Quadlux's 20-by-20-inch FlashBake oven cooks food with light rays--1,650 watts' worth of halogen lamps. Type A's will love roastinga chicken perfectly in half the time it takes in a regular oven ($1,595; 800-THE-OVEN).
All in the Family
Although chef Sam Mogannam of San Franciscohas closed his popular Rendezvous du Monde, fear not. He's reopened his family's Bi-Rite Marketand is packaging such restaurant-quality eats ashomemade lasagna and cured fish (415-241-9760).
To the Manor Born
Rubbing suede elbows with the tweedysetcanbe a learning experience now that Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, near Oxford, England, has opened new facilities for its cooking school. Guests study French culinary techniques with director Alex MacKay. For info, call 800-845-4274.
These days chocolate gifts don't bear any resemblance to Grandma's sampler. Godiva's selection includes Pirouettes (vanilla biscuit "scrolls" dipped in milk chocolate) and four other varieties. Hawaiian Vintage, famous for its chocolate, is selling chocolate-flavored coffees, and Tom and Sally's of Vermont offers delectable three-inch disk-shaped confections made with imported French and Belgian chocolate.
A Cut Above
Calphalon, which produces some of the most stylishyet practical cookware you can shake a whisk at, hasintroduced knives tomatch. Their high-carbonsteel blades, ingeniouslydesigned with finger safety in mind, range in price from $25 for a paring knife to $95 for a chef's knife. You can buy them on-line at www.calphalon.com.
Truffles are as delicious as they are dear, but there are ways to enjoy them without breaking the bank. Fondo di Alba's subtly flavored white truffle olive oil ($40 for 6.8 ounces; 800-423-8333) gives a fillip to risotto. Urbani's cheese fondue with white truffles is great warmed up and spread on bread or tossed with pasta ($14.50 for 7 ounces; 800-281-2330). And if you suspect trufflesunderfoot, there's even Truffle, a dog trained in Italy, available for hire to sniff out the little delicacies (973-398-5614).