The kitchen truly is the heart of the home.
So for this giving season, we’ve compiled an assortment
of gifts that are perfect for equipping the kitchen.
Some are timeless; some are just plain cool.
All are sure to nourish the souls of friends
and family during this season – or any season.
photography by TODD WRIGHT
styling by WENDY UMANOFF
Every baker – from novice to very experienced – needs some really good basics. Here are our favorites.
Mauviel M’passion copper mixing bowl
Beautifully designed and especially useful for whipping egg whites: The unlined copper helps make them more stable, and the perfectly round bottom allows for more thorough mixing. 4.9-quart bowl, $99.96. Sur La Table.
Mrs. Anderson’s Triple Action Apple Machine
This efficient gadget will peel, core and slice apples in one step. Perfect for prepping apple pie or applesauce. It also peels potatoes! $26.98. Kitchen Barn.
Marble pastry slab and rolling pin
A must for working with delicate pastries and doughs; the cold marble keeps dough at an optimal temperature. And because your dough doesn’t stick, you won’t need to add extra flour. 16- by 20-inch pastry board, $39.95. Rolling pin, $24.95. Sur La Table.
Emile Henry pie dishes
The signature clay used in these dishes helps distribute heat evenly. Pie crusts brown beautifully and fruits stay moist inside. This bakeware is gorgeous at the table, too. It’s available in many colors, but we like cerise for the holidays. 11-inch, $49.95;4½-inch, $19.95. Sur La Table.
Mason Cash mixing bowls and pudding basins
The classic English mixing bowl! You may have seen Mrs. Patmore use these bowls in her kitchen at Downton Abbey. The pattern on the outside helps cooks get a firm grip, and the bowls are just the right shape and depth for beating or kneading. The pudding basin is the perfect companion to the mixing bowls. Their simple design shines in any dining room or farmhouse kitchen. Oval baker, $9.95; mixing bowls, $12.95 to $29.95. Kitchen Koop.
iSi Mini Cream Whipper
A simple and easy way to whip and dispense real cream! Fill the can with chilled cream, screw in an air cartridge, shake, dispense: You’ll have real whipped cream without the beaters, bowls or mess. $59.95; set of 10 cartridges, $14.95. Williams-Sonoma.
Add a dash of color and functionality to any kitchen.
Le Creuset cookware
Perfect for stews and braising, they’re beautiful for stove, oven, table. Oval French oven, $269.95 to $314.95; 2¾-quart soup pot, $139.95. Sur La Table.
Fletchers’ Mill/Vic Firth wooden salt and pepper mills
These gorgeous gourmet mills are handmade in Maine from fine hardwoods. We love the variety of styles and colors. $49.98. Kitchen Barn.
These won’t scratch nonstick cookware and bakeware, they resist stains, and they’re heat-resistant up to 212 degrees. $10.98 to $16.98. Kitchen Barn.
Core Bamboo bowls and Yves Delorme towels
These bowls, of organically grown bamboo, come in lovely colors. Bucket bowl, $49.98; flower bowl, $39.98. Kitchen Barn. A handy accent is the Yves Delorme Chef Corfu tea towel, $35. Yves Delorme.
Jars Cantine dishes
We love the richly colored crackled glaze of these plates. They’re modern with a touch of old-world France. Set of four salad plates, $107.95. Set of four dinner plates, $119.95. Williams-Sonoma.
If steel and iron are more their thing, have a look at these ideas.
Shun Hiro chef’s knife (foreground)
Handmade in Japan, this knife is perfect for everyday chopping, slicing and mincing. Made of 65 layers of steel, including Damascus steel, the storied metal of warriors. The handle is made of Pakkawood and inlaid with a mosaic Samurai family crest. $299.50. Williams-Sonoma.
Kikuichi long slicing knife
This traditional Japanese knife is hand-forged of pure carbon steel; the handle, of birch wood and water buffalo horn. Gorgeous! $224.50. Kitchen Barn. Vintage French cheese board, $159. Williams-Sonoma.
