04 Dec 2012

Hill Holiday Shopping Guide: For the Chef or Kitchen Newbie in Your Life

photo courtesy jonwye.com

Whether you’re shopping for the chef who has everything or someone who’s just learning kitchen basics, there are plenty of Hill Holiday gift items for the cook.

Of course any holiday shopping trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Hill’s Kitchen. The local shop carries a number of  kitchenware products, some unique to Capitol Hill and Washington, DC.

Last year, I bought DC- and Capitol-shaped cookie cutters as stocking stuffer items, and they were a big hit. Hill’s Kitchen carries all 50 states and some DC monuments in cookie cutter form. It’s a sweet treat and a way to represent your state or DC pride.

But this year’s favorite, available at Hill’s Kitchen, is the District-of-Columbia-shaped cutting board. The bamboo board retails for $24.95 and it has been selling fast, said owner Leah Daniels.

The DC shaped cutting board and cookie cutter, as well as the monument shaped cutters. Photo courtesy Hill’s Kitchen.

Other popular items include a selection of  DC-themed serving plates. The plates have a border of monuments and landmarks, including the Capitol dome. The dishes retail from $24.50-$52.50. There’s also Capitol dome hand towels available for $9.95.

And, don’t forget: Hill’s Kitchen offers a variety of year-round cooking classes. Inquire at the store about upcoming classes or visit their website to sign-up your chef.

The Hill Center is another option for cooking classes. The building has a large instructional kitchen in the basement and hosts a variety of chefs and food experts. Class offerings are listed online and you can register in-advance or on-behalf of others.

Hill Center already has one cooking class on the calendar for next year. The class is an advanced bread making demonstration with Mark Furstenberg, the former owner of Marvelous Market and BreadLine and a two-time James Beard nominee. Your cook will learn how to use various bread making techniques and come home with dough that’s ready to bake.

You might also want to drop-by Eastern Market on a Saturday or Sunday (or shop online) to browse Jon Wye’s collection of “pirate chef” apparel. Wye is a DC artisan, well-known for designing custom leather belts, but he also makes stylish kitchen aprons.

Jon Wye’s pirate chef apron. Photo courtesy JonWye.com

Wye’s pirate chef apparel uses a skull and crossbones insignia, except instead of crossbones he uses a whisk and spatula. The aprons are splash resistant with back ties and an adjustable neck for just the right fit. Plus there’s a side loop on the apron that can be used as a holster for grilling tongs — no grillmaster can say ‘no’ to that.

And finally, if you’re looking for a way to make your foodie gift go a long way this holiday season, then sign-up for Sips & Suppers.

Proceeds from this two-day food and drink event benefit Martha’s Table and DC Central Kitchen, nonprofits serving the homeless and hungry in Washington.

‘Sips’ takes place on Saturday, January 26th and costs $95/per person. The event features a number of cocktails and small dishes prepared by popular chefs, like José Andrés, Joan Nathan and Alice Waters.  Then, on Sunday January 27th, ‘Suppers,’ which are private, in-house meals, cost $550/per person. There is a full list of dinners available online. These are intimate meals shared with well-known chefs and the volunteers of Martha’s Table and DC Central Kitchen. Each meal is open to approximately 16-20 diners, and early registration is recommended because previous dinners have sold-out.

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