Terrific holiday gifts for the gastronaut, griller, mixologist and oenophile.
Courtesy of The Bitter Truth
Travel-Sized Bitters Kit
The Bitter Truth founders Stephan Berg and Alexander Hauck made cocktail news a few years back with their exceptional bitters in flavors like celery and orange. Now they've released a travel pack of five mini bottles of their top blends in a nifty retro-styled box. $20; the-bitter-truth.com.
Courtesy of Sur La Table
Sous Vide Water Oven
The new SousVide Supreme lacks a water pump but heats water accurately enough to cook most foods perfectly. The company also makes a $130 countertop vacuum sealer similar to FoodSaver and Seal-a-Meal. $450; www.sousvidesupreme.com.
Courtesy of Microplane/by Grego
Classic Microplane Grater
Rarely has a modest kitchen utensil like this fine-tooth grater become so universally beloved in such a short time. It can create delicate strips of everything from citrus zest and hard cheese to chocolate $13; us.microplane.com.
Courtesy of blum + blum
Spudski Potato Masher by black + blum
A masher with a handle that looks like a ski pole. $16; charlesandmarie.com.
Courtesy of Le Creuset
At home, Ming Tsai likes using a flat-bottomed cast-iron wok from Le Creuset: "The flat bottom means that more of the surface area is on the stove, so the wok heats up properly." Tsai also preheats the wok in the oven for 15 minutes so that it becomes "screeching hot." $230; lecreuset.com.
Courtesy of Lodge
Classic Cast-Iron Pan
There are two kinds of cast-iron skillets: regular and enameled. Both heat evenly, if slowly, so they're great for cooking pancakes and searing meat. They're also good at keeping oil hot for frying and can withstand the high temperatures of an oven or grill. Lodge Logic 12-inch $34; 423-837-7181 or lodgemfg.com.
Courtesy of All-Clad
Stainless Steel Skillet
Stainless steel pans are superdurable, versatile (they can go from stovetop to oven) and easy to care for. Cooks love them precisely because they do what nonstick skillets don'tmake food stick (slightly) to the bottom. The crusty browned bits left in the skillet after searing meat are crucial for making a sauce. 13-inch $160; 800-255-2523 or all-clad.com.
© James Ransom
Reclaimed-Wood Salt and Pepper Shakers
Handmade in Brooklyn, New York, from reclaimed walnut. $50; curiosityshoppeonline.com.
P.I.Y. Popcorn Kit
© Tina Rupp
Real beef jerky isn't a smoky stick of preserved mystery meat. Rachel Graville's handmade versions are an exemplar of the artisanal-jerky trend.
© Theo Morrison
Savvy wine experts share their picks on great wine resources in print.
More Great Gifts
Courtesy of Percy Ramirez for Oxfam.
Many chefs donate their time to countless efforts to raise money and awareness to help those in need. Here, a look into the charitable efforts of some of the world's greatest chefs and others in the food world.
The people of this small town in the hills of Haiti are living in poverty, yet they have opened their homes to some 8,000 displaced earthquake survivors.
To a billion people around the world surviving on just a dollar a day, the question of what to eat tonight is more about life and death than about recipes.
We have the resources to provide good, healthy food for everyone. So why aren't we?
Our chef-instructors teach kids basic kitchen skills, cooking techniques and the importance of fresh, healthy ingredientsto connect with their bodies, their neighbors and their world in a healthy way.
My kids see the working poor, who look no different than anyone from our neighborhood. They see people with jobs who can't get enough food for their families.
Led by cult producer Hundred Acre, top Napa wineries donate the "pink" wine removed while making reds to Charity Case, which turns it into a lovely rosé. All proceeds go to children's causes.
Thanksgiving Farm at The Center for Discovery thecenterfordiscovery.org
April Bloomfield buys pigs from this New York farm, which works with people with disabilities.
Through its U.S. office, the Rías Baixas region supports Kiva, which offers loans to needy small-scale entrepreneurs. kiva.org
Kallari Chocolate's Profit Sharing
The Ecuadorian producers of this chocolate share proceeds with the cacao farmers who grow the beans. kallarichocolate.com
KIPP Charter Schools
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
This nonprofit farm and education center celebrates community-based food production and the enjoyment of fresh food. stonebarnscenter.org
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Greenroof Environmental Literacy Laboratory (GELL)
Michael Anthony supports GELL, which is raising funds to build a green roof atop P.S. 41, a New York City public school. ps41.org/ps41/the-gell-project
This organization supplies animals to families in developing nations; a $20 donation provides a flock of chicks. heifer.org
March of Dimes
Chefs as Parents
Ed Jiloca supports this organization of chefs working to improve school lunches in the Washington, DC, area. chefsasparents.com