Stainless steel stovetop smoker
Infuse your foods with smoke flavor right on the stovetop with this handy smoker from Camerons, recommended by Cook’s Illustrated. It can also be used as a steamer! $59.95. Sur La Table.
Lodge cast iron skillets
Cast iron skillets are great for searing steaks, frying bacon and baking biscuits – and many cooks swear by them for their best fried chicken. 10-inch skillet, $24.95. Crate & Barrel.
Stainless steel French press
Frieling’s press works just like the typical glass presses but won’t shatter, and it has insulated walls to keep coffee hot longer. Four-serving size, $79.95; eight-serving size, $119.98. Kitchen Barn.
Wood is both attractive and useful for the kitchen. These gifts are fun and eco-friendly.
Glendon Boyd wooden bowls
Hand-carved in western Virginia by Glen Boyd, each bowl has a unique wood pattern and is signed and dated. They come in several sizes. $39.99 to $89.99. Kitchen Barn.
Tree of Life bamboo cutting and serving board
This board is made of Moso bamboo, with more than 800 etched images of exotic and endangered animals in its design. A percentage of proceeds is donated to the National Forest Foundation. $69.98. Kitchen Barn.
Madeira teak cutting board (above, background)
We’re fond of this cutting board not only for its beauty and durability but also for its sustainable raw material: Plantation teak is farmed using responsible forestry practices. It also resists moisture, warping and microbes. 11½ by 13½ inches, $19.95. Sur La Table.
Antonini olive wood cheese knives
These handsome little Italian-made knives are great for firm or soft cheeses for your holiday wine and cheese gatherings. Or split the set and give one or two along with some pretty napkins as a gift. $59.95. Williams-Sonoma.
Chalkboard canning jar caddy
Handcrafted in the U.S. of sustainable materials such as reclaimed redwood. We think this would be a lovely way to present jars of homemade preserved fruits and veggies to friends and family. Chalk stores in the handle. $49.95. Williams-Sonoma, online only.
Other gift ideas for foodies.
We found all these great Virginia-made sauces at the Sauce Shoppe in Virginia Beach. Owner Sam Esleeck will help you choose from the hundreds of sauces he stocks, including his own Blackstrap BBQ Sauce. Other notables: the locally made Speedy’s 44, from Virginia Beach bartender Jimmy Miller; the Crabby Mary Bloody Mary Mix, by Willard Ashburn of Virginia Beach; and the Gunther salsas by Richmond chef Mike Lamprose.
DIY goat cheese kit
All you supply is the fresh goat’s milk! This easy-to-use kit contains everything else you need to make 10 batches, each 4 to 6 ounces, of fresh, tangy chèvre in less than an hour. Make it your own by adding some fresh herbs and a custom-molded shape, or use the molds included. $29.95. Williams-Sonoma.
Whether you’re hosting a large dinner party or looking for a special gift, the women at The Royal Chocolate in Virginia Beach have created a chocolate nirvana in which to shop. Confections include hand-dipped chocolate-covered strawberries and apples – and the shop’s special collection of handmade Royal Chocolates. Prices vary.
Where we found it
Crate & Barrel, Short Pump Town Center, 11800 West Broad Street, Richmond. 804.364.0820. CrateAndBarrel.com.
Kitchen Barn, Hilltop North, 1628 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach. 757.422.0888. KitchenBarnOnline.com.
Kitchen Koop, 638 High Street, Olde Towne Portsmouth. 757.399.4475. KitchenKoop.com.
The Royal Chocolate, 164 Central Park Avenue, Virginia Beach. 757.557.6925. TheRoyalChocolate.com.
The Sauce Shoppe, Landstown Commons, 3388 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach. 757.468.0913.
Sur La Table, Stony Point Fashion Park, 9200 Stony Point Parkway, Richmond. 804.272.7094. SurLaTable.com.
Williams-Sonoma, La Promenade, 1860 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach. Also Norfolk, Williamsburg, Richmond. Williams-Sonoma.com.
Yves Delorme Fine Linens, La Promenade, 1860 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach. 757.425.6963.