Grant Achatz: Import Food 6" Mortar and Pestle

Grant Achatz, Alinea (Chicago)

This ancient tool doesn't seem to fit in Achatz's arsenal, but the pioneer of molecular gastronomy uses it for everything from crushing nitro-frozen foams to extracting oils from nuts.

Try this: Make pesto – sea salt, and plenty of elbow grease, helps pulverize the ingredients. [$23; importfood.com]