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Home Chef Heaven

We asked the experts at local cookware stores for this year’s best kitchen gifts.


Viante: Pasta Extruder

Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

Killer Cookware

Pizza Stone  

Emile Henry  
Safe on the grill and in the oven, and specially glazed to stay clean and shiny longer; $44.50 for 12-inch. Available at Draeger’s Market, 4100 Blackhawk Plaza Cir., Danville, (925) 648-5800, draegers.com.

Stainless Steel Sauce Pan  

Le Creuset
The cast-iron cookware company’s latest foray into stainless steel adds clever design elements such as a curved rim for precision pouring and ergonomic handles; $110 for two-quart. Available at Draeger’s.  

Nonstick Pan  

Swiss Diamond
These nonstick pans are Teflon free, so no PFOAs. And they’re oven-friendly; $129.95 for 12.5-inch fry pan. Available at Pans on Fire, 3059 Hopyard Rd., Ste. J–K, Pleasanton, (925) 600-7267, pansonfire.com.

Cool Tools

Courtesy of Sur La TableFour-Inch Paring Knife

Kuhn Rikon
Brightly colored paring knives come with nonstick coating that releases food easily;  $9.95 each. Available at Williams-Sonoma, 1470 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Walnut Creek, (925) 210-1215, williams-sonoma.com.

SmartStick Immersion Blender

Great for making soups and whipping cream—plus easy to use and clean; $34.95. Available at Sur La Table, 1211 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, (925) 210-0103, surlatable.com.

Stainless Steel Barbecue Tool Set

The ultimate gift for the BBQ master in your household; $119.95. Available at Sur La Table.

Courtesy of MastradDIY Gear

Chips-Maker Set

Chips (potato, kale, even apple) are made quick and easy with this microwave–friendly silicone tray. Mandolin slicer included; $19.95–$35.95. Available at Pans on Fire.

Home Molecular Gastronomy Kit

Mint caviar beads, lemon foam, chocolate spaghetti: Explore the bizarre frontiers of molecular gastronomy with kits, including additives, gear, and a 50-recipe DVD; $60. Available at Pans on Fire.

Pasta Extruder

Just load the ingredients into this all-in-one machine, and 30 minutes later, out pops fresh pasta in 14 different shapes; $349.95. Available at Williams-Sonoma.

Local Cookbooks

As recommended by Celia Sack, owner of Omnivore Books on Food.

The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee

“The secrets of the Bay Area’s
favorite coffee roaster are
finally revealed!”

Bouchon Bakery

“Thomas Keller lets pastry chef Sebastien Rouxel shine in this great cookbook, with fantastic photos by Deborah Jones.”

SPQR: Modern Italian Food and Wine

“Learn how to make refined Italian food at home; the results are ethereal, just like every meal I’ve had at the restaurant.”

Vietnamese Home Cooking

(By Slanted Door owner Charles Phan)
“Who knew caramel sauce was the cornerstone of so much Vietnamese cooking? Now I can’t stop making it.”


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