8 tech leaders on the kitchen gadgets they love

By | December 2, 2017

Image: Getty/dorian2013

Joanna Shields loves her waffle iron, while Russ Shaw loves his breadmaker. Who knew?

Even Britain’s best and brightest must eat. But it’s rare we get an insight into their lives away from the boardroom.

So today, for The Memo’s Future Food month, we asked some of the UK’s tech leaders what gadgets make their lives just that bit better in the kitchen.

Will they help shape your dinner menu tonight?

Wendy Tan-White

Wendy Tan-White is a Partner at BGF Ventures, a Member of the Digital Economy Council and a board member of Tech City UK.

Favourite kitchen gadget: Our KitchenAid Mixer.

Joe and the children gave it to me for Mother’s Day 4 years ago. I’d been coveting it for ages.

Why do you love it? Because the family gave it to me. Mine is teal, I love the colour and the artisan product design. It’s 100% robust too, proper engineering.

What do you make with it? Passionfruit and raspberry pavlova. It’s Joe’s favourite. His mum is from New Zealand and she always made it for him for his birthday. I’ve taken over the mantle.

KitchenAid Mixer from £399 at KitchenAid.co.uk

Russ Shaw

Russ Shaw is the founder Tech London Advocates & Global Tech Advocates.

Favourite kitchen gadget: I will confess that I am not that prolific in the kitchen, but one gadget I do love in our kitchen is our Panasonic breadmaker. It has been part of our family for years.

Why do you love it? It can be set overnight so that warm bread (and lovely warm bread smells) greet us in the morning.

What do you make with it? All kinds of wonderful bread!

Panasonic breadmaker from £199.99 www.panasonic.com

Hussein Kanji

Hussein Kanji is a founding partner of Hoxton Ventures.

Favourite kitchen gadget: My favouritegadget is probably my halogen oven (although my newest gadget is my Anova sous vide).

I’ve had it for about two years now – I had product lust after seeing it the home of a former senior Google engineer.

Why do you love it? It’s way more efficient than the oven, and doesn’t heat up the whole house.

What do you make with it? I try to cook a lot of what we cook in the oven (chicken, fish, etc) when it’s smaller portions. And I use it to reheat food because I’m scared of microwaves (prob irrationally so).

Halogen ovens cost around £60-£70. Which recommends industry leaders here. 

Bindi Karia

Bindi Karia is founder of the Boutique Advisory Firm which connects the dots between Corporates, Startups, Investors and Governments. 

Favourite kitchen gadget: Not a gadget, but my iPad, to look up all the savoury recipes I love to cook. My SodaStream is a close second.

I’ve had the SodaStream for around three years. I’m also hoping Santa gives me a sous vide device for Christmas this year!

Why do you love it? I used to spend an extraordinary amount of money on sparkling water, so the SodaStream has been a great addition!

Also, I’m trying to be slightly more environmentally conscious, so using tap water with a Brita filter means that I am being a good citizen.

What do you make with it? I love to infuse my water with fresh lemon and lime or mint and cucumber before I add the bubbles to it.

SodaStream from £49.99 at sodastream.co.uk

Oliver Meakin

Oliver Meakin is CEO at Britain’s largest tech store Maplin.

Favourite kitchen gadget: Without doubt my Google Home. I bought it from Maplin (obviously!) about 6 months ago.

Why do you love it? Not only does it look good, it is an incredibly useful gadget to have in the kitchen – particularly when needing to set a timer!

It also allows me to check train times, traffic reports, news headlines, football scores and play music while making a cup of tea in the morning, or cooking in the evening. Just brilliant!

What do you make with it? Hmm… I haven’t made anything per se with my Google Home, but it did help me not burn the roast chicken on Sunday!

Google Home, from £79 www.maplin.co.uk.

Joanna Shields

Joanna Shields is the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Internet Safety, and founder of WeProtect.org

Favourite kitchen gadget: I am afraid my favourite kitchen gadget is a bit retro – it’s my waffle iron.

Why do you love it? First, I have had it since my son was a baby and he’s just gone off to Uni!

Secondly, it makes waffles in the shape of hearts. So made with love!

What do you make with it? I’m looking forward to having my son home over Christmas to make yummy waffles for breakfast.

GoodHousekeeping has a great list of this year’s top waffle irons, but we think this heart-shaped one by Gourmet Gadgetry is superb, £30 johnlewis.com

Anthony Fletcher

Anthony Fletcher is CEO at Graze.

Favourite kitchen gadget: My pizza stone (which I asked for as a gift).

Why do you love it? Want to make pizza better than any chain in the UK without one of those silly stone igloos in your garden?

It’s all about making your own base and what happens when you cook it on a very hot surface.

What do you make with it? Pizzas! Do it with your kids. Buy some good ingredients make your own dough (if you want to be fancy keep your own sourdough culture in the fridge) and make sure the stone is insanely hot (I use the BBQ).

Pizza stones vary in price, but we like this £22 stone from John Lewis. johnlewis.com

Alice Bentinck

Alice Bentinck is co-founder at Entrepreneur First.

Favourite kitchen gadget: My Anova sous vide. My brother gave it to me for Christmas as he swears by it.

Why do you love it? By slow cooking food in its own juices you get amazingly flavoursome meals.

What do you love to make with it? It’s particularly great for fish and meat – and you can make an amazing puttanesca sauce which tastes incredible.