Is there someone who loves to cook on your list? Here are some of our ideas for useful and interesting tools to help them whip up something fantastic. Of course, we also recommend a D’Artagnan gift certificate, which allows them to choose anything from our website, or a gift sampler which gives them a variety of flavors. Explore our gourmet gifts at dartagnan.com, and check our list of 10 gifts that will make the cook(s) in your life happy this season.
Give Them Something to Cook!
Our signature Cassoulet Recipe Kit makes a great gift for any serious cook. Purchase with the classic French clay bowl to impress, or just get all the ingredients (both include our cassoulet recipe) needed to create a hearty meal for 12. Cassoulet is one of those bucket list recipes that every cook should make at least once. This classic dish of preserved duck, sausage and beans is the very soul of traditional Gascon cooking and makes great winter comfort food.
For the BBQ Fan
Make quick work of shredding even large pieces of meat like roasts, turkey, chicken or pork shoulder with these meat claws. Made of stainless steel, they are hardy and look like a lot of fun. Great one for the pitmaster or BBQ aficionado.
Every Cook Needs One
Best splatter guard ever. The Frywall is flexible silicone cone that fits inside the rim of a pot or pan and keeps all that duck fat, tomato sauce or bacon grease from spattering the kitchen. The creator of the Frywall was inspired by cooking duck breast for his family; they loved the duck but not the splatter of duck fat on the stove.
Author Michael Ruhlman has created a line of ingenious kitchen tools that are reasonably priced and well-made. They each solve kitchen problems in elegant ways and would make wonderful gifts for the cooks on your list. We love his offset spoons and wooden paddles, but have our eye on this four-sided meat mallet, based on an antique design.
Chop, Slice, Dice
You can’t go wrong with a good knife. Although there are beautiful knives that you can spend hundreds of dollars on, this is a more reasonable knife. It’s also Anthony Bourdain’s recommendation for a great chef’s knife, mentioned in his book Kitchen Confidential. Bourdain recently told audiences at the premiere of his new documentary that 17 years later, he still recommends the Global. “As a starter chef’s knife, the Global is pretty good for a first-timer,” he said.
For the Technique-Driven Cook
Joule by ChefSteps is a beautiful sous vide machine for cooks who want to learn a new technique. Available in a few colors, the well-designed Joule is easy to stash in a drawer and would make a welcome addition to any kitchen.
Blend It Or Smoke It
Two items from Breville will make any home cook happy this Christmas. The high-powered Breville immersion blender is a real time-saver in the kitchen, and this one boasts precision control among other features. And Breville has another fun tool – the smoking gun – that imparts natural cold smoke flavor to meat, fish, vegetable, sauces, cocktails using real wood! Because everyone loves smoky flavor, but it’s often achieved by artificial means. Smoked foie gras torchon, anyone?
A Kitchen’s Best Friend
Everyone is talking about Instant Pot these days and with good reason. This electric multi-cooker can function as a slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, rice cooker, saute pan and warming pot. It speeds up cooking times and is a real boon to those with busy schedules. Compare models on Amazon and consider adding the new cookbook Dinner in an Instant by Melissa Clark, which offers unexpected ways to use the Instant Pot and some great recipes we want to try.
Blanc Creatives is a blacksmith shop in Charlottesville, VA, where skillets are hand-hammered like they used to be. Inspired by the steel pans he saw in restaurant kitchens, Corry Blanc set out to make pans that could really take the heat, and not bow or bend from heavy use. His handmade skillets are modern-day heirlooms that will impress any serious home cook, and be passed down the generations.
For those with an interest in historical cooking, Beekman 1802 has a Colonial-style handmade tin fireplace insert for poultry and roasts. By reflecting heat from the back, the oven roasts skewered meat on both sides – it’s like a personal rotisserie that you can use in the fireplace. Order early, and check lead times, as these are handcrafted.