Our Christmas Gift Guide
is full of items enthusiastic home cooks will love and, better yet, use. It may be something they wouldn’t think to get for themselves, but will be pleased you did. To give you a snapshot, we gathered ten items from all our gift categories, in a wide range of price points, below.
Lodge Blacklock Skillet
Though useful, versatile, and ultra-durable, a cast iron skillet is a specialty item because it requires a tad more maintenance than stainless steel or non-stick pans. (Read all about seasoning and maintenance here
.) But if their popularity proves anything, it’s that the extra effort is 100% worth it, especially when it comes to browning meat. Use it on all hobs including induction, the oven, and the barbecue, and do it often, as it becomes stick-resistant with time and use. Iconic American heritage brand Lodge’s Blacklock range is 25% lighter than traditional cast iron, and triple-seasoned so the journey to virtually non-stick cooking is quicker. The best size, in our opinion, is 26cm—a medium-large size that’s great for pie crust, two steaks, four burgers, and so much more. £94.00; shop here.
Staub Cookware in Cherry
Staub is much, much more than good looks. That being said, our new pieces in Cherry are delightfully festive—and look just as delightful any other time of the year. These cast iron pans are stupendous at searing and retaining heat, and unlike raw cast iron pans like Lodge or Finex, they are coated with three layers of black enamel, eliminating the need for extra upkeep and maintenance. Every piece in their range, from signature cocottes to the only enamelled cast iron grill pan we haven’t struggled to clean, is durable enough to be passed down through generations. From £89.00; shop here.
Miyabi MCD 5000 Rocking Santoku
Lighter, sharper, and more effortless to use, a home cook’s first Japanese knife is a rite of passage. For a single knife, we recommend a chef’s knife or santoku. The key difference in these shapes is: A chef’s knife is longer and more curved, designed for a rocking motion, while a santoku has a shorter, straighter blade that makes it easier to lift entirely off the board for more flexible movement. This Rocking Santoku combines both properties, with a shorter, lighter blade that quickens rock-chopping for efficient prep. We’re especially big fans of Miyabi’s MCD 5000 range’s comfortable, light wood handles, which have a cork-like texture. £389.00; shop here.
HORL 2 Sharpener
Meet HORL: the knife sharpening world’s wunderkind. These clever rolling sharpeners combine the gentleness of a whetstone with the speed of a pull-through sharpener, plus their own unique spins to ensure precision. For example, a magnetic angle support that holds your blade in the correct position as you sharpen and hone, plus interchangeable discs for higher or lower grits. Perfect for someone who’s just starting to get serious about cooking, and just as perfect for seasoned cooks. (The Times’ Tony Turnbull is a recent convert.) £139.00; shop here.
Mauviel M'Passion Tarte Tatin with Induction Plate
Nothing says special like copper. This baking dish, which you can use for Tarte Tatin and a myriad of other cakes, pies, and pastries, also works on the hob, so you can cook savoury dishes in it too. And you should, because copper’s quick responses to heat make it ideal for cooking fish, eggs, and other delicate ingredients. The ‘ear’ handles make it easy to flip food onto a platter, for upside-down cakes, Spanish tortillas, and flan. Copper does not work on induction hobs, so we worked with Mauviel to offer this piece with an induction plate, at an exclusive, special price reduced by 30%. £149.00; shop here.
La Pavoni Lever Machine & Cilindro Coffee Grinder Set
If you want exquisite espresso, the kind that’s crowned with a smooth layer of crema, you need freshly roasted coffee beans—that’s non-negotiable. Enter: a promotion from La Pavoni, where they bundle select lever-pulled espresso makers with their Cilindro Prosumer grinder for 10% less than their combined original prices, just for Christmas. (The promotion lasts until December 20, 2022.) Very few coffee grinders do a good job of both espresso and filtered coffee grinds, and even fewer are as quiet as the Cilindro Prosumer. As for the lever-pulled machines, they are as much a work of art as they are a product of science; read about this iconic coffee maker, beloved by baristas around the world, here
. From £1299.00; shop here.
Marcato Ravioli Tablet
This is not your average ravioli tablet. Made of the same, patented anodised aluminium that makes the Marcato Atlas 150 pasta maker so remarkable, the base of this tablet effectively resists sticking—in addition to ensuring perfectly proportioned ravioli that cook evenly. It’s the perfect gift for a friend who already has some experience making pasta at home. Available in four colours. £85.00; shop here.
Peugeot Clef du Vin
The product of ten years of development, Peugeot’s Clef du Vin is a truly charming gift for anyone who enjoys wine. This little metal stick has a round alloy at the end that rapidly reduces oxygen, softening the tannins and acids so a wine’s natural aromas and flavours are more pronounced. Wine tasting novices can use it to refine their understanding by pouring two glasses of the same wine, side by side, and using the clef in one of the glasses to taste the precise differences. (This is a great thing to do at parties, too.) Wine connoisseurs will use it to assess the keepability of bottles. £39.00; shop here.
Microplane Master Series Truffle Shaver
Microplane’s superior blades are due to a patented photo-etching technology that creates exceptional, long-lasting sharpness. You can rely on them to never crush or tear ingredients. With walnut handles and a stainless steel finish, this truffle slicer is a beautiful piece to use at the table when entertaining. Don’t be fooled by its name—this versatile shaver has an adjustable blade you can use for cheese, vegetables, and so much more. The top half is excellent for grating Parmesan over pasta and zesting citrus, albeit in smaller quantities. £45.00; shop here.
Garject Garlic Press
This is a small but mighty gift anyone will appreciate: a garlic press that peels, presses, and scrapes garlic, so it lands neatly on a chopping board or into a pan. Cleaning is a breeze, thanks to the ‘ject’ in Garject, which ejects the peel for you. It handles multiple cloves at a time, to boot. From £17.00; shop here.