****To enter the KitchenAid food processor contest scroll to the bottom of the page and post your entry in the Comments section*****
With Christmas only a couple of weeks away some good advice is always welcome when it comes to gift giving, especially in an area where there are so many choices, like the kitchen. On Food Matters on All Points West this afternoon I featured a pile of kitchen gadgets and cookware, and a chance for you to win a valuable appliance that will look right at home on your countertop.
A good cook can cook in any kitchen with any kind of equipment, but why should you have to when there are so many good things out there for you to take advantage of. Now, I’m not talking about those gadgets that purport to make miracles in the kitchen and then sit unused in your junk drawer. I’m talking quality stuff that in some cases will last you a lifetime and may even be passed down to your children…this year I took a tour of Cook Culture in Victoria with owner Jed Grieve. I’ve been teaching cooking classes there for the past year, and it’s a perfect spot to keep up with all the trends in cookware. Here are some of the highlights, starting off with a microplane box grater from a company named Cuisipro. Jed says this Accutec line is laser cut from stainless steel and has been improved by making the body all meta; before it had plastic sides which tended to crack over time. And there’s a great little removable pinch bowl that your food gathers in at the bottom of the grater.
From laser-cut stainless steel we go to something a little more organic…
Wood and paper! This is one of those things that we take for granted, but when you get something good you wonder why you never had it before. So I brought in two different cutting boards, one made of wood that you shouldn’t put in your dishwasher and one that you can that is actually made of paper.
Jed: “Boos Boards are made of Eastern hard rock maple…high quality, and long lasting.
The other company is Epicurean. This is pressed paper mixed with a food safe epoxy that is durable and dishwasher safe. They replace the plastic boards.” Jed told me everyone went to plastic boards in the 80’s and 90’s because we thought wood actually promoted the growth of bacteria. But now we know that wood actually can limit bacterial growth…and the plastic boards are harder on your knife edges than wood and paper.
If your giftee likes sharp knives and is a fan of Iron Chef America or even the original Iron Chef Japan then you will have to put this in their Christmas box. You’re holding the Morimoto edition of a new line of knives called Miyabi from Henckels. For Iron Chef fans Masaharu Morimoto is one of the Kitchen Stadium chefs and this line of knives was designed with his help. Jed says these knives are a good entry by the German company Henckels into a Japanese-inspired knife: “Instead of starting from scratch Henckels bought a well-established Japanese knife company and came out with a line of knives that matches Japanese blades with Western-style riveted handles. The blades are made from 64 layers of steel for added flexibility and a tremendous cut.” This is a knife that is a bit of a splurge at $200, but it makes a great gift for someone just starting out in the kitchen or someone who has a whole batch of knives that aren’t good for anything but prying the lid off a jar of pickles. Will last forever with a high-quality handle and blade.
Other kinds of durable kitchen goods that are hot this year include Staub enamelled cast iron cookware, cast iron fry pan, Bamix hand blender, pizza and bread stones, pans and knives… My entire conversation I had with Jed is here for you to listen to as an mp3:
Now the really fun part…a recipe swap with a really great prize for one lucky listener….
The KitchenAid folks in Toronto have offered up one of their brand new models of food processor, the 13-cup model that retails for about Four Hundred Dollars! All you have to do to qualify to win is to post one of your Holiday Season recipes in the comments on this blog entry which calls for the use of a food processor in the method.. Deadline is December 19th. We will announce the winner on my Food Matters column of December 21st, so it will be an early Christmas gift for one of you. There are only two rules…one, you must be a resident of Canada, and two, if the recipe is not your own, please credit the source when you enter it. Uncredited recipes will NOT be eligible for the prize.