Wednesday, 15 December 2010

A Culinary Christmas

Christmas Gifts for Food Freaks

30. Cheese
Everyone loves it.  Gorge out at Christmas time with quality cheese, Carr's water biscuits, vintage port and your favourite chutney or jelly.  Some of the best- Raclette, Stilton, Sharpham Elmhirst, Taleggio, Truffled Robiola, Oisin Goat's, Morbier, Stinking Bishop....the list goes on and on.

Baked Camembert
29. Chef's Candle
A design classic and practical to boot.  Helps eradicate unwanted kitchen odours apres cooking.

28. Pie Funnel
Or pie bird, pie whistle, pie vent etc.  These ceramic lovelies hearken back to the Victorian age and work a treat whilst adding an air of class centre table.

Piebird at Piebird Cottage

27. Bacon iPhone Case
Go on, you know you want one.  Pretend you're Lady Gaga.

26. Microplane
A kitchen utensil must have.  Garlic, lemons, Parmesan, cinnamon, chocolate...this is the best grater you will ever buy.

25. Joseph Joseph Salad Bowl
With integral lifter/toss implements!  Finally life is complete.

24. Pasta Maker
Few things are more therapeutic and satisfying as making your own pasta.

23. Sushi Booties
These are hilarious, and how very yummy mummy ra-ra.

22. Mushroom Kit
Like magic!  Also see- herb garden, sprout garden etc.

21. Three-tier Steamer
A must have.  Bamboo is cooler but less practical, electric is no.

20. Big Timer
The one and only classic and a great stocking stuffer. Pretend you are a real chef for five minutes.

19. Smoked Salmon
Tis the season.  Even better if you catch and smoke your own.  What a gift that would be!

18. Chocolate
When giving a gift of chocolate, go for quality not quantity.

Amedei, one of the world's very finest chocolatiers.

17. Chopping Boards
Everyone has them.  No one has the right one.  Go big or go home.  Thick slabs of wood.  An extra large one that doubles as all-purpose and roast-carving, don't forget the meat juice groove along the edge.  Have a smaller olive wood board on hand for cheese serving or charcuterie for two.

16. Soda Stream
A gadget I would love to get.  Healthy fizzes for the kids.

15. EasiYo
Ok, so the flavour is not 100%, but it is not bad either.  Very economical, simple and not full of crap ingredients.  Most supermarket yoghurts would have more junk in them than the packets for EasiYo

14. Cookery Classes
My personal dream course would be a gavage weekend in France on some little farmhouse.   Take your pick.  There are courses everywhere to suit.  From Le Manoir to Rue Tatin.  Ashburton Cookery School is of particular note.  Superb classes given by great teachers.

The Ashburton Cookery School Brigade

13. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Give the gift of the gods.  The best I have ever tasted are Castelluccio and Manni.

12. Blackboard Storage Jars
What a neat idea.  No more sticky labels and room enough for best before dates.

11. Espresso Machine
Wake up like an Italian.  Hey, North America!  Cappuccino is a breakfast drink!

10. Sketch Hamper
Arguably London's most opulent trendy restaurant...doing hampers?  Could be interesting.

9. Handcrafted Japanese Knives
In my mind, too precious for the professional kitchen.  Keep these at home for bragging rights and to marvel over.  See Doi, Watanabe and more.

A selection of Watanabe.

8. Robert Welch Signature Series Knives
Probably the best production knife around, especially for the price.  Fantastic knives for chef and home alike.

7. Cook Books
No, not fucking Jamie Oliver!  Get your loved one something special.  The Larousse Gastronomique has a new edition out.  David Thompson's, Thai Street Food promises to be a cracker,  The Fat Duck Cookbook is a beauty or how about food related books?  Just about anything by Michael Ruhlman or Anthony Bourdain is hard to put down and I loved Heat by Bill Buford.  Elizabeth David, Simon Hopkinson , Mark Hix...the list is long, but choose well.

6. Collapsible Colanders
A great idea.  Bloody colanders take up too much room.  Store it next to your cake racks and gain some storage space.

5. Alcohol
Either buy their favourite or wow them with some vintage Scotch, port or Champagne.

Chambord in Champers or vanilla ice cream makes me swoon.

4. Food Art
Well, hey...if you got the dosh.  Susannah Blaxhill, Paul Karslake, Dijk, Manet....

'Oriental Mushrooms' Susannah Blaxhill

3. Christmas Lifesavers Sweet Story Book
Huh?  Ok, ok, my brother and I got one of these every year in our stockings.

2. Faberge Egg
I've always wanted one.  Would make a great bookend on the back of my cistern, or maybe a hood ornament?

'Peter the Great' Faberge Egg

1. Home Made Food
The number one gift you can give a food lover for Christmas?  Quality home made food.  What could be better than specially wrapped chocolate chip cookies, Christmas pudding made the year before, preserves, chutneys, smoked fish or meat pies.  The list is endless and the gift means so much.

     So there you have it.  Hopefully a few good ideas for the final burst of consumerism before that festive day.  Problem is, I keep thinking of more gifts...anything by Le Creuset, a whole ham from Pipers Farm, real Canadian maple syrup, anything from Princess d'Isenbourg... 

From Hardboiled Chef

1 comment:

  1. Bought that GAGGIA cappuccino machine (in red) a couple years ago. Sadly we found it too big for our counter that is too small.