“I was working at Aubergine many moons ago when I first used the Bamix [a hand-held electric food blender that cuts, chops, whisks and beats; the Superbox version is £268 from Borough Kitchen]. What impressed me was the speed with which it blended. It made light work of fairly long-winded tasks like making mayonnaise. One egg yolk, a bit of mustard and off you go – pour in the oil and you’re done. Some people say you ought to whisk mayonnaise by hand. Good luck to them!
I bought my latest hand blender about four years ago. When I get a new one at home, I take the old one to the restaurant [Marcus at The Berkeley], so the family’s is always fresh. In the autumn and winter months, I love to make roasted vine tomato and pepper soup. You have to ensure that all the ingredients – the onions, garlic, tomatoes and peppers – are simmered and cooked through so when you blitz them, the blender can cope. But it’s all very easy – just whizz it together and you have a nice rustic soup. I don’t have to mess around with the big machine and that’s what I love about my hand blender. Besides, most of the time when you use a big liquidiser, the soup ends up on the wall.
The kids are comical when I make soup. ‘Daaaaad, it must be ready now because you’ve been blending it for like 15 minutes?’ they’ll call out. ‘How much longer, Dad?’ They start hovering when they hear the buzz or get a whiff of the delicious smell. So I dish it into bowls very slowly and dress it carefully with a little drizzle of olive oil and a twist of pepper… just to wind them up.
My wife Jane makes a great curry using the Bamix: she’ll blitz up the onions and chilli to get things moving quickly. I don’t use it for chopping, though – chefs always use a knife. Jessie [the youngest of Wareing’s three children] loves to bake. She and Jane use the hand blender to make a pancake mix and at times the mixture is playfully splashed around.
Most things live in the cupboards and drawers of my kitchen at home. I remember when hand blenders were a novelty and people displayed them on the wall. Some people love their gadgets and like to see them on show – I like my kitchen at home to be minimalistic on the eye, as I do in my professional life. I hate clutter!
If I had to choose something else as my favourite home kitchen equipment, it would be my Le Creuset pans. I love working with those things and they are built to last forever. I’ve also recently discovered the joys of Agas. When we bought our house in Kent, there was already one in situ. The cooker has no temperature settings: just an oven for baking and one for roasting. We found a basic baking book for it and my wife and daughter made an Aga cake. I have to say, I was blown away by it. It was absolutely delicious, so we always bake our cakes there now.”