As much as we may dislike the word foodie, we all have one in our life. Someone who can be found blowtorching a crème brûlée on a Sunday night, inhaling an omakase at a recently reviewed restaurant, or bringing cloudy, fizzy all-natural Gewürztraminer to the potluck.
What to give them come the holidays? Surely, they already have the latest trendy cookbook and every weird cooking tool–meets–torture instrument imaginable. Would they be impressed by the cold-pressed olive oil you discovered at your local grocer or the fig jam you picked up on your last upstate weekend getaway? We went straight to the source to find out:
Sophia Roe, Chef and Founder of The Pillow Talk Sessions
I’m excited about getting stacked bamboo steamer baskets, similar to the ones you see being used for dim sum. You can steam your entire meal super-fast. I saw a chef using one in the kitchen at a restaurant in Los Angeles and it completely inspired me.
Varun Kataria, Owner of Turk’s Inn
The first time I had spreadable maple syrup was in Montreal, at Martin Picard’s infamous Sugar Shack pop-up restaurant, where we ate a 12-course dinner with maple syrup as the featured ingredient of every dish. There, I discovered maple served every way imaginable: maple sugar, maple candy, a brick of maple that could be grated. My favorite of them all was the maple butter. Spreading that on warm bread is an indescribable pleasure, somewhere between sleeping on a cloud and taking a bath in hot chocolate. It’s that good.
Charlotte Druckman, Food Writer and Author of Women on Food
When I first moved to my apartment in Greenwich Village, I discovered Bonnie Slotnick’s vintage cookbook store down the street and was enchanted. I think it was my first weekend there, and I still had plenty of room on my bookshelves. I brought my father, and he thought both Bonnie and her shop were fabulous. They took to chatting; Dad would later begin emailing her about bygone cookbooks or restaurant guides he missed. But that day, he spotted a first-edition (1965) copy of the cookbook Vincent Price wrote with his wife, Mary, A Treasury of Great Recipes. It’s a favorite of both of my parents; they have it in their kitchen. My father surprised me and bought it for me as a Christmas gift.
Camille Becerra, Chef and Food Stylist
I was gifted this stovetop espresso maker and it looks very chic sitting on the stove. The idea this year is selecting gifts that support the community. A fan of dark roasts in the winter, I love Lokah, which specializes in sourcing beans that support women growers through the sale of world-class organic coffee purchased at or above fair-trade rates.
Apollonia Poilâne, Baker and Author of Poilâne
The best gift I ever received was beeswax wrappers. They are a great way to keep your confections fresh. Since I have had them, I haven’t bought plastic wrap!
Hannah: We have some pans from Great Jones, which only makes us really want the Dutchess. It’s a beautiful and unique piece that deserves to be at the center of your table.
Marian: I love hosting, whether it’s brunch, aperitivo, or dinner. The Breville Fast Slow Pro is an all-encompassing cooking pot that braises, sautés, slow cooks, and pressure cooks. The best thing is that it adjusts based on time, pressure, and temperature. For a favorite stew of mine, it dwindled down the standard cooking time of four hours to 45 minutes! It infuses flavor quickly, keeps meats extremely juicy, and requires less oil.
Jessamyn Waldman-Rodriguez, Managing Director of Danny Meyer’s Daily Provisions
When testing recipes for the Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook, I realized that the best way to get a crispy skin on pork belly for bahn mi is to use a blowtorch, but I never purchased my own. Now my daughter has developed an obsession with crème brûlée; she orders it whenever she can. I would love to teach her how to make it (what an important life skill for an 8-year-old to have!). Also, I love candles and fire in the dark of winter. I hope to do some blowtorching to light up the long days in January and February.
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