Food writer Michael Ruhlman's list of essential kitchen gadgets are what you'd expect from a guy who wrote a book called The Elements of Cooking — no garlic massagers or bacon wafters here.
From right to left, big knife and little knife, rubber spatula, wood spoon with flat edge, fish spatula, microplane, instant read thermometer, Sharpie, sauce whip, string, fine mesh strainer, two spoons, measuring spoons, peeler, heavy side towel for grabbing hot things, and, the most important tool in the kitchen, kosher salt.
He neglects to mention the porcelain ramekin that's holding the salt, which is funny because I didn't start grabbing those until Ruhlman actually suggested using them in Elements. I'm not religious about using them for mis en place — a little bowl works fine, too — but being able to toss them in water or an oven can be handy.
It's worth checking out the whole post just for the yapping in the comments, where foodies go on about their essential tools like we nerds bicker about text editors.
My Favorite Kitchen "Gadgets" [Blog.Ruhlman.com]