Great kitchen gifts for the food lover in your life are great year-round, but especially during the holidays when the need to buy can bring on a type of panicked amnesia: “What does my bestie even like?! This is a good choice, right (pointing with well-intended exasperation to a mug in the shape of an elephant, because she, like, was in Thailand last year)?”
With all the parties and shopping, it’s amazing we can even remember our own names! Moving on: We asked Ronny Joseph of Primal Gourmet to put together a definitive Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies, and trust us, Ronny knows his way around the kitchen! He has put together his top foodie gift pics for every budget, from a zester you can use to dust nutmeg on your eggnog with, to a knife that’s so stunningly beautiful (and functional) it could bring the most callous-handed kitchen troll to tears. Read on for our Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies, brought to you by Ronny Joseph! Follow him @primal_gourmet!
Slice + Dice
From bottom left, clockwise
OXO Metal Tongs: Ditch the dollar store variety and invest in a proper pair of tongs. Look for something with a silicon grip, scalloped edges and a rolled underside so as to avoid accidentally pinching your skin during use.
Miyabi 6” MCT6000 Gyutoh: A Japanese knife is the Holy Grail item for just about every self-respecting cook; domestic or professional. If properly maintained, regularly honed, and occasionally sharpened, a Japanese chef’s knife will last an eternity. Note that stainless steel requires less maintenance than carbon steel but the metal is not as hard and, therefore, not as sharp. This knife actually makes dicing, slicing, julienne-ing and shiffonade-ing fun.
A wooden spoon: Preferably one that belonged to your grandmother and is older than you. Extra points if it was used to threaten you into doing your homework as a child.
A great vegetable peeler: Look for Japanese or Swiss made that is lightweight with a broad handle and wide blade. At under $10 it is one of the best kitchen investments you can make.
Opinel folding knife: carry it with you everywhere. From slicing an apple at a picnic to foraging for mushrooms, it should never leave your side.
Zwilling 4-Star 8” chef’s knife: You’ll need a heavy-duty knife for larger and tougher foods like squash, sweet potatoes and just about all other root vegetables.
Microplane zester: the industry standard for zesting any citrus. Also makes easy work of ginger, garlic, horseradish and just about anything else you want in your vinaigrettes.
OXO Julienne peeler: effortlessly julienne vegetables in the blink of an eye. Great for anyone who is not yet fully committed to the spiralizer life but wants to know what a zucchini noodle tastes like.
Fish spatula: Even if you don’t eat fish, this extra-thin spatula is a must-have for flipping delicate foods such as pesky veggie burgers.
Make Great Coffee in Style – Manual Coffee Makers
Front to Back
Bialetti 6 cup Mocha Express ($42.00 on Amazon.ca). Often imitated, never duplicated. Bialetti’s are the benchmark for stovetop espresso makers. It’s easy to use, clean and brews a very enjoyable pot of espresso. It can be used on electric, radiant or gas heat. Considering most Bialetti’s are passed from generation to generation, it’s a steal at under $50. With the money you save on the machine you can enjoy freshly roasted beans from your favorite local café.
Glass French Press ($8.95 – $65.00 on Amazon.ca depending on brand): Add freshly ground beans and hot water, let it steep for 4 minutes, press and enjoy. Quite possibly the easiest manual coffee maker and with a variety of models readily available for under $20, it might be the most affordable.
Six Cup Classic Chemex Coffeemaker ($58.95 on Amazon.ca): An elegant hourglass design accented with a handsome wooden collar and leather tie, it is as much a statement piece as a coffee maker. Unlike the French Press, the Chemex requires a more hands-on approach. The entire process can take up to 15 minutes if you grind your own beans. However, considering the fact that it brews one of the smoothest cups of coffee you can imagine, it’s well worth the effort. It can also double as teapot or flower vase!
Stainless Steel French Press ($45.00 – $128.45): Exactly the same as the glass version except the double-wall stainless steel construction is virtually indestructible and keeps your coffee warmer for longer.
Pots + Pans
Form left to right
Staub Round Cocotte ($249.99-$499.99 on Zwilling.ca): A large French Oven/Cocotte. Use it for soups, stews, braising, roasting, and anything in between. Staub cocotte’s have signature lids that funnel moisture down onto the food inside, which helps keep things moist and delicious.
Zwilling Aurora Stainless Steel Fry Pan (135.99 on Zwilling.ca): Use it for sautéing or even blanching long veggies like asparagus. Look for one that is heavy-bottomed with a solid handle.
Ballarini Rialto Non-stick Frying Pan ($79.99 at The Bay): The industry test for a non-stick skillet is to fry an egg in it. The vegan equivalent might be a pancake. Look for one that is PFOA and Nickel free.
Baumalu Copper Sauce Pot ($39.99-59.99 at Homesense): Along with a cast-iron skillet, copper is one of the few pieces of cookware that gets better with age. It evenly distributes heat, develops a beautiful patina with each use and is easy to maintain. Restore its luster by gently scrubbing it with a mixture of lemon juice and salt.
Lodge Cast-iron skillet ($40.79 on Amazon.ca): Use it to sear just about anything. It requires the most maintenance of any pan but if properly taken care of can last several generations.
Ronny Joseph is the owner and creative mind behind Primal Gourmet. He creates delicious paleo recipes for foodies + styles and shoots all Primal Gourmet photography. Make sure to check out www.cookprimalgourmet.com and follow him @primal_gourmet!