“I need a another gadget to further clutter up my kitchen” said no one, ever. Including me, a self proclaimed gadget queen. The herb stripper, garlic peeler, flexible shish kebab holder and too many dollars invested have all found their way to the local thrift store because, basically, they’re useless. So please be assured that if I sell or promote a gadget at the market, it’s because it’s stood the test of time in my own kitchen and found a permanent home in my already too-full drawer. Here then, are my top picks for the food lover on your list.
Onion goggles. I agree that the seem like a ridiculous item, but I can’t tell you how often they get pulled out of my drawer to save my mascara and stop the burning in my eyes caused by chopping onions. Even our produce team uses them when they’re cutting up your stir-fry mix!
Borner Mandoline – After seeing every visiting cooking class chef bring their own Borner mandolin along with them, I knew it was time to purchase one. Super sharp (you’ve been warned) and dishwasher safe, it’s perfect for slicing veggies to a uniform thickness.
Zyliss Garlic Press – I’ve tried every garlic press available, and this one is far superior to anything else on the market.
Chef’n Citrus Juicer – This solidly built juicer manages to squeeze at least twice as much juice out of your citrus fruits as any of the other ones I’ve tested, and with a lot less mess.
Lodge Cast Iron – Manufactured in Tennessee since 1896, this line of pre seasoned cast iron cookware is every chef’s favorite. We’ve got a variety of sizes and styles, and this is a gift that’s sure to last a lifetime!
Rasp/Grater – one of the best cooking tips I’ve learnt came from my hero, Chef Michael Smith, who taught me to keep my fresh ginger in the freezer, and then grate it from frozen with a fine rasp whenever I need a punch of fresh ginger flavour. Genius, and no more shrivelled ginger in my pantry.
Ghana Baskets – these one-of-a-kind natural grass baskets, handwoven by women in Ghana, are durable as well as beautiful. I’ve got three in my collection, and use them for groceries, to tote items to the lake and back, for craft projects – the uses are endless. The best thing about them is that they are Fair Trade and proceeds directly benefit the women who make them.
Natura Soy Candles, Holiday Collection – The warm glow of a candle makes the winter nights so cozy, and with Natura Soy’s clean burning candles it won’t result in a headache. If you’re sensitive to strong or synthetic scents, these candles are ideal for you. There’s only pure plant-based ingredients in them, and they’re made in Canada.