A Chef’s Pick of 5 Culinary Tools that Make Great Gifts

Filed under: Bites & Bits , Author: Caron Golden , December 10, 2012

According to Gallup, consumers plan to spend an average of $770 on gifts this holiday season. As people scramble to find the perfect gift for everyone from the teacher to their close family members, many are not sure what to get. But for people who like to work their way around the kitchen, there are plenty of good culinary tools that make ideal gifts.

“Culinary tools are the type of gift many don’t think of, but they make a great pick,” says Ryan Fichter, executive chef at both the Bodega Spanish Tapas & Lounge and Thunder Burger & Bar in Washington, D.C.

Here are five culinary tools he suggests:

Chef knives. Most people would get a lot of use out of a quality set of chef knives, but they don’t want to spend the money on it for themselves. Get the best set that you can for your budget, making sure that there is a good chopping knife, which is what people use most often.
Cutting boards. Wooden cutting boards always make nice gifts. They can be used for years and come in various shapes and sizes. Many people today opt for the bamboo variety, because they are more environmentally friendly. Purchasing a set that has various sizes is ideal.
Wine openers. For the person who likes wine, a nice wine opener can make a great gift. There are a variety of them to choose from, including electric, winged, pump, lever pull and traditional. Take a look at the wide variety and select one that fits your gift recipient’s style.
Steel pans. For those who want to give a gift that lasts, opt for a set of All-Clad steel pans. They are high quality and durable, and the craftsmanship is such that appeals to professional chefs. A set of these pans, or even a few select ones, will make a lasting gift that will be used on a frequent basis.
Immersion blender. Anyone who likes to make soups, gravies, smoothies or other dishes that need to be blended up would love to have an emersion blender. They are easy to use, store nicely in a drawer and fit most budgets.

“Culinary tools make great gifts because they are a gift that keeps giving,” adds Fichter. “A good culinary tool makes cooking easier, more enjoyable, and will last for years to come.”

Bodega Spanish Tapas & Lounge, located at 3116 M St. NW, offers a variety of traditional Spanish dishes, including several varieties of paella, cold and hot tapas and dishes featuring squid, shark, octopus, cuttlefish, scallops, monkfish, quail, lamb and more. For more info, visit www.bodegadc.com. In addition to serving 15 different burger options, Thunder Burger’s menu features such dishes as salads, appetizers, sandwiches, steak, fish and chips, crab cakes, ribs, salmon and more. Located at 3056 M. St., NW, more info is at www.thunderburger.com.

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Caron Golden


Founder of premier organization of personal chefs inspires students to follow their dreams of culinary entrepreneurship.

Candy Wallace, executive director of the American Personal & Private Chef Association (APPCA), today was recognized by Sullivan University’s National Center for Hospitality Studies as its 33rd Distinguished Guest Chef.

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