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Tray Chic

Tray

Look ma, one hand! The New York Times points to this unique self-balancing tray, made of plastic and stainless steel, which will ensure that your New Year's Eve bubbly is transported safely and stylishly. The tray is available in blue or green for $65 at MXYPLYZYK.

Listed by Josh Friedland on Dec 26, 2006 in Drink | Link | Comments (1) | add to del.icio.us | Digg this story | Email this post

2006 Holiday Gift Guide

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Giving to gastronomes is getting harder these days. In the age of flexitarians, offal enthusiasts, and coffeegeeks, the food world has become fractured into an endless array of niche tastes and sub-genres. To make things a little easier, The Food Section offers these targeted suggestions for holiday gifts.

EdminimarioFor the culinary collector: So, you can't afford Del Posto, but for less than $20, a wind-up version of Mario Batali can be yours. Replete with red pony tail, shorts, and orange clogs, mini Molto shakes a bottle of olive oil and flips a pan of pasta. $14.95 at Toy Lounge. - Josh Friedland

EdgrindensteinFor the design conscious coffeegeek: This mini dumpster boasts a slick design, comes in six colors, and can tolerate sustained barista abuse. Since the espresso ground receptacle collects organic waste to add to the compost pile, it gets bonus points for sustainability. $28.95 at Grindenstein.com. - Jessica Ritz

EdsimpleitaliansandwichesFor supplicants to the sandwich gods: This new book from Jason and Jennifer Denton, the founders of New York's 'ino and 'inoteca, contains instructions for making the couple's renowned panini, bruschetti, and tramezzini, along with recipes for aperitifs, antipasti, and salads. $14.93 at amazon.com. - JF

EdwillpowderFor your brother, the budding molecular gastronomist: So you want to get into the molecular gastronomy game, but where are you going to find ingredients like xanthan gum, sodium alginate, or lecithin? Chef Will Goldfarb of New York's Room 4 Dessert sells a line of specialty products so home cooks can replicate some of the world’s most innovative dishes. A bag of Methylcellulose, a thickener and stabilizer, will set you back $10 at Will Powder. - JF

CoastersFor your mom (and her bird's eye maple, wax finish coffee table): Maybe if you give mom these gorgeous jewel-toned Brazilian agate slice coasters, you'll remember to keep your water glasses off her furniture. $55 for a set of four coasters at Moss. - Ganda Suthivarakom

Bonappetittie_4 For dads who do the dishes: This washable linen-cotton necktie is made completely out of dish towel, so it makes a fashion statement at the office as well as in the kitchen. $27.64 at Atypyk. - JF

Ingenuitea_1 For loose tea lovers: Adagio Teas' ingenious teapot/infuser takes all the trouble out of brewing loose tea. Fill with hot water, add leaves, and when the tea has steeped to your liking, place the pot on top of your cup and a valve automatically infuses and releases the tea, leaf-free. $19 at Adagio Teas. - JF

TheunitedstatesofarugulaFor the culinary historian: David Kamp's The United States of Arugula traces the history of the American food revolution from the nation's pre-Balsamic era into the epoch of the celebrity chef. $17.16 at amazon.com. - JF

EdmajanicremafiatFor Nutella naysayers: There's a small contingent of hold-outs who claim they can resist Nutella's addicting blend of chocolate and hazelnuts. They may be won over by Pasticceria Majani's almond, hazelnut, and chocolate spread, based on the Italian chocolate maker's famed FIAT chocolate cubes. $18 at Artisan Sweets. - JF

Laguiole_1 For the spontaneous casanova: What's more romantic than an impromptu picnic? A cohort who comes prepared. This corkscrew/folding knife, decorated with Napoleon's royal bee insignia, is perfect for opening a bottle of rosé and sharing hunks of saucisson at the drop of a hat. $109 at corkscrew.com. - GS

Edmurrays_1For your fromage-loving frère: A gift set of cheeses from Murray's Cheese, the Artisanal Premium Cheese Center, or Cowgirl Creamery will send your sibling into a months-long lactose-induced haze of creamy, occasional stinky, but delicious euphoria. $550 for 12 months of cheese (pictured here) from Murray's; $600 for the six-month Conoisseur's Club at the Artisanal Premium Cheese Center; or $540 for a monthly installment of artisan cheese for a year from Cowgirl Creamery. - JF

