Terrific holiday gifts for the gastronaut, griller, mixologist and oenophile.

October 17, 2011

Winter Whiskeys ($27-$100)

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.

Meat Grinder

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.

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Japanese Knives

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.

Kitchen Equipment

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't—make 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.

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Salad Science

© James Ransom

Reclaimed-Wood Salt and Pepper Shakers

Handmade in Brooklyn, New York, from reclaimed walnut. $50; curiosityshoppeonline.com.

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Foodie Gifts

P.I.Y. Popcorn Kit

© Tina Rupp

Beef Jerky

Get the Recipe

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.

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Food Classes


© Theo Morrison

Great Wine Reads

Savvy wine experts share their picks on great wine resources in print.

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Easy Homemade Food Gifts

Charitable Causes

Courtesy of Percy Ramirez for Oxfam.

Charitable Causes

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.

José Andrés's Cause: Haiti

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.

Giada De Laurentiis's Cause: Chronic Hunger

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.

Tom Colicchio's Cause: Hunger Relief

We have the resources to provide good, healthy food for everyone. So why aren't we?

Art Smith's Cause: Childhood Obesity

Our chef-instructors teach kids basic kitchen skills, cooking techniques and the importance of fresh, healthy ingredients—to connect with their bodies, their neighbors and their world in a healthy way.

Mario Batali's Cause: Food Banks

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.

Charity Case

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

Wholesome Wave

Michel Nischan is president of this nonprofit, which strives to bring local, fresh food to underserved communities. wholesomewave.org

KIPP Charter Schools

Spike Mendelsohn teaches healthy-cooking classes at the DC branch of KIPP, a national network of public charter schools. kipp.org

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Michael White applauds this group, which directs nearly 90 percent of all donations to research grants and awareness programs. bcrfcure.org

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

As a dog owner, Lettie Teague champions the ASPCA's work on behalf of homeless, hurt and abused animals. aspca.org

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

Heifer International

This organization supplies animals to families in developing nations; a $20 donation provides a flock of chicks. heifer.org

March of Dimes

After his seven-year-old daughters were born prematurely, Tim Love began supporting this national organization, which is devoted to baby health. marchofdimes.com

Chefs as Parents

Ed Jiloca supports this organization of chefs working to improve school lunches in the Washington, DC, area. chefsasparents.com

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