My mother, a former demo chef at the CIA in St. Helena, California, insists that there is nothing worse than unnecessary kitchen gadget gifts. "All we need is a paring knife and a chef's knife," she says. For her holiday gift, I'm considering these options, equally appealing to both the amateur and the professional.
N.B.: To make sure we've got everyone on your list covered, we're running a new gift guide every weekday from now until Christmas. You can see all of our gift guides to date at Remodelista Daily: Holiday Gifts.
Above: Every kitchen needs a mortar and pestle; purists swear it's the only way to create an authentic pesto. Our favorite Mortar & Pestle is from UK-based Milton Brook; it's available in several sizes, from 4 inches in diameter ($17.90) to 12.5-inch in diameter ($99.90), at Cookware.
Above: Written by "selmelier" Mark Bitterman, Salted: A Manifesto on the World's Most Essential Mineral (Ten Speed Press), is a field guide to artisan salts; $23.02 at Amazon. The book would pair well with a Himalayan Salt Brick (essential for flavoring meat and seafood baking in the oven); $28 at Dean & Deluca.
Above: Proper knife care is paramount to the chef, hence the appeal of the Chantry Modern Knife Sharpener, which uses two small butchers' steels at an angle for efficient sharpening; £39 from Retail Facility.
Above: The Porcelain Ginger Grater with Bamboo Brush is useful for zesting citrus and grating garlic (and even whole nutmeg); $9.99 at Fantes in Philadelphia. A similar Porcelain Ginger Grater is available for $10.99 at Amazon.