2014 Holiday Shopping Guide for Serious Foodies

These gift ideas are intended for the gung-ho food lovers and connoisseurs out there.

food, cooking, gift guide, holiday wish list, wusthof

Like any excitable child, I would love a new bike for Christmas. I want one of those “if Batman had a road bike, he would have this one” road bikes that seem to be made of hyperbole and borderline fictional materials.

Unfortunately, this one doesn’t get to go on my wish list, as it is an area I know nothing about. But as a chef-turned-girevik, I do know a thing or two about cooking and eating well. 

These are my gift ideas for the serious cooks out there:

Polyscience Culinary Sous Vide Discovery Immersion Circulator

Price: $299.95

Where to Get It: Amazon

Description: Sous vide is a method of preparing food under pressure at low temperatures, resulting in even cooking. The technique as been around for a while, but only to high-end commercial kitchens with big gear budgets. I haven’t actually had a chance to play with sous vide cooking yet, but this year has seen an emergence of domestic units, opening up the potential for some pretty amazing healthy foods in the home. I want in.

Kuhn Ricon Duromatic Inox Pressure Cooker

Price: $499.00

Where to Get It: Amazon

Description: This is a great tool that saves time and money. Pressure cookers can halve the cooking time of tougher cuts of meat, breaking down the connective tissues into collagen, which is a great source of dietary protein. Collagen is also good for making stock, which will ensure that all of your home-cooked soups and sauces are way better than the store-bought stuff. The one I use is actually my mum’s Prestige model, but the gold standard is the classic Kohn Rikon.

Quality Chef’s Knife From Wusthof

Price: $129.95

Where to Get It: Amazon

Description: No kitchen should be without a proper knife that is kept sharp. The knife that gets the most use in my kitchen is a chef’s knife, which is probably the best choice if you are going to invest in just one due to its versatility. I even use mine to open bottles because I can be an impatient thug at times. I have a set of Global knives that have served me well for years, but I do wish I had a Wusthof.

food, cooking, gift guide, holiday wish list, wusthof

The Essence of French Cooking, by Michel Roux

Price: $30.49

Where to Get It: Amazon

Description: Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a new book. Naturally, I like a cookery book. My favorites are the ones that look at the techniques of the real masters like How To Cook the Perfect…, by Markus Waring, which has been my recommendation for years. The Essence of French Cooking is the life-long work of Michel Roux, and it should provide a few good tips that I can apply to my style of fit food.

Weber 740 Rapidfire Chimney Starter

Price: $14.99

Where to Get It: Amazon

Description: I love to barbecue. It’s the natural medium for a primal diet. Big chunks of meat cooked over fire seems pretty primal to me. A chimney starter helps to make real charcoal barbecuing a much more practical option by drastically reducing the lighting time, which is a plus since I don’t believe in gas barbecues. I currently have a cheap starter I got from a garden center, but it’s falling apart. The genuine article would ensure that next year I can get as much caveman cuisine as possible.

Ezystove Wood-fuelled Camp Cooking Stove

Price: $118.00

Where to Get It: Amazon

Description: I was wasn’t ever a Boy Scout, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to be prepared. A camping stove in the car is always a good idea, whether it be for a hot drink during an emergency, the discovery of a perfect spot to hang around in, or not having to wait to get home to cook up that fantastic farm shop find. The award-winning Ezystove doesn’t even need a fuel canister or liquid fuel. It outputs dependable heat from sticks and twigs, so you can never be caught short. And of course, there is that lovely hint of wood smoke. I spent years trying to perfect my own design, but this is better.

ProQ Cold Smoke Generator

Price: $34.99

Where to Get It: Amazon

Description: I like to cure my own meats. Frankly, I’m not sure what unsmoked bacon is even for! The clever little ProQ smoke generator can be used to turn any container into a cold smoker. It isn`t limited to meats, either, so you can have a crack at adding smoky flavors to all kinds of things like cheese, butter, fish, and even water.

Lakeland Smart Touch Induction Hob

Price: $157.95

Where to Get It: Lakeland

Description: Gas is my favorite energy source for hob cooking, but I don’t have gas since I live in the sticks. I am currently burdened by an awful electric halogen thing. An induction hob is efficient and fast, and the temperature is completely controllable and consistent, so hook me up.

Nice Set of Plates

Price: Varies

Where to Get It: Denby

All of my plates are white surplus from my old restaurant, so I have loads of them. They are great quality, but I do sometimes wish I had some with a bit more character. After all, the first taste is with the eye, and there are psychological benefits to the enjoyment of a meal served on sturdy, heavy plates. My dream would be to have a set from a local potter, Claudia Lis. That would be amazing, but I also have a soft spot for Denby.

A Bottle of Laphroaig Quarter Cask Whisky

Price: $109.99

Where to Get It: 1-877-Spirits

I am not a big drinker, but I do enjoy a good single malt. It has been around for centuries and is incarnated at its best in the pure liquid gold of Laphroaig Quarter Cask. What would the festive season be without a little nip?

I hope the coming year brings you above all else health, happiness, and love. Happy holidays!

Stay tuned for more 2014 holiday gift guides!