What kitchen gadget or appliance, cookbook, hard-to-find food or spirit are you coveting this holiday season? We put this question to bloggers, writers, chefs and foodies hoping to get some inspiration to tackle our holiday shopping list in the hopes of finding that perfect present for the food-obsessed person in your life.
What's at the top of your holiday wish list to give or receive?
Blogger, Twilight at Morningside
Gift: An Illustrated Guide to Cocktails by Orr Sthuhl and Elizabeth Graber
"In our home, Dale DeGroff is the final word on cocktails. The Essential Cocktail is our bible, but if you're looking for a bit of whimsy with your drink, Orr Sthuhl and Elizabeth Graber's self-published book pairs charming illustrations and back-story (full of intrigue) with each recipe."
Chef Jeff Borofsky
Chef, Skinny Pines
Gift: A yearly subscription to Fine Cooking's website. Giving the cook access to the magazine's vast collection of recipes. Gift for a vegetarian: We always turn to Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. This is a go to cookbook with great tips for all things vegetable.
Executive Editor, CTbites
Gift: A subscription to Lucky Peach
"A creation of David Chang, chef/owner of Momofuku and writer Peter Meehan, Lucky Peach is a quarterly food journal of food and writing published by McSweeney's. It's a rock 'n roll take on the usually uptight world of food publishing."
Gift: Pressure Cooker
"So I can make homemade stocks in a fraction of the time otherwise necessary."
Meteorologist, Game Show Host, Raconteur, The Mattcast
Gift: A Hamilton Deep Fryer
"Because I'm a man who believes that A: any vegetable tastes better fried, and B: Cholesterol is overrated."
Gift: Artisanal Cheese of the Month subscription"Four cave-aged handcrafted cheeses at peak ripeness, fromager's notes, and a wine and beer pairing guide sent. A perfect gift for a cheese lover."
Gift: "A reservation for 2 at Grant Achatz's Alinea restaurant in Chicago. It's as close as you can get to El Bulli in the U.S. and I've always had a fantasty about eating food off his signature antenna skewers...look ma...no hands."
Co-Owner, Huntington Street Café
Gift: The Table Comes First: Family, France and the Meaning of Food by Adam Gopnik"Adam Gopnik can be relied upon to serve a zesty and nourishing sauce for any noodle--the one you think with, that is--his latest book searches history, literature, culture and personal experience with the skill of prized a truffle-hunting cochon to root out the sublime substance of sustenance. If Santa can't bring Mr. Gopnik as a dinner guest, I'll happily nibble this as a postprandial delight."
Pizzaioli, Stanziato's Wood Fired Pizza
"I've never been the materialistic type...I'm more about enjoying my time and company out of work.....so I'm gonna say my only wish from Santa this year would be a week in Bora Bora. Eating, drinking, swimming, frollicking, fishing, snorkling....you get the idea...."
Gift: Bender Brewer
"Lucy Liu has professed her undying love for me, I once stole Jay Leno's head, and I have more than once told someone to bite my shiny metal ass. Never has there been a more appropriate way for someone demonstrate the spirit of the season, therefor, than spending three weeks of their life building this for me."
Blogger, A Change of Eatery
Gift: A mobile foodie survival kit!
"I'm a sucker for all things cute, compact, and geared toward gourmands. This set has everything from wasabi to sea salt for when you need to spice things up on the go."
Gift: CIA Vitamix or CIA Digital Scale
"As a real treat….the CIA Vita-Mix Blender is the True Culinary gift to have. As you know, these blenders are unsurpassed, and coveted by all professional chefs for their own kitchens. However a bit costly for most, especially for the economic times we are in. Another more affordable option would be our CIA Digital Scale, which comes with a cover that can be used as a bowl to measure ingredients (either in grams, or ounces) when baking. Another useful tip is to use it to measure food if on Weight Watchers or another similarly based weight loss program. A very handy item to have."
Kerry Anne Ducey
Editor & Founder, Hamlet Hub
Gift: Stainless Steel Spaetzle Maker
"Well, quite simply, none of my kitchen tools are equipped with the correct size holes to make spaetzle the way my mom did. Sadly, I have lost (or misplaced for ten years) the worn, stainless steel tool she once used. My German mother made this side dish (a cross between a dumpling and pasta) with Rouladen (also German). It is comfort food at its best- especially when smothered in gravy. Every time I eat homemade spaetzle, I feel like I’m being hugged."
Dan & Kristien Del Ferraro
Gift: Cookin’ for Trouble by Nadia G.
"Nadia G. is the rockstar of the food world and stars (with the help of some offbeat regulars) in her own series on Cooking Channel called “Bitchin’ Kitchen.” Chances are, you’ve never seen a cooking show like this: it’s part fashion show, part comedy routine, part WTF?, part cooking awesomeness. Nadia recently released her second cookbook: Cookin’ for Trouble, with a special intro from Guy Fieri. Her cookbook is fun, teaches you some Italian lingo, has great recipes, is full of hotness, and is a great read. Also, why not pick up her first cookbook, Rock Your Kitchen--and Let the Boys Clean Up the Mess or a rockin’ guitar spatula from her store? Rock on with Nadia G. and have “A Bitchin’ Christmas!”
Publisher/Editor, Modern Distillery Age & Editor in Chief, Yankee Brew News
Gift: A case of Avec les Bons Voeux de la Brasserie Dupont (With Best Wishes from Dupont Brewery).
"Of the hundreds of beers I review each year, this Belgian brewery’s holiday Saison ale is always one of my favorites. It’s gold in color, has aromas of bananas, cloves, peppers, spices and yeast and is rich on the palate with more cloves, spices and yeastiness plus malt sweetness. Plus it comes unfiltered in a lovely 750-ml cork and wire-caged bottle. If there can be a perfect beer, this is it.