Cooking is an Art.
Creating art may not require all the material but only the essentials, and a good kitchen always have the essentials to create a great dish.
8″ Chef’s knife (kutsilyo)
This is what I call the all-around utility knife. I can chop, shred, cut, mince, slice and fillet if you really are good with it. I recommend to but not shorter than 8 inches but not longer then 10 inches. With a sturdy handle and you have a nice grip to it. When I look at a good knife is to verify that the steel is continuous from the tip to the end of the handle. Imitation are only end in the handle which are only inserted. Which be loosed after a couple of months.
If you have the money to go for the whole set then go for it. But the essential is the 8″ Knife that can be used for all your cutting needs.
Or a pot to many, is used for boiling or simmering dishes. Basically this will be the all-around pan you could use when cooking soup, sauces, or cooking stew. A good casserole will be able to handle 3-12 liters of water or about 7-9 inches in diameter (opening).
For me I will go for the stainless or metallic looking, but that’s just me. As long as you can cook your meal on it then we have no issue with it.
A ladle is another must have utility in the kitchen that will serve you many purpose. Mainly it is used to stir and serve soup or stew. It can also be used as a slotted turner ( the one used for frying) if you have no choice. A good ladle should be at least 1 ft long with a strong handle and a good bowl at the end.
Remember that cooking is not due to the equipment but due to the heart of the cook making the dish.