The New Essentials

Holiday Gifts Special

It used to be that every home needed a percolator and some fine china. Times have changed. Here, our staff picks for the cutting-edge, super-useful, gorgeous gifts that food lovers need now.


Market editor MONICA KHEMSUROV
Photos by TED CAVANAUGH

CLIPS $24 FOR 24
Are we really telling you to give bag clips for the holidays? You bet. They're indispensable—stronger than bargain brands and chic enough that they won't seem out of place holding a stack of papers. Bet you can't use just one. food52.com

NORDIC WARE JUBILEE BUNDT PAN, $40
A great cake never goes out of fashion, but that doesn't mean the Bundt pan couldn't use a makeover. This geometric pattern will make any cake seem downright futuristic. wayfair.com

CHOCOLATE PANETTONE, $50
Roy Shvartzapel bends the laws of physics to make a panettone so good it reduced our food editors to gasps and groans. Worth the price. thisisfromroy.com

STAINLESS STEEL ICE PACK, $16
Your teenage niece doesn't want an ice pack in her stocking. But those who get excited about freezer organizing will appreciate this sleek nontoxic option. food52.com

ASH AND STONEWARE BOWL, $60
Bring the rustic restaurant trend home with a speckled stoneware bowl 6 1/2″ in diameter. This one's glazed with ash from a pizza oven. shop.herriottgrace.com

CHEF'S TOWEL, $18
Spun from European linen that'll soften over time, this machine-washable kitchen towel also ties around your waist like a half apron. snowehome.com

MEDIUM PINK CASSEROLE POT, $90
Oven-and dishwasher-safe, Workaday Handmade's 1.5-quart stoneware crock is just what you'll want for serving warm holiday sides. workadayhandmade.com

GRIDDLE, $200
Laid over a stovetop, its surface becomes a plancha for searing steaks or smash burgers. Chilled, it doubles as a cold plate beneath platters of fresh fruit. bakingsteel.com

WALTER, $475
Use this ceramic dispenser to house a water filter. Unlike that filtered pitcher we keep in our fridge, this one is so stylish it's worth leaving on the counter. walterfilter.com

TUNDRA 35, $300
Big enough to hold 20 beer cans, tough enough to be certified “bear resistant” (a real thing), this industry-best cooler will please tailgaters and outdoorsy types alike. yeti.com

BE HOME MEASURING CUPS, $50
New rule: All measuring cups should have the numbers etched on the side. (Printed numbers rub off within a few washes.) These copper cups should last for years. rodales.com

LIQUID BODY FLASK, $60
Consider this a cool (and functional) update of Grandpa's flask. To form its juice-box-like shape, welded sheets of stainless steel are inflated using water pressure. The result is a quirky 6-oz. sipper that slides easily in and out of your back pocket. areaware.com

TORIBE KITCHEN SHEARS, $50
Frankly we can't imagine a kitchen drawer without a set of shears like this Japanese stainless-steel pair. They're essential for everything from snipping herbs to trimming meats to cutting twine. canoeonline.net

KURO CUBE, $21
Put a lump of coal in someone's stocking—seriously. This charcoal cube purifies air and absorbs odors in refrigerators (or cars or closets, for that matter) with style. Save the baking soda for baking. carbonbeauty.com

NO. 8 FIELD SKILLET, $100
Just like its storied competitors, this cast-iron skillet is nonstick, no-frills, and amazingly versatile. But an innovative production process that uses less metal keeps it markedly lighter and easy to manage. fieldcompany.com

KORIKO WEIGHTED SHAKING TINS, $17
A cocktail shaker for the aspiring mixologist in your family (or a good hint that you'd like a margarita). The reinforced bottom helps the two halves form a tight seal and separate more easily than most. cocktailkingdom.com

THE bon appétit ARTISAN GIFT SET, $85
Buy a friend a year's bon appétit subscription—or renew your own!—and not just because it's the best magazine out there (at least that's what our moms tell us). This special combo subscription comes with an exclusive denim apron we designed with Hedley & Bennett, the L.A. company that outfits the top chefs in the business. You'll also get to do some good—10 percent of the purchase price goes to charity: water. Is it still self-promotion if we're really excited about this one? bonappetit.com/gift

From left:

STACKING GLASSES, $12 EACH
These stackable glasses—made of the same hardy glass used to create test-tube beakers—are a good fit for a bar cart. shopburkelman.com

