I’m a Restaurant Worker, and This Is the One Thing I’m Buying on Sale for Black Friday

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Two red and white bistro bar stools in front of a white bar countertop in an all white kitchen with brick walls and stainless steel appliances.

Credit: Chinasa Cooper

Each morning, professional kitchens are bustling with the sounds of knives chopping, sauces reducing, and food service film (a far-superior plastic wrap and secret weapon of restaurants everywhere) sealing containers as prep cooks work ahead on the night’s dinner service. Without them, no dish would make it from pan to plate to table. For many of us, the holiday season and the mornings before big family gatherings are the closest we’ll get to being on a prep cook’s schedule. But, if you’re a proud member of the “hosting family,” like myself, you might also be the line cook, executive chef, host, server — perhaps even bartender and sommelier! In other words, someone who could always use a second set of hands in the kitchen. 

Unfortunately, not everyone has a sous chef who’s ready to lend a hand when it comes to prepping ingredients. Thankfully, there are plenty of options for the solo home chef. In my opinion, the food processor is the at-home equivalent to a restaurant’s prep team. It chops vegetables, purees soups, and even mixes dough with just the touch of a button. That’s why this Black Friday, I’m splurging on Cuisinart’s Core Custom 10-Cup Food Processor. Marked down to just $130 at Williams Sonoma — which is have a great Black Friday sale right now — it hits the sweet spot between price and utility that I think is unmatched in its field.

A food processor isn’t something you want to skimp on: Bad ones are a pain to clean and break down easily, and if it’s too small, it’ll be ineffective at most of the tasks you throw at it. Luckily, all of the accessories on Cuisinart’s machine can be removed easily, are dishwasher-safe, nest together for easy storage, and are constructed out of BPA-free, high-quality materials. You can even buy replacement parts for every last nut and bolt directly from Cuisinart if anything were to happen. 

And, at 10 cups, this model is the ideal size for most households. If you’re cooking for a ton of people, you might have to pass vegetables through in batches when preparing the holiday feast, but you’ll get way more use out of this size than with a truly massive food processor you’d only be breaking out once or twice a year.

You could even use the money to buy one of Cuisinart’s many add-on accessories to turn this food processor into a one-of-a-kind kitchen workhorse — my favorite being Cuisinart’s Core Elements Juicing Center. High-powered juicers often run well over $100, but this accessory costs just a fraction of that. Now you can make the same quality of fluffy, fresh-squeezed juice served at the ritzy cafes of New York City. You could even grab some oranges, a bottle of Campari, and use it at the family gathering to make a two-ingredient crowd-pleaser: the Garibaldi. Or, better yet, make a few for you and yours as you put the house back together the next day as you congratulate yourself on a meal well-made and a job well-done.

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