We first encountered Avishar Barua's cooking a few years ago at Veritas Tavern in Delaware. It was love at first bite, as they say. Now comes news he'll be the founding chef at Middle West Spirits' new restaurant.

We first encountered Avishar Barua's cooking a few years ago at Veritas Tavern in Delaware. It was love at first bite, as they say. He's been out of a regular gig for a while, though fans can find him and his food at popups around town and classes at The Commissary. Now comes news he'll be the founding chef at Middle West Spirits' new restaurant. While we wait patient-ishly for an opening date, get to know Barua through some of his favorite things.

Nikon D800

In a time where it is not uncommon for people to whip out their cell phones and take pictures of just about everything, it is always fun to pull out a full frame digital SLR and scare people. The process of composing a shot, processing in Lightroom, and exporting pictures is engaging. Sometimes it is better to travel well than arrive!

Devin Thomas 270mm Gyuto

Like a perfectly fitting glove, everyone has an ideal chef knife! Due to my occupation and obsessive personality type, I happen to have 20 of them. While I cycle my chef knives often, if my house were to catch on fire I would grab this one first. The blade is long and distal tapered (thicker at the heel and gets narrower as it goes towards the tip) and can thus be used to crack lobster shells at the heel as well as do a micro-brunoise of shallots with the tip. Finally, it is made right here in America by a wonderful guy who stands behind all his products.

Columbus Metropolitan Library

The most important tool in a cook's arsenal is knowledge. The Columbus Metropolitan Library allows us to tap into the minds of many great chefs by simply requesting a title to be transferred to the local branch. Books automatically renew themselves now too, so there is no excuse not to expand your mental toolbox!

Moleskine

Even though my handwriting is terrible, the importance of taking notes cannot be overstated. The Moleskine journal that I always have in my pocket has literally traveled across the world and survived some brutal kitchens in New York without missing a beat or page. If abuse is in your nature, and you are abused regularly by nature, Rite in the Rain makes a cool waterproof journal.

WD-50 Spoon

Everyone who worked at WD-50 certainly stole at least one service spoon. We were always taught to have an offset spatula in our arm pocket and a spoon in our pants pocket. Spoons are the Swiss Army knife and paintbrush of the cook's world; it is only natural that we have an unhealthy obsession with them. While some chefs have issues with tongs, I have yet to encounter one who scolds cooks for using spoons!