The holidays are here, which means the stores are flooded with a dizzying array of cooking tools, cookbooks and fancy ingredients meant to tempt home cooks. What's the discerning shopper to do? We decided to talk to some of our favorite professional chefs — the people who spend serious time in their kitchens — to find out what can't-live-without-it cooking tools and ingredients are on their holiday wish lists this year.
Today chef Suzanne Goin, author of the beloved Sunday Suppers at Lucques and the new A.O.C. Cookbook, shares a peek at her holiday wish list, which includes five of her favorite cookbooks from 2013.
What are a few of the cooking-relating items on your holiday wish list this year?
The number one thing on my list is a chicken coop! It would be wonderful to have chickens for the kids to feed and care for and we'd get to have the best eggs.
And I love cookbooks and books about food. I really taught myself a lot by cooking with them and there are so many great ones out this year:
A subscription to a Bacon of the Month Club. Why? Because who doesn't love a pound of bacon from a different smoke house every month?
An unusual mortar and pestle. I use them for much of my cooking, but I also love them as beautiful objects and keep them over my kitchen sink.
Honey or olive oil from small producers. Again, I love exploring the different flavors, but also love the jars and bottles as objects — I love how they look all placed together.
What is a no-fail gift that every cook would appreciate receiving?
A beautiful platter or wooden bowl — something beautiful to show off your hard work in the kitchen. I try to choose something unique that I hope the receiver would not buy for themselves. It doesn't have to be big; even just little condiment bowls for mise en place or little olive wood spoons are gifts the cook truly gets to appreciate in the kitchen.