Our Favorite Culinary Gifts
By Chefs Peter and Gino Sclafani and Ruffin Rodrigue
This time of year, a lot of our friends and customers ask us for suggestions on what to buy their favorite foodies. We spend a lot of time playing around with the latest culinary items, and we’ve got plenty of strong opinions. We’re not into trendy gadgets. We love well-made, high quality kitchen goods that enhance the experience of eating or drinking and can stand the test of time. And we love things that look cool, too.
Here are some of our favorites this year:
Craft cocktail items
With the craft cocktail movement bigger than ever, there’s an endless supply of goods and gadgets in that category, from small batch bitters to ergonomic muddlers. One of our favorite items, though, is a handheld citrus juice squeezer. The beauty here is simplicity. A vice-like design allows you to extract a large amount of juice from each lime or lemon half without getting seeds in the glass. Pair this with a fresh mint plant for the kitchen window and a bottle of local white rum, and you’ve got a great Mojito-themed gift.
Knives are a classic gift for foodies, but well-made chef’s spoons also make an impressive and thoughtful gift. Spoons are something Chef Peter has given to members of our kitchen team over the years as they advance in our company. Next to knives, they’re fundamental to any chef or home cook’s success because they make it possible for you to stir, sauce, taste and sample.
We appreciate the growing availability of hearty aprons made of sturdy material, like leather and denim, and that also feature pockets for holding small items like meat thermometers, writing utensils and wine openers. Aprons like these are really useful to anyone who gets serious in the kitchen, around the grill or at the camp. This is a great guy gift.
Coravin wine opener
If you’re into wine, you want to be able to pour a glass or two from a bottle without worrying about diminishing the quality of what remains. But unless the bottle is sealed properly, the wine left behind doesn’t taste as it should a day or two later. We like Coravin wine openers because they allow you to access wine through a needle inserted into the cork. A glass or two is poured, the needle is removed and the cork reseals naturally, making it as though the bottle was never opened in the first place. For wine collectors and serious tasters, it’s a must.