Now that our November reading list has whet your appetite for delicious foods and drinks, we’ve compiled a shopping list that will have you well on your way towards eating and sipping like a gourmet chef or sommelier this holiday season. Perfect as gifts or for simply spoiling yourself, the items below will help tempt your inner host into impressing anyone who darkens your door during the winter months ahead.
Sprigs of rosemary, clementines, nutmeg — these are the flavours that evoke the warmth and earthiness of a holiday feast. So why not introduce a little wintery goodness into your cocktails? The Fenton bar tool set from Crate & Barrel features everything you need to get creative: a jigger, bottle opener, muddler, strainer, and shot glass. Sleekly designed with mirror-finished heads and matte graphite handles, items are neatly displayed on a graphite and acacia wood stand. The simple lines make this a unique focal point for the bar top with its clean, industrial aesthetic.
Niels Otto Møller (1922–1988) was a Danish furniture designer renowned for his methodical attention to detail. “My father never compromised on anything,” said Niels’ son, Jørgen Henrik Møller. “When he designed a chair, he would find the materials and then design the furniture. Each design took him five years to complete.” Designed in 1952, the Møller Trolley has been placed back into production thanks to a collaboration between Design Within Reach and J.L. Møllers Møbelfabrik, the furniture company Møller once founded. This classic trolley will satisfy lovers of minimalism and mid-century design, and will perfectly showcase your favourite glassware — and, of course, your drinks of choice.
If you’re hoping to seriously impress company with gourmet fare next month, give those mouthwatering dishes the showcase they deserve with a fabulous place setting. We love this flatware set straight from Laguiole, a region in France known for its expertly crafted knives. Each piece has been painstakingly made by a master cutler, from the shaping of the natural horn handles to the implementation of the gleaming stainless steel. The horn has come from four different animals — deer, solid zebu, ram, and water-buffalo — ensuring that each individual utensil is one-of-a-kind. This is exactly the kind of rustic accent piece that evokes images of woodland lodges or chalets tucked away in the snowy Alps.
Making pasta from scratch is one of those things many vow to do and few actually get around to. The kneading, the mixing, the laborious hand-cranking — it’s a tedious, not to mention messy, endeavor. This handy pasta and noodle maker from Philips streamlines and automates the process, doing the work for you at every step of the way. Simply pour in the ingredients (and hey, a little personalized touch never goes astray; this machine makes it easy to experiment with different herbs and flavours) and wait as the machine mixes, kneads, and extrudes beautiful, tantalizingly fresh pasta. It comes with four discs that craft spaghetti, penne, fettuccini, and lasagna noodles, and additional discs can be purchased for those who like their pasta a little more off-beat. Best of all, this machine can exert 1600 lb. force on the dough, speeding up the process — and with the ability to produce half a pound of pasta in just ten minutes, it makes cooking for large numbers molto facile.
We love a retro-chic mixer, and so of course this Old Americana-esque model caught our eye! Hand assembled in Greenville, Ohio (the home of KitchenAid since 1919 — yes, that’s almost a century-long track record of well made items), this stand mixer comes with a ceramic hobnail bowl that adds to the vintage flair of the machine and looks oh-so-pretty on a countertop. This mixer features ten different speeds, from a slow stir to a thorough beating, and its planetary action means that each attachment can spin independently while making continual rotations around the bowl. The holiday season can turn our kitchens upside down as we attempt large-batch sweets and treats; the beauty of a stand mixer is that it makes dough prepping a far more contained — and tidy — affair.
Oenophiles rejoice; the future of wine connoisseurship may be found in a device not much larger than a microwave. Plum is a groundbreaking machine that promises the perfect glass of wine — one that is “just as the winemaker intended.” A pressurized needle punctures the top of any cork or screw cap, using a refillable argon canister to preserve wine for roughly 90 days and protecting the original flavor and aroma. But the technology doesn’t stop there. Two thermoelectric solid-state cooling chambers chill wine to a desired temperature, and the device also holds an integrated HD camera, which scans the label and identifies the varietal, vintage, region, winery, and wine within the bottle. On the exterior, a touchscreen is equipped with a proximity sensor that enables the device to light up when you approach, displaying the wine label for easy reference. With options of one ounce tastes or five ounce and customizable pours, Plum transforms the home into a swanky tasting venue.
Mepra represents three generations of Italian tradition, design, and lifestyle, and its ATTIVA cookware collection represents a very fine combination of Italian design excellence and the most advanced cooking technology. This frying pan features gold mirror polishes both inside and outside. Its core is fashioned from pure aluminum, its high conductivity complimented by practical, easy-to-clean steel. (In fact, the metal has undergone a titanium-based molecular embedding process, making it dishwasher-safe and resistant to corrosion, oxidization, and stains). Most importantly, the finest high end cookware isn’t all about show; that steep price tag means that what you’re buying has been carefully, meticulously engineered to ensure that heat is distributed evenly throughout the pan. That, in turn, means perfectly and evenly cooked foods. And if there’s one thing we tend to crave in the winter months, it’s some delicious, flavourful, pan-fried comfort foods.
We featured the French Laundry restaurant in our October style guide, so it seems only fitting that the follow up should be to feature some French Laundry swag! This commemorative dish was designed by Chef Thomas Keller in collaboration with design firm Level and Raynaud, and honours the twenty-year anniversary of the Keller’s renowned, upscale eatery. Made in France, the plate’s rim bears a subtle, original logo echoing both the Roman numeral for ‘twenty’ and a clothespin — a nod, of course, to the establishment’s name. This dish is crafted from pure white Limoges porcelain, and was used exclusively at the the French Laundry during its anniversary week. If you love it, be sure to snap up your own copy quickly; this is a limited edition, and the few that remain comes in their own beautiful commemorative box.
The two tenets of French brand La Cornue are authenticity and modernity. For over a hundred years, the distinguished purveyor of luxury kitchen appliances has been in the constant pursuit of perfecting cooking techniques, encouraging its customers to live their culinary dreams and “maintain the flame of French art de vivre.” Its range cookers are something to behold: intricately detailed, well-structured units come with large vault ovens and stainless steel hobs available in a variety of configurations to suit an individual’s cooking needs and preferences. Lower drawers make for an easy and elegant storage solution, and a palette of varied, vibrant enamel colours help turn the kitchen range into a personalized objet d’art.
Think you know whisky? Eager for those holiday parties at which everyone is talking about the nose, colour, or oakiness of a particular bottle? The VALID Edition from Norlan Glass is uniquely designed to create a blind nosing experience, with an impenetrable black outer wall that hides the contents of the glass. “From within, the black outer wall creates a perfect recursive infinity mirror,” the company promises. “Stray photons that find their way into this light trap bounce around like some cosmic ballet, taking with it the whisky, uninterrupted, wholly reflected, and refracted back into itself…for ever and ever. Until the sun fades, electricity ebbs, the lights dim, and no one can see anything ever again.” No tall order for a mere glass, but Norlan’s mission is one that distills the entire experience down to aroma alone. The impressive engineering doesn’t stop there: the height and diameter of the smallest aperture diffuse the ethanol away from the face, significantly improving the taste of the whiskey. This one is for serious connoisseurs.