Shopping & Reviews

The 2011 Holiday Gift Guide

From the attainable to the fantastical, here's what's on our editors' wishlists this holiday season.

Monthly Cheese Subscription

This year I’m asking for a cheese subscription from The Bedford Cheese Shop. Why? Well I just can’t think of anything more enticing than receiving a couple wedges of specialty cheeses each and every month until next Christmas rolls around. The cheeses, which are hand-picked by the shop’s respected mongers, are all chosen depending on the season, ripeness and compatibility and come with a plethora of information to keep you in the know. And with the shipments arriving at your doorstep the second Thursday of each month, it’s a tasty little gift that keeps on giving! — MacKenzie Smith, Web Editorial Assistant Cheese Of the Month – 12 month, $820.00 at Back to the 2011 SAVEUR Editors’ Picks Gift Guide »

KitchenAid "Cook for the Cure" Edition Stand Mixer

This special edition Kitchenaid mixer, which reminds me of a shade of pink lipstick I used to wear circa 1981, is much prettier than my old gunmetal gray version. It will look fetching as it creams sugar and butter for a batch of ginger snaps! Added bonus: buy one and a portion of proceeds will be donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. As the Psychedelic Furs say, Isn’t she-eee, pretty in pink? Isn’t she?— Marne Setton, Assistant Editor KitchenAid “Cook for the Cure” Edition 5-Quart Artisan Design Series Stand Mixer, $349.50 at Back to the 2011 SAVEUR Editors’ Picks Gift Guide »

A Tour of Turkey with Ana Sortun

I can’t think of an American chef who has done more to raise the profile of Turkish food than Ana Sortun, the chef-owner of Oleana and Sofra in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (You might remember her gorgeous memories of Gaziantep, one of the gastronomic crown jewels of Turkey, in last year’s Saveur 100.) Though the James Beard Award winner doesn’t hail from Turkey herself, the country and surrounding region have been her culinary muse, and that muse has served her well – her cooking is exquisite, with vibrant flavors that leave a lasting memory on your tongue. This March, Sortun, along with food-focused touring company Oldways, will be guiding a small group throughout the most delicious parts of Turkey, exposing lucky travelers to the flavors that inspire her. The very first stop is Gaziantep, which is home to some of the most delicious and masterfully made baklava in the world, not to mention pistachios so intensely bright green they might make you go blind. Then on to Istanbul, for home cooking, market visits, and more. I can’t imagine a better person to discover the wonders of Turkey with.— Gabriella Gershenson, Senior Editor A Tour of Turkey with Ana Sortun, $3150 and $400 additional for indviduals at Back to the 2011 SAVEUR Editors’ Picks Gift Guide »

Shun Steak Knives

Any home cook or chef will tell you good knives are a necessity. This year I’ve asked Santa for a set of steak knives from Shun – a knife company who craft all their knives following ancient samurai swordmaking techniques and traditions. As a confirmed meat lover, I take pride in sourcing the best meat I can, and take my time to cook the steak to perfection. So it makes sense I need the perfect set of steak knives to add to my arsenal of culinary tools. These knives will cut through your steak like you’re slicing butter.— Victoria Cannizzo, Test Kitchen Intern Shun Classic 4-Piece Steak Knife Set, $289.95 at Back to the 2011 SAVEUR Editors’ Picks Gift Guide »


I love to cook barefoot, but I recently moved into an apartment where the kitchen has slate floors, which makes my unshod ankle joints ache. Ever since visiting a likeminded friend who had two of these sturdy, springy WellnessMats down in her tile-floored kitchen, strategically placed in front of the kitchen sink and counter, I’ve been wanting a pair of my own. They’re sleek and unfussy, grip the floor firmly, and make me feel like I’m cooking on a cloud.— Karen Shimizu, Associate Editor WellnessMats, 3′ x 2′ Mat $119.95 at Back to the 2011 SAVEUR Editors’ Picks Gift Guide »

Frontier Frying Pan

I grew up playing with Playmobil toys, and the biggest selection I had was of U.S. Cavalrymen. I’ve always had a fascination with them – I had this little booklet, as a kid, from which you could order reproduction antique toy muskets and other toys. Discovering the website Jacob Bromwell is like an adult version of that for me: all these things that I love and cherish that are readily available. I love the amazing old Army tin cups; they’ve been in production since 1819. And I particularly love their frontier frying pan: I learned about these skillets through antique shopping for props for SAVEUR photo shoots. I have some that are really, really old, and I was surprised to find that they’re still being manufactured by the same company. They’re so unique and beautiful, they’re thinner than heavy cast iron, in a way they’re a cross between the French black skillets that I really love and a heavy-duty cast iron. — Todd Coleman, Executive Food Editor Frontier Frying Pan, $29.99 at Back to the 2011 SAVEUR Editors’ Picks Gift Guide »

Waring Blender

My mom has always had one of these blenders sitting on her counter, just like the one her mother always had. I made my first milkshake in one of these as a kid, and I love the fact that its look hasn’t changed since then, and it’s pretty enough to leave sitting out on the counter. It’s the most reliable blender I’ve ever used, and the glass carafe won’t leach any chemicals into your food or absorb any odors as you switch from making garlicky soup to chocolate shakes. I’ve been jonesing after a red one for my own kitchen ever since I moved away from home. — Anna Stockwell, Web Assistant Editor Waring Blender, $99.00 at Back to the 2011 SAVEUR Editors’ Picks Gift Guide »

Dinner for two at Blue Hill at Stone Barns & Daytrip to Stone Barns Farm for Six

Some of the greatest meals I’ve ever had have taken place in the vault-ceilinged dining room of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Dan Barber’s harvest-driven restaurant in the middle of an 80-acre farm just north of New York City. I’d love to get a gift of a reservation for two for sometime in early spring, when all my favorite fruits and vegetables are peeking through — but if we’re going to enter the realm of fantasy, why not go even bigger? The big dreamers at Neiman Marcus have put together a daytrip package for six that includes a gardening lesson from farmer Jack Algeire, a cooking demo with kitchen director Adam Kaye, and a four-course lunch, with all proceeds going to the nonprofit Stone Barns Foundation. Talk about the perfect day! — Helen Rosner, Web Editor Dinner for two at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, $396 for 8 courses. Reserve at
Daytrip to Stone Barns Farm for Six, $9,500 at NeimanMarcus.com_ Back to the 2011 SAVEUR Editors’ Picks Gift Guide »

Gold Homebrew Kit with 6 Gallon Glass Carboy

As an avid beer drinker and enthusiastic DIYer, it seems fitting that this year for Christmas I’m coveting a homebrew kit with which to make my own ales. After consulting with a few beer-loving friends who’ve been concocting their own malty creations for years, I’ve decided on Monster Brew’s Gold Homebrew Kit. The package includes every supply I’ll need for brewing my own beer, including a True Brew handbook and kit instructions. Once the brewing commences, it’s only a month more of waiting before I get my first, what I am sure will be, tasty sip. — Allison Poindexter, Web Editorial Assistant Gold Homebrew Kit with 6 Gallon Glass Carboy, $94.99 at Back to the 2011 SAVEUR Editors’ Picks Gift Guide »

Need More Gift Ideas?

Whether you’re looking to whip up some homemade coffee liqueur, or you’d like to wow your grandma with a whole Mangalitsa ham leg (with stand!), check out our other holiday gift guides: Homemade for the Holidays: Edible DIY Gifts
From spice blends to preserved citrus, these homemade treats are perfect for giving. Gilt Taste Holiday Picks
Cheese boards, hearts of palm, Japanese knives, and more editors’ picks from our favorite gourmet food site.

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