Do you have someone on your list who subscribes to ten or more food-related newsletters? Are they more likely to pick up Food and Wine magazine over Marie Claire or Esquire? When you mention foreign travel do they immediately ask you if you tried some sort of native dish? I have totally just described myself and probably half of my fellow THIH writers… So what do we want this year?
At Hill’s Kitchen you can find gifts for cooks at all price points, from stocking stuffers like salt and pepper shakers to big ticket items like an at-home Sous Vide machine and everything in between. The shop offers a dizzying array of bakeware, cookware, utensils and sturdy and dependable Lodge cast iron pans. Any cook would be thrilled with all of it but here are a few items that caught my eye.
I recently became a convert to the mandoline and I have seen the light! I will never make a gratin without it again. What took me so long? SO. MUCH. SLICING. Hill’s Kitchen sells 5 (!) different models ranging in price but all come with a hand guard! Safety first!
Most ambitious home cooks are avid cookbook collectors. Hill’s Kitchen has great selection of classics as well as new releases. A hot seller this year is Ina Garten’s Make Ahead. The Hamptons Hostess offers recipes and tips to help your friend make delish dishes so he/she can throw fabulous parties for you both to enjoy. Another hot book this year is Plenty More, Yottam Ottolenghi’s follow-up to his vegetable focused Plenty. Gorgeous photos and unusual flavor combinations will keep your best chef busy all year.
I also picked up a nifty salad dressing bottle called the Salad Zinger which has a compartment which chops herbs and infuses the vinaigrette with flavors. It also serves as a bottle for homemade dressing which eliminates the need for bowls/whisks/spoons. Keep those leftover herbs fresh in the fridge with a Cuispro instead of forgotten in a sad corner of the crisper.
Vegans, juice heads, bartenders and serious kitchen-folk all swear by the Vita Mix and if you have deep enough pockets, you can pick up one of these high-performing super-blenders for that very special friend headlining this year’s Nice list.
At Labyrinth Games you can pick up Foodie Fight. Finally, a game tailor made for the cooking and eating obsessed.
Any home cook would be thrilled with a one-of-a-kind cutting board from Blue Ridge Cutting Boards. This long-time Eastern Market vendor sets up most weekends right on 7th Street so there is no missing the gorgeous hand crafted boards. These beauties are practical places to chop veggies and they also make excellent and arty trays to display hors d’ouvres.
Union Market is an excellent place to shop for the home cook. Stop in to Salt and Sundry to pick up a hostess gift of high end salt and salt cellars to store it. Some food nerds would be impressed by a bag of Ranch Gordo beans since the California-based company’s products are hard to come by outside of the internet and are often quite pretty. I mean for beans.
Righteous Cheese has books and boards galore for cheese heads. I picked up a Partyclette for my Swiss-raised sister-in-law. Raclette is the other famous Swiss dish involving gooey cheese (thank you Switzerland!) and the Partyclette is compact enough for those on-the-go, melted cheese needs.
Our Union Market gift guide mentioned the goodies found at Bazaar Spices. I spied a few fun gifts to make food-nerds geek out. The DIY Vanilla kit is pretty genius. A bottle with vanilla beans ready to fill with a spirit like bourbon or rum. After a few weeks it becomes high quality vanilla extract. This gift is for baking, not boozing people. Your friend is going to make some killer chocolate chip cookies with this.
Toki Underground’s newish shop Honeycomb has quickly become my go-to place for hard to find Asian inspired ingredients. Any Toki fan would love some house made garlic oil, peanut sauce or spice mixes.
Merry kimchi everyone!