MINNERS CLASSIC NICK & NORA GLASSES, $54 FOR SIX
For those who want a cocktail glass that isn't an angular, guaranteed-to-spill martini glass or the now-ubiquitous coupe, comes this new (old) design, made famous in the '30s and '40s. The elegant Nick & Nora feels fresh and retro at the same time. williams-sonoma.com

CAN GLASS, $4
Glasses like these are popping up in our favorite coffee shops. The shape echoes a soda or beer can (but also holds our cold brew just fine, thank you very much). crateandbarrel.com

G-FUSION PETTY UTILITY KNIFE, $190
We find ourselves reaching for a petty knife as much as, if not more often than, the beloved chef's knife. The 5 1/2″ blade is agile enough to trim delicate veggies and sturdy enough to bone out a chicken. It strikes the perfect balance between power and grace. Sharp, huh? newwestknifeworks.com

JOHN JULIAN FOR MARCH STONEWARE MUG, $35 EACH
A timeless mug just begging for a fireplace, a hot tea, and a book. Fired at a super-high temperature, it's very durable. marchsf.com

OTTOMATIC, $350
This automatic Chemex has temperature control and a spray spout for even water dispersion. It's pour-over for those who like to hit snooze. chemexcoffeemaker.com

WILD THYME FLOWERS, $11
Spark life into any spice rack with these Greek thyme buds (that taste like a flowery oregano). Try them in marinades or make your own herbal tea. daphnisandchloe.com

SUNTORY WHISKY TOKI, $45
For the whiskey lover who's drank his way through Kentucky, try Japanese whisky. This blend from a pioneering Japanese distiller is a gateway to that world. astorwines.com

ESCALI ARTI 15 LB. MULTIPURPOSE DIGITAL FOOD SCALE, $35
Weigh flour with precision—a must for serious bakers. We love its big, easy-to-read screen. bedbathandbeyond.com

CHEF'S JACKET, $145
The team that makes aprons for La Vara in NYC released this easy-moving jacket, ideal for those who work at restaurants (and those who eat at them). jonesofboerumhill.com

MICHAEL VERHEYDEN VASE, $225
On the heels of our “delicate bud vase phase” comes this 14"-tall statement vase—a hefty concrete vessel ideal for showing off dramatic branches. marchsf.com

WOLF TOASTER, $400
A toaster that browns breads evenly? That can handle bagel halves and thin slices of health bread? And has bold red knobs to boot? Put a bow on it! subzero-wolf.com

FRUITCAKE BAR, $10
Even those who feel “meh” about fruitcake will be into these fruitcake-inspired candies—white or bittersweet chocolate enrobing dried fruits and nuts. valerieconfections.com

STAGG POUR-OVER KETTLE, $80
For the coffee fanatic on your list comes this slow-pouring kettle with a thermometer, ensuring that her cup of single-origin brew turns out right every time. fellowproducts.com

FLAT SAUTÉ SET, $29 FOR THREE
Wooden spoons and rubber spatulas have met their match. Our test kitchen uses these hardwood scrapers for stirring onions, scraping up browned bits, and more. The beveled edge lets you really get into corners. earlywooddesigns.com

KNOB SPICE GRINDER, $60
Whole spices have a longer shelf life than ground. Use the detachable base of this modern beech-wood grinder to catch spices for easy measuring, or fill it up with salt for an impromptu pinch bowl. umbrashift.com

MAGNETIC WOOD KNIFE BLOCK, $120
Traditional knife blocks can dull your blades over time as you slide them in and out. That won't be a problem with this wooden magnetic wedge that holds blades on either side without friction. food52.com

FACTURE GOODS MUDDLER, $30 EACH
If you want to mix an aromatic Mojito or julep, these heavy, sleek solid-wood muddlers are key to extracting essential oils from herbs and fruits. They're long enough to reach the bottom of your tallest glass. mavensd.com

2S WOOD-FIRED OVEN, $300
Charred Neapolitan-style pizza at home? For those who haven't quite gotten around to building that backyard pizza oven, there's the low-profile (just over 2′) and (relatively) low-cost Uuni. It goes from cold to a blistering 900 degrees in ten minutes flat and runs on environmentally friendly (and easy-to-store) compressed wood pellets. uuni.net