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  Holiday Gift Ideas for Chefs


What do you get the chef who has everything? We asked some of our Miami Rising Stars what their indispensable kitchen tools are. So, just in time for the holidays, here are their must-haves. No matter what your price range is, there’s something for that impossible-to-please chef or foodie in your life.

  1. Vorwerk Thermomix: Jordi Valles of Mosaico and Salero swears by his Thermomix. This all-in-one appliance cooks, steams, kneads, blends, whips, emulsifies, homogenizes, grates, mills, pulverizes, chops, and minces. It may sound too good to be true, like the classic Saturday Night Live Bass-o-matic skit, but Chef Valles attests that it’s “an amazing tool.” Contact the Thermomix USA headquarters at (888) 867-9375 to find a dealer in your area.

  2. F.A. Porsche Knives: Good quality, sharp knives are indispensable in the culinary world. Every chef has his or her preferred brand. Marc Ehrler of the Loews Miami Beach Hotel has fallen in love with his F.A. Porsche knives, made of Japanese 301 alloy steel. “I have the whole collection,” Ehrler says. And you can, too. The 14-piece set is available for $589.00 on chefdepot.net.

  3. Laptop Computer and Digital Camera: If you’re a serious chef, it’s time to embrace the digital revolution. Use a computer to organize your recipes and keep track of accounts and food costs, not to mention to do internet research and email. Take it one step further and use a digital camera to photograph all of your beautifully plated dishes. Max Santiago Executive Pastry Chef of Mundo scored his position by giving Chef Norman Van Aken a digital slideshow of his entire portfolio. Here are some user-friendly recommendations:

    Toshiba Satellite M35X-S329 15.4" Notebook PC
    $1,399.00 on Amazon.com

    Apple iBook Notebook 14" M9628LL
    $1,949.93 on Amazon.com

    Sony Cybershot DSC-T1 5.1MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom
    $449.94 on Amazon.com

  4. Peltex Fish Spatula: Carmen Gonzalez of Carmen the Restaurant says she cannot live without a fish spatula. The Peltex stainless steel slotted spatula from France is the preferred tool of many chefs. The 11-inch Peltex sells for $13.80 on jbprince.com.

  5. Chopsticks: Jeffrey Brana of Norman’s says chopsticks enable him to handle food delicately. He uses them for all stages of his cooking, from preparing to plating food. Don’t be cheap and use those splintery things that come with your sushi takeout - invest in a few quality pairs. A set of two ebony wood chopsticks with silver-plated trim makes an elegant gift - $45 on redenvelope.com.

  6. Silpat: The Silpat is here to stay! Husband and wife team Edgar Leal and Mariana Montero de Castro of Cacao use these handy baking mats for both savory and sweet purposes --Edgar uses them to make a wafer-thin variation of an arepa, while Mariana uses them for all her pastries so she doesn’t have to use any extra fats in her baking. The standard-size Silpats (11 5/8” x 16 1/2") sell for $24.00 or 2 for $40 on marthastewart.com.

   Published: December 2004