We’ve all been there: You’ve got the itch to get cooking, then suddenly realize that your kitchen is lacking an essential item… or two… or seven. Figuring out what to fill your kitchen with can be a daunting task on top of an already busy to-do list, even if it’s just aiming for the shortcut chef level. Because we totally get it, we’re sharing advice from some of the top chefs around about what they consider kitchen essentials. Read on and shop up.

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1. Le Creuset Stoneware Pestle and Mortar ($40): Chef José Pizzaro of Pizzaro and José in London cites his pestle and mortar combo as his kitchen essential, and for a really cute reason too. In an interview with The Guardian, he said, “A wooden pestle and mortar — my mum and grandma always used one, so it reminds me of them.” With a pestle and mortar in your tool set, you’ll be covering everything from chicken to chai tea with some of the yummiest, homemade spice blends around.

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2. Ozeri 12″ Green Earth Teflon Frying Pan ($28): According to Prune chef Gabrielle Hamilton, everyone needs a solid Teflon pan in their arsenal, and it’s not hard to see why — these babies can do it all. From frying an egg to roasting seeds or nuts, a solid pan will get the job done without leaving you to scrub for days afterwards.

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3. Basily Premium Julienne and Serrated Stainless Steel Peelers ($11): Chef Staphanie Izard says that one of the things she can’t live without is a constant stream of peelers at hand. This set of two will get you exactly where you need to go. It’ll transform peeling things like carrots and cucumbers from cumbersome and tedious, to a quick and easy step that’s actually enjoyable .

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4. BergHOFF Pink 3-pc. Spatula Set ($15): The ever-famous Paula Dean says she can’t live without her trusty spatula by her side in the kitchen. From super novices to mega pros, there are always bowls to be scrapped. Whether it’s the fanciest duck sauce the world ever did see, or just your run-of-the-mill chocolate chip cookie dough, you’re gonna want to get every last drop. A sturdy spatula will let you do just that.

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5. BergHOFF® Orion 8-Inch Chef Knife ($25): According to Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matuhisa, a chef’s knife is where it’s at in the kitchen, which makes perfect sense. One thing you’re always doing is slicing things down, and everything is made easier (and safer!) if you’ve got a good, sharp knife by your side.

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6. Williams-Sonoma Microplane Rasp Grater ($15): Kristin Rugg Dovbniak of Cook Bake Nibble says that a microplane grater is part of her absolute must-have list of kitchen tools. From lemon zest to hard cheese and ginger, a microplane grater will come in super handy. Ginger tea, anyone?

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7. Cuisinart Elemental 8-Cup Food Processor ($100): Chef Dawn Casale of One Girl Cookies says that a food processor is one of her must-haves, and for good reason: It’s one of the most multi-functional pieces you can have in your kitchen. From pesto to peanut butter, a food processor will become your best bud and will have you whipping up chef-quality concoctions in no time at all.

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8. King Two Sided Sharpening Stone With Base ($32): Mark Bittman wrote in The New York Times that one of his necessities is a knife sharpening stone, and we couldn’t agree more. If you’re gonna invest in some killer chef-quality knives, it’s only right to pick up a nifty sharpener to match. Keep those knives working at their best for the rest of their lives.

What are your kitchen go-to’s? Tell us about ’em on Twitter @BritandCo!

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