Some cooks are collectors—it's just a fact of life. For every cook who can get by with a single pot and pan of each type, for every cook who believes unitaskers are anathema, there's a cook who swears by the utility of having three eight-inch skillets and two identical sauciers, and who waxes poetic about how their antique corn-kerneler was worth every cent spent back in 1970. The good thing about collectors is that they love adding to their collections; the bad thing is that they seem to have everything. If you want to at least try to add something unique to their lineup during the holidays, we have a slew of suggestions for you over at our gift guide page for the cook who has everything. Here are a few highlights.
Food is always a good option: When you're shopping for someone who owns a lot, it's easy to think you need to go big or go home. But remember, this is a cook we're talking about, and a special food item or two is guaranteed to be well received. Meat lovers will enjoy a package of goetta (pronounced "get-a"), Cincinnati's take on scrapple, or perhaps some deliciously smoky sausages from Louie Mueller Barbecue out of Taylor, Texas (you'll have to get on the phone to order them, though).
Wary of prepared foods? Give your loved one a pantry-staple upgrade, like cornmeal from Anson Mills, perfect for polenta and cornbread, or some heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo. Rancho Gordo has a startling variety of beans—I'm currently a little obsessed with their Christmas lima beans, which have a meaty, almost nutty flavor.
Finally, you can always go the more opulent route, opting for luxe ingredients instead. There are precious few people in the world who wouldn't be thrilled by a box of 50 beautiful Island Creek oysters. It's perfect for entertaining a small crowd, and the free shipping is a great bonus, particularly given how pristine your bivalves will be when they arrive.
Sweet, sweet gadgetry: If you really want to go for broke, you could pick up an Anova Precision Cooker. While today's cook-who-has-everything is more likely to own a sous vide device than not, they'll likely appreciate the flexibility of having an extra one. Plus, this is the second-generation version of Anova's machine, complete with Bluetooth support, and it's cheaper than comparable models out there, all of which makes it the ideal gift.
Pizza magic: If the person you're buying for is a pizza fiend, consider one of these two gifts: KettlePizza's Serious Eats kit or the Uuni 2S Pizza Oven. Keep in mind that, while the KettlePizza kit requires a 22.5-inch charcoal kettle grill, it also includes a high-temperature thermometer, two pizza peels, a pizza pan, and other items, so you'll probably want to be intimately familiar with your friend's cooking arsenal before you buy it. If you're unsure whether your friend has that 22.5-inch kettle grill, then the Uuni is the safer choice.
Organization is key: Maybe your friend or family member really does have all they need in the kitchen. In that case, a label maker could be just the thing to keep it all organized. It's perfect for labeling different dry goods; dating long-term fermentation projects, charcuterie, and stuff destined for your freezer; or identifying homemade dressings, quick pickles, and preserves on that top shelf of your refrigerator. Remember, too, that this machine isn't limited to kitchen use, and most collectors tend to have multiple collections.
But Wait, There's More!
See the rest of our picks for the cook who has everything right this way »
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