Christmas Gift Guide 2017: Objects

1st December 2017

Words: Killian Fox
Photographs: Sophie Davidson, Dan Dennison

Pasta rollers, dehydrators and Moroccan lemonwood spoons: our pick of beautiful and functional kitchen objects from the past 12 months. (See also: our favourite ingredients and food books of 2017.)

Imperia Pasta Roller (£46.78)
Visiting Rachel Roddy at her apartment in Rome for a forthcoming Gannet interview, we spend a very pleasant morning making pasta for lunch. This is the pasta roller that Rachel – Guardian columnist, author of Five Quarters and Two Kitchens (see Food Books) – has in her kitchen.

Andrew James dehydrator (£45.99)
When we visit wild food expert Roger Phillips at his home in London, he is busily coring, peeling and drying apples [pictured above]. “Dried eating apples make the most wonderful snacks, as you chew they release all the dried-in sweet and scrummy flavours. Packed in nice jars they also make ideal Christmas gifts – in our family we try to only give personal gifts.” So perhaps you can buy the dehydrator as a gift to yourself, in order to give personal, apple-based gifts to your friends and family in the future.

Moroccan lemonwood spoons (from £3.00)
These – or spoons very like them – caught our eye while we were visiting food writer Alison Roman at her flat in New York City. They were, she told us, a recent acquisition from a trip to Paris. “I went to a Moroccan restaurant and was like, ‘I have these!’, and they were like, ‘Cool, everyone has these.’”

Rachel Roddy making fresh pasta with an Imperia roller in her kitchen in Rome

Turk frying pan (from £30.90)
Spotted during our interview with Ryan Chetiyawardana of Dandelyan fame. They look great – and they’re not expensive.

Joel Black knife (price on request)
“It’s brilliantly useful, it’s flexible, and I’ve used it for really delicate work around chicken’s hip bones, or boning large pieces of meat, or fruit and veg,” says Tim Hayward of his Joel Black knife. “Joel is trained in fine art, and his knives really are like works of art. That’s easy to say – and usually means there’s loads of trim and shit on them – but this has absolutely nothing that’s not needed. It couldn’t be anything else. It’s such a beautiful shape, with the Damascus finish on the handle. Henry Harris has one that he carries in a scabbard around his neck.”

Tala Cook’s Measure (£6.49)
“This thing is the best,” says Louise McGuane of JJ Corry whiskey in Co Clare (in a forthcoming interview). “I don’t have a weighing scales, so when the recipe says you need 300g of this or a pint of that, you just pour it in, shake it, boom.” This clever little device is particularly useful if you’re converting cup measurements in US recipes into milligrams or millilitres, or vice versa.

Bruschetta (£9.65)
An Italian stovetop toaster, also referred to as a brustolina, made of a sheet of metal with holes in, topped with a wire rack. Rory O’Connell of Ballymaloe Cookery School uses it to toast the sourdough for the tarragon butter toasts. “A life-changing piece of kit. You can buy it in a hardware store in Italy for about €10 or something. Grilled bread can be like dog biscuit, it can get dry and hard and revolting, but this just makes the best toast. Sometimes they’re used for dried polenta or peppers and aubergines as well. It’s incredibly light; you think it’s going to die in a week but it doesn’t. I think I bought 10 of them when I saw them. A little extravagant, but I gave them as gifts.”

See also: our favourite ingredients and food books of 2017.

Rory O’Connell’s bruschetta

Posted 1st December 2017

In Journal


Words: Killian Fox
Photographs: Sophie Davidson, Dan Dennison

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