Time may be running out for everyone but Santa Claus, but Grub Street has some ideas for the procrastinators among us. We spoke with food professionals all over the country chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, and pastry chefs to see what they want to find under the tree. And what's good enough for these notable food professionals is sure to be a delight for your own enthusiastic amateur.
"Im a fan of the brown liquid. I like to drink whiskey neat and on the rocks. For my home, Id really like this Spherical Ice Tray Set ($16) to make my 'rocks.'"
Jose Garces, Amada, Tinto, Village Whiskey, Chifa, Distrito in Philly; Mercat a la Planxa in Chicago
"The new Nespresso machine ($329.99) is very cool, with the side frother that froths your milk for you."
John Cuevas, Montage in Beverly Hills
"I want a Yarai mixing glass ($49.95). Remember when you were a kid and you told your mom that those new sneakers would make you run faster? Well, this mixing glass will make my drinks taste better. I don't know how, but it will. It's science, I guess."
Colin Shearn, the Franklin in Philadelphia
"If I could afford it, for the bar, there's one thing I'd love to have: It's one of those ice machines (priced on request) that makes perfect square ice cubes. But our small little place, just four bartenders who opened a bar, we can't afford that. That would be something Santa could bring me, and I would just love him to death."
Trina Sturm, Trina's Starlite Lounge, Somerville, Massachusetts
A new Microplane grater ($14.95), which I use for zesting. Mine won't even zest butter. It's kind of a joke, that our Microplane is so dull.
Chrysta Wilson, Kiss My Bundt, Los Angeles
"The beauty of pastry is you can get tools from anywhere from Home Depot to the pharmaceutical company. I would like a refractometer ($595) for measuring the density of sugar. It tells you how much sugar is in a dish and is a great tool for adjusting recipes accordingly."
Cedric Barberet, Le Bec Fin, Philadelphia
"An earthenware pot ($55.99) to make Jim Lahey's bread from My Bread.
Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery, Boston
I would like the Riedel Sommelier Series Sauternes glasses ($77 each). I dont sit around drinking Sauternes, but theyre excellent for Champagne. The traditionally shaped glass doesnt necessarily show off what the wines have to offer, so I usually use a white-wine, or even a bigger red-wine, glass to be able to smell it better. You want a wider surface area, and one thats shaped to funnel the aromas to your nose. These glasses have the sharpest inner sweep of any glass, and its also a beautiful shape, very elegant.
John Slover, Grand Cru Wine Consulting and Bar Henry in New York
"What I really want this year is a SousVide Supreme ($449). I want to make the runny egg from the Momofuku cookbook, and I would sous-vide everything. I do a lot of dinner parties.
Alpana Singh, Lettuce Entertain You, Chicago