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The Chef Basket: Your Perfect Pasta Strainer?

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By KREX News RoomMeaghan Wallace


Updated: Wed, 09 Oct 2013 11:17:52 MST

Grand Junction's very own Enzo's Pizzeria and Italian Cafe has a head chef who knows a thing or two about making a good dish. "I would definitely consider myself a pasta pro," said Jay Bair, head chef and manager of Enzo's. Enzo's is famous for their rigatoni and you can only imagine how many noodles that entails boiling. "We cook pasta every day. We cook probably eighty pounds of pasta a week," said Bair. We took Bair the Chef Basket, a multi-purpose strainer that's made entirely of stainless steel. It's rather small in size and a little flimsy, but we wanted to see how it'd work. The key to the Chef Basket is that you put it into your boiling pot before the pasta. Bair dumped a pound of rigatoni noodles into the Chef Basket and we let it boil and expand. "I'm curious to see what happened after the pasta cooks and if you still can manage it," said Bair. When the pasta was ready to be taken out of the boiling water, Bair lifted the Chef Basket from the pot and the water drained right back into the pot. "It acts as a strainer," said Bair. "If you're concerned about burning yourself when you're dumping the water, it's easier to pick up and carry to the sink." We also wanted to know how it did transferring the pasta from the sink to the bowl, so Bair slowly tipped the Chef Basket over a plate. "It's not too bad. It's a little hard to control the spill," said Bair. "It is a little flimsy." The product also claims to be a great tool for rinsing food. The box advertises holding potatoes, so we gave that a try to see if it was really sturdy enough. "Not bad. It seems like it's holding up fairly well," said Bair. And then there's the storage. It promises to fold into an easy flat shape, which it did, but Bair could foresee some problems with that. "All of these kind of collapse in a system and if a couple were bent, there could be problems," said Bair. After trying out a few of the Chef Basket's promises, what's our pasta pro's five-star rating? "I would say three and a half stars," said Bair. "Just the concern of the durability of the product, if it gets bent in your cupboard or something like that, will it still work?"
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