EdthemeremortalsguideFor the haute dining challenged: Is it o.k. to eat meat on the bone with your hands in a fancy restaurant? How does one properly dispose of UFOs ("unswallowable food objects")? Colleen Rush has the answers to these and other pressing questions in The Mere Mortal's Guide to Fine Dining. $10.36 at amazon.com. - JF

EdcuisinartiicecreaqmmakerFor the frozen custard fanatic: The standard-issue, sub-$50 ice cream maker performs beautifully, but Cuisinart's Supreme Ice Cream Maker features a built-in compressor freezer which requires no pre-freezing. That means that gelato, granita, and other frozen concoctions can be had almost as soon as the inspiration strikes. $249.95 at Williams-Sonoma. - JF

FiercefoodFor your insect-eating aunt: Christa Weil's Fierce Food is a compendium to the world's most extarordinary foods, with handy entries for everything from live monkey brain to roasted "Big Ass" ants (not to mention silkworm pupae). Mmmm. $11.20 at amazon.com. - JF

TubFor your obsessive compulsively clean uncle: Triple-washed pre-bagged mesclun and pre-cut crudité are anathema to the germophobe. With this flexible rubber washing tub, complete with scrub brush, he can soak and scrub his veggies in as many changes of water as he deems necessary. $75 at the Museum of Modern Art. - GS

Babymakemebreakfast_1For baby gastronomes: Food-inspired books for children abound, but Lisa Brown's "Baby Be of Use" series takes a subversive spin on the feel-good genre. With bright, bold artwork, Baby Make Me Breakfast and Baby Make Me a Drink aspire -- with tongue firmly planted in cheek -- to teach baby how to cook breakfast and mix cocktails. $9.00 at The McSweeney's Store. - JF

Saucisson spongeFor the pot-scrubber in the family: These nifty sponges shaped like saucisson (pictured here) and cheese will make washing dishes a little more tolerable (only a little bit). $6.24 each at Atypk. - JF

EdchocolatedeskaccessoryFor your cacao-addicted co-worker: Desk-bound chocophiles will appreciate this chocolate-scented organizer. $14 at Fred Flare. - JF

TheomnivoresdilemmaFor the introspective eater: Michael Pollan pulls back the curtain on how we eat in his best-selling book exploring the intersection of food, health, and industry, and the extraordinary complexity of individual food choices in today's food world. $15.63 at amazon.com. - JF

Edminibarkit For mixologists on the move: Have bar, will travel. This miniature bar set contains two folding cups, a corkscrew, two flasks, and a stirrer, which fit in a black leather case measuring just 4" x 5.25" x 2.25". $48 at FLIGHT 001. - JF

EdbentoFor your niece, who likes to play with her food: A small army of creative minds have transformed the gastronomical landscape into a spectrum of soft and fuzzy toys. The the soft Bento Sushi Play Box (pictured here) is $35 at The Spoon Sisters; Lilly Bean's handmade felt pizza pie is $28 at Mahar Dry Goods; plush pork and other cuts start at $19.99 at Sweet Meats.  - JF

Privatereserve For oenophiles fighting the good fight against oxidation: Leftover wine that loses the battle against oxygen and quickly turns undrinkable is a perpetual problem. CHOW tested a range of wine-saving gadgets on the market and came down in favor of Wine Enthusiast's Private Preserve Wine Preservation Spray, which uses a mixture of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and argon to displace the oxygen in an open bottle of wine. $9.95 at Wine Enthusiast. - JF

Icecream1For the ice cream conoisseur: The gelato haven il Laboratorio del Gelato ships nationwide, and their ricotta, hazelnut, and green apple flavors are particularly tasty. But, this indulgence is only for those who don’t mind spending significant sums on their gelato -- four 18-ounce containers packed with the flavors of your choice will cost a pretty penny. $60 (plush $35 shipping) at il Laboratorio del Gelato. - JR

Andy Warhol Soup Can For the soup-sipping pop art enthusiast: Barneys is selling limited edition soup cans with reproductions of Andy Warhol-designed labels. Plus, there's actual condensed tomato soup included in every can. $48 for a set of four cans at Barneys. - JF

