Shopping around for the perfect present for the food lover or home cook in your life? Treat them to the truly good stuff with one of these picks.
Look around your kitchen—have you upgraded any gadgets, small appliances, or pots and pans lately? If you love to cook, you owe it to yourself to use tried-and-true tools that will save you time and effort. We quizzed Hudson Valley chefs about the products they can’t live without. They’ll help you up your cooking game, and also make great gifts for the foodies in your life.
Grill Frying Pan From Made In
$89 \ madeincookware.com
I grill anywhere there is open fire or coals! This pan is perfect for grilled shishitos over an open fire, or you can lay the pan right on the coals for hard-seared steaks.
—Tony Scotto, chef/owner of DPNB Pasta & Provisions in Nyack
Charcoal Konro Grill
$250+ \ amazon.com
This Japanese grill comes in several sizes and is perfect for anyone who loves live fire grilling. Just make sure you have good ventilation if you use yours indoors!
— Dan Silverman, executive chef of Millstream Tavern in Woodstock and culinary director of Shale Hill Hospitality Group
Cararra Marble Mortar and Pestle
$99+ \ Williams Sonoma or kitchenware stores
“An Italian mortar and pestle set will last a lifetime and is great for making aioli and pesto the old-fashioned way. It’ll also look fantastic on your shelf!
Vegetable Spiralizer from Vollum
$48.95 \ Vollum’s Amazon storefront
It’s a handy little tool that helps you make all sorts of delicious salads and veggie pastas. It comes with one straight-edge blade and three serrated blades, and the possibilities are endless.
—Michael Bernardo, chef/owner of Café Mio in Gardiner
Corer from OXO
$11.99 \ oxo.com
“I have always loved a simple apple corer that cores in one smooth motion—it’s so quick and easy. I recommend OXO for home use.
—Ralph Bello, chef at Primo Waterfront in Newburgh
Japanese Ganji Kankiri (Can Opener)
$8.50+ \ amazon.com or korin.com
Everyone should have an excellent can opener: A Japanese ganji kankiri is virtually indestructible, easy to use, and also opens beer bottles!
Precision Peeler from Milk Street
$29.95 \ 177milkstreet.com
Being caterers we often peel 50–60 pounds of potatoes or carrots at a time and this peeler is the style and shape that I love. It’s extremely sharp and comes with a replacement blade.
–Agnes Devereux, chef/owner of Agnes Devereux Catering in Staatsburg
Pepper Cannon from Mannkitchen
$199.99 \ mannkitchen.com
If you make as much Cacio e Pepe as I do, this is a must. It’s extremely well made, compact, high output, and has a clean and smooth mechanism that’s easy to fill. Consistent and even grind over thousands of turns.
Meat Mallet from OXO
$11.99–20.99 \ oxo.com
Every cook needs a mallet for tenderizing meat, but I also like to put nuts or breadcrumbs in a Ziploc bag and use the mallet to crush things. It can be better than using a food processor, which grinds very fine. Smashing in a bag retains some texture.
1-Liter Micom Rice Cooker from Zojirushi
$184.49 \ zojirushi.com
Making perfect rice is simple with this rice cooker—which is the Cadillac of rice cookers. Go ahead and treat yourself because your rice game will never be the same!
–Dale Talde, chef at Goosefeather in Tarrytown
Related: How to Give Your Hudson Valley Kitchen the Refresh It Deserves