at your target. It was also great for saucing because it had real weight so you could really feel with it.

I like Kunz spoons, they're worth the money too..it's not like you need 20 of them.

Cute note: Last year chef gave all of his sous chefs kunz spoons engraved with their names. Nice gift.


does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today, for my birthday, I received Gray Kunz sauce spoons in the large and small sizes.

Developing . . . .


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Today, for my birthday, I received Gray Kunz sauce spoons in the large and small sizes.

Developing . . . .

Happy Birthday, FG. Nice present !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be interested to see what Shaw has to say. I like my KunzSpoons just fine, but no better, really, than the other big stainless steel spoons in my tool canister.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will say that, other than the words "Gray Kunz" etched on the back of the handle, the Gray Kunz sauce spoons appear utterly unremarkable. They're not particularly hefty, shiny or unusually shaped. They don't even come in a nice presentation box -- according to my wife, the spoons are just standing loose in a jar behind the cash register in the J.B. Prince it's-not-a-store-it's-a-showroom. My fantasy, however, is that once you dip your Gray Kunz sauce spoon in a sauce of Sherry vinegar, apple juice and caramelized shallots, it transforms into the 1987 Ferrari Testarossa of chef's tools. I envision myself garnishing plates in the manner of Picasso, Pollock and Dali, but with the accuracy of a Breitling watch and the spiritual discipline of the Yogi Gupta. And then, with a spinning toss in the air and a single fluid motion, I reholster my Gray Kunz sauce spoon with the studied, manly nonchalance of a Wild West gunslinger.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm thinking you want something more reliable than an 87 Testarossa if you plan on getting more than half your dish plated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
They most likely use it to taste with.  I have worked with several chefs that keep a large spoon in their back pocket for tasting.  And yes they do wash them in between uses.

never used to taste with. only plastic spoons, thrown away after each use, are used in a kunz kitchen.

i would say the bowl of the spoon is deeper than other similar spoons. it is a nice shape for holding and then saucing plates. especially with the typical saucing style which has been popular for the past few years...the sort of paisley shape with the curving tail.

other than that, it is just a spoon with a famous chef's name attached to it. most kitchens don't have a spoon exactly that size, the larger more utilitarian stainless spoons are too awkward and restaurant sized serving/soup spoons are too small. just filling a niche.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i dont know how i missed this thread the first time around

i love my gray kunz spoons - i use them at home every single day

they are balanced - they are the best spoons i have ever used, anywhere, for plating. they're dishwasher safe, heavy but not clumsy, they just feel right when you're ON and you're plating - they're perfect.

also - every last white boy (and most hispanic) line cooks in any 3 or 4 star kitchen in manhattan is using them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought a couple of these, and I'm using them every day. Perfect for 1-spoon quenelles, saucing, etc. The ones they're producing now are slightly lighter than the older ones, but only slightly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the recent Heartland gathering in Cleveland we used my large Gray Kunz sauce spoon to sauce a couple of dozen plates of braised goat.

gallery_17485_4911_20350.jpg

(photo copied from the Heartland gathering report topic)


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A chef at a country club here uses saucers to taste his soups, sauces and stocks. He grabs an arm full, at least a dozen. Dips, tastes, throws in bus pan and then adjusts seasoning.

He claimed when he uses spoons much of what he is tasting ends up on his shirt. I always got a chuckle out of this. Here's a guy with something like 20 chefs working for him and he doesn't know how to use a spoon.

I'm sure he has a better reason just not giving up the ghost.


"And in the meantime, listen to your appetite and play with your food."

Alton Brown, Good Eats

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the best place to get these? JB Prince???

-Mark-


---------------------------------------------------------

"If you don't want to use butter, add cream."

Julia Child

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know of nowhere else to get them. There's a link to the product page in my first post on this topic. Maybe someone else also sells Gray Kunz sauce spoons, but I haven't found any source other than JB Prince.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I not only have some, but the chef at the kitchen where I work insists that they are the spoon we use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just spent two days working in a high end restaurant -- a "mini-stage" so to speak -- and they gave me a Kunz Spoon and a small offset spatula as gifts when I finished last night. Frankly, I'm pretty pumped about it.


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't own one of these spoons but I can't help but think some of the people here are trying to find value in the spoons to justify the price. Sure, $9 is no walletbuster but how much is one regular stainless spoon? $2?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got two of these (one large, one small) as a Valentine's Day gift a few years ago. All I can say is that they're elegant to look at and sensuous to hold. They also each happen to be the perfect size for several tasks I do frequently -- the large one may as well have been designed for scooping the flesh out of half an avocado, for instance. Considering how often one uses a spoon in the kitchen, why not have something really nice? Would you pay an extra $7 for the perfect knife, the perfect spatula, the perfect cocktail shaker? Why not pay an extra $7 for the perfect spoon?


Janet A. Zimmerman, aka "JAZ"
Manager
jzimmerman@eGullet.org
eG Ethics signatory
Author, The Healthy Pressure Cooker Cookbook and All About Cooking for Two

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.