Who better to tell us the best gifts for moms than moms themselves? We asked a few food-loving parents to dish about what's actually on their wish lists this year to inspire our own holiday shopping. From basics for a busy winter (an ace coffeemaker and a way to organize leftovers, duh) to some much-needed pampering (spa treatments and picnic lunches), these are the gifts they're hoping to receive.
Jocelyn Guest and Erika Nakamura, butchers and co-owners of J&E SmallGoods
Guest and Nakamura sell high-quality sausages and deli meats though their company J&E SmallGoods, as well as run a meat subscription program—and they have a young daughter. It’s no surprise that their holiday wish list reflects many of the things that busy folks covet: caffeine, organization, and convenience.
“Number-one best present of life: the Technivorm Moccamaster and matching grinder because I'm TIRED and can’t make my usual syphon or pour-over coffee. This makes bangarang coffee and looks sexy on the countertop,” says Guest. She also needs an insulated carafe to keep that coffee warm because she often forgets about her cup. “The number of times I accidentally abandon coffee is staggering.”
Finally: “Amazing glass food-storage containers and an organizer for all of them. No, I am not a '50s housewife. Yes, I am sick of putting leftovers in weird mismatched yogurt jars that are impossible to stack in the fridge. I just want my fridge to look like a perfectly organized and labeled walk-in.”
Sarah Stegner, chef and co-owner of Prairie Grass Cafe
Stegner, a two time James Beard Award winner who runs the Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook, Illinois, is adding her name to the long list of Instant Pot enthusiasts. “I bought an [electric] pressure cooker, and I’d never really used one regularly before,” she says. She recommends it for the ease of cooking dried beans alone. “I soak them, rinse them, and put them in the pressure cooker. Push the button and 30 minutes later they are perfect. And I mean perfect.”
To go with her new pressure cooker, Stegner would happily receive a gift of especially flavorful, dried heirloom beans from companies like Rancho Gordo, Sunridge Farms, and Zürsun Idaho Heirloom Beans.
$6.00, Rancho Gordo
Jordan Champagne, cookbook author and founder of Happy Girl Kitchen Co.
Champagne, a jam and preserves expert with a shop and event space in Pacific Grove, California, has a few specific kitchen items on her wishlist this year. First, she says, “I want a larger compost receptacle that goes under the sink. We create at least one countertop container's worth of compost every day and I am regularly dealing with overflow." To fill the space on the counter where the compost container used to be? “I want an Aarke carbonator. It has a sleek design made with stainless steel that will look really nice out on the center island.”
Finally, Champagne is looking for an updated set of the tool drawer classic: wooden spoons. “I need a new set in different sizes and shapes,” she says. “I would like unique spoons from different crafters to set the tone when I am cooking with an artistic focus. My current spoons are too generic—or too large for most projects.”
Chitra Agrawal, cookbook author and founder of Brooklyn Delhi
Agrawal, whose condiments are fan favorites at Epicurious, has her eye on a hot collaboration this year. The gift in question? “A stunning spun brass masala dabba by Tiipoi filled with seven amazing Diaspora spices,” she explains. “Masala dabbas are cool because you can fill them with your most-used spices, so you don't have to fumble around with a bunch of different spice bottles every time you cook.”
Like most Diaspora products, this one's sure to sell out, so jump on it quick if this sounds up your mom's alley (or if you're shopping for Agrawal!). And for an added but of personalization, “There is even an option to get it custom engraved with your name on it, which is an old-school custom,” she says.
$184.00, Diaspora Co.
Pati Jinich, cookbook author and host of Pati’s Mexican Table
In Jinich’s James Beard Award-winning and Emmy-nominated public television series Pati's Mexican Table, she teaches audiences how to make favorite dishes from her native Mexico. But this holiday season, she wants someone else to do the cooking. “My dream gift would be for my husband Daniel and our three boys to plan an outing somewhere I have not been and put together a picnic basket filled with all sorts of yummy things to be tucked into overloaded tortas