What do real chefs (and the writers, editors, and scientists who work with them) put on their holiday wish lists? Here are some items that the team behind Modernist Cuisine at Home either want, have been given, or have given for the holidays. We hope you find some inspiration here for your own shopping.
Nathan Myhrvold, Coauthor: I recently received 4-Hour Chef, by Timothy Ferriss. It’s not like any cookbook I have ever seen: not only does it include a bunch of great recipes, it also covers how to make a three-pointer in basketball, and how to kill pigeons in the park and then clean them with your bare hands. I don’t know how I’ve lived this long without that knowledge. Another really different cookbook I received this year is Dirt Candy, by Amanda Cohen and Ryan Dunlavey. It includes comic-style illustrations and is really funny.
Wayt Gibbs, Editor in Chief: I love my SousVide Supreme. The bundled book is great too! For a smaller item, sodium citrate is great for amazing Mac and Cheese and an awesome cheese sauce for Brussels sprouts and nachos.
Judy Oldfield-Wilson, Online Writer: This year I’m asking for a Silpat. I didn’t specify the size, so we’ll see what I get!
Jennifer Sugden, Production Editor: For my smoothies, I want a set of glass straws. I once received a rotary vegetable slicer, which spiralizes fruits and vegetables. I make sweet potato and zucchini noodles, topped with my favorite sauce.
Aaron Verzosa, Developmental Chef: Immersion blenders make great gifts. Both the one I have at home and the ones we use at the lab are KitchenAid.
Melissa Lukach, PR and Marketing Manager: Finishing salts are nice for coworkers, friends, and as stocking stuffers. Black Hawaiian sea salt is interesting on its own, but a simple gray salt can be enhanced by blending it with herbs or spices.
Scott Heimendinger, Director of Applied Research: This year I treated myself to an iSi Gourmet Whipping Siphon. I use it to make scrambled eggs, carbonate fruit, “instant barrel-age” maple syrup, make microwaved sponge cake… and occasionally, to make whipped cream, too!
Larissa Zhou, Food Scientist: This year I want a blowtorch because it is a small investment that can take your dishes from home-delicious to restaurant-fancy. You can make crème brûlée, of course, but you can also smoke wood chips, sear meat, and generally use it whenever you need high temperatures that are rarely attained on home stoves.