Champagnebrownies For your sweet-toothed sweetheart: Blogger-to-baker Kelli Bernard's limited edition Champagne Brownies are made with 99 percent dark chocolate and all-natural cocoa and topped with a Champagne glaze. The design for the packaging is inspired by vintage Champagne bottle labels. $19 for a box of four ("Little Lady") or $42 for eight ("Grand Dame") at Amai Tea & Bake House. - JF

Erlenmeyer flasks For wine drinkers with a chemistry fetish: Using glass laboratory flasks as wine decanters not only lends a bit of nerd chic to your wine service, but their design also provides more surface area for air to reach the wine. "Not only do they look cool, they do their job superbly," writes New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov. A set of four 2000 ml Erlenmeyer flasks will set you back $74.40 at labsafety.com. Photo: istockphoto.com - JF

Penguin mugsFor the literate coffee drinker: This series of porcelain mugs emblazoned with classic Penguin book titles includes works by Emily Brontë, H.E. Bates, H.G. Wells, and John Morris. $24 each at The Conran Shop. - JF

See also: The Food Section Guide to Holiday Gift Guides.

Listed by Josh Friedland on Dec 5, 2006 | Link | Comments (47) | add to del.icio.us | Digg this story | Email this post

2006 Guide to Holiday Gift Guides

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Clueless about what to buy for your culinarily inclined loved ones? For your material pleasure, The Food Section has scanned the pages of food magazines, newspaper food sections, and food websites to bring you the list to end all holiday gift lists -- the 2006 edition of The Food Section Guide to Holiday Gift Guides, a collection of links to recently published articles on gastronomically-minded gifts for the holidays.

Cookbooks and Other Food Reads
»Holiday Books: Cooking [New York Times]
»Settling in, Glass in Hand, to Read of Wine [New York Times]
»Cookbooks: Two Cups of Joy and a Pinch of Comfort [NPR]
»Best of 2006: Twenty books from 2006 that made the cut [Leite's Culinaria]
»The Best Food and Drink Books for Holiday Gifts [John Mariani]
»Gift Cookbooks [Washington Post]
»Tasty Tomes: The Year's Best Culinary Novels [epicurious]

Things to Eat and Other Food Stuff
»Holiday Gift Guide: Sparing the Reindeer With Help From a Mouse [New York Times]
»Gadgets galore for the giving [San Francisco Chronicle]
»40 Divine Gifts for ’06 [Food & Wine]
»12 Incredible Edible Holiday Gifts [Food & Wine]
»Top 10 Test Kitchen Discoveries [Food & Wine]
»Wine Gifts: An Expert’s Best Advice [Food & Wine]
»Gourmet's Online Gift Guide [epicurious]
»For the Pork Fiend [New York]
»Holiday Gift Guide [101 Cookbooks]
»Let Them Eat Mail-Order Cake, Cheese and Pudding [NPR]
»Gift Guide [Time Out New York]
»Keepers: CHOW's Holiday Gift Guide [CHOW]
»Five bottles for the boss [New York Daily News]
»Digital Delicacies [New York Daily News]
»How to Buy New York Food Gifts Without Pants [New York]
»Holiday Gifts [Cravings]
»Gizmos and Gadgets for the Newest Foods [New York Times]
»Gifts for the Nanogastronome [Wired]
»Chocolate Gift Guide [serious eats]
»Eat, Drink, and Be Merry [Cookie]
»Clotilde's Kitchen Toolbox Part I, Part II, Part III [Chocolate & Zucchini]
»For the Oenophile Who Has Everything [New York Sun]
»Gifts for Your Rooms: Kitchen [shelterrific]
»Holiday Gift Guide [Cooking with Amy]
»Last-minute Gifts for Cooks [Tiny Banquet Committee]
»For the Good Stocking [New York Times]
»Eater Gift Guide 2006: Part I, Part II [eater]
»Glittering last-minute gifts that will delight [Los Angeles Times]
»Have Yourself a Cranky Little Christmas [The Gurgling Cod]

See also: The Food Section Holiday Gift Guide.

Listed by Josh Friedland on Dec 5, 2006 | Link | Comments (28) | add to del.icio.us | Digg this story | Email this post