9 Must-Have Gourmet Kitchen Items for the Festive Season
There’s a special kind of joy that comes from pulling a beautifully prepared dinner or dish out of your sleeve, the ones that are both stunningly-presented and delicious. Talent and technique play a part, of course, but for any chef, the tools will matter too.
If you want to give the gift of that joy to the special chef on your gift list for the holidays, give them the right tools for the job. Try these top gourmet kitchen products to stock their cabinets this year and for many holiday seasons to come.
1. Stainless Steel Saucepans
2. Cast Iron Griddle Pan
If you’ve ever wondered how chefs pull off those perfect sear marks on a high-end steak or chicken breast? In many cases, they do it with a cast iron griddle pan. Cast iron is known as the ultimate way to cook steak in the first place thanks to its even heating and its ability to soak food in its own delicious juices to amplify the flavour. It’s even better when that cast iron comes in the form of a griddle pan with ridges to create those photoshoot-ready sear marks. If that special chef in your life is more of a vegetable fan, cast iron happens to be terrific for crisp veggies too.
3. High-Quality Wok
No gourmet kitchen is complete without a truly great wok. Woks are best known for their power to perfect any stir-fry, and as long as you opt for a high-quality wok, your loved one won’t be disappointed. If stir-fry dishes aren’t a favourite in their household, a wok is still a terrific addition thanks to its top-notch skills in sautéing veggies.
4. Bamboo Steamer
Cutting-edge tech has improved many aspects of a modern kitchen, from the refrigerator to the toaster oven. There are some things that are just better when done the traditional way, and that includes steaming. A bamboo steamer is a low-tech but effective multi-layer product that works with a pan of boiling water to steam vegetables, meats, or anything else your loved one might want. It makes vegetables fork-tender but without the nutrient-depleting process of boiling them. For meats, it lets the fat drip into the water below, providing a healthier finished dish.
5. High-Tech Coffee Machine
Steaming might be better when you go back to basics, but when it comes to coffee, top tech is worth its weight in gold. Giving someone a luxury coffee machine is like giving them their favourite coffee shop in their own home: it can create delicious black coffee with freshly-ground beans as well as decadent specialty drinks from lattes to macchiatos. That special coffee-drinker in your life can pair these expertly-prepared and low-effort concoctions with their favourite flavoured syrups for the perfect cup of java every time.
6. Electric Kettle
A terrific electric kettle is a must-have for any kitchen, gourmet or not. Think of it as an express water heater, taking water from tap temperature to boiling within just a few minutes. Strictly speaking, it’s meant for making a piping hot cup of tea, but it’s not just for tea aficionados. Its speed is also perfect for those days when there isn’t time to wait for the pasta water to boil on the sloth-speed stove, or for a cup of classic pour-over coffee.
7. Speciality Coffee Glasses
A great coffee mug is the picture of cosiness on a rainy day, but as great as it is for classic coffee, speciality drinks deserve speciality glasses. Add delicately petite espresso glasses for those mornings when your loved one needs an energy kick with some class. For days when they feel like fluffy foam instead, they need to have cappuccino glasses on hand. Whether they’re serving up espresso and cappuccino for some guests or they’re just in the mood for their favourite espresso-rich sip, the right glass is the icing that makes or breaks the cake.
8. Mini Quiche and Tart Pans
Has there ever been an impressive and delectable brunch that was complete without a quiche? We think not. Tarts are also welcome additions to any party…or simply for a delightful treat to have around the house. Whether that special person in your life is a gourmet baker or brunch chef, or they aspire to be both, they’ll need the right pans to make those popular staples. Mini quiche/tart pans produce the wonderfully-wavy crimped edges that are a signature feature of both quiches and tarts.
9. Pudding Moulds
There are certain foods that give all of us treasured memories from childhood, and without a doubt, pudding is one of them. It’s one of those dishes that exude comfort and a collection to the simple pleasures of life. It also happens to be fun for bakers to experiment with because there are so many different flavours and varieties. If your loved one might enjoy indulging in some experiments and bringing some of this joy to their household, their gourmet kitchen is in desperate need of pudding moulds. While there are plenty of types of moulds out there, carbon steel is especially handy because it’s durable, dishwasher-safe, and freezer-safe, all of which makes the chef’s life easier.
Stocking Your Gourmet Kitchen with the Top Tools You Need
A real gourmet kitchen requires more than top-quality major appliances. It needs to have a lineup of tools that empower the cook to truly unleash their inner chef extraordinaire, from cookware to coffee makers. To stock up your loved one’s kitchen with the best essentials this holiday season, start with the must-haves above.