Photo: Kyocera Advanced Ceramics
How badly do you want those perfectly julienned potatoes? Because once you get over the fear of losing a finger, you still have to figure out how to assemble the thing, with its myriad blades and settings. That's why Salvatore Rizzo, the owner/director of De Gustibus Cooking School in New York, which hosts chefs such as Mario Batali, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Masaharu Morimoto, is in favor of the low-tech (and low-priced) Japanese mandoline, which costs about $25 (versus $125 or more for the French version). It's quick, easy, clean and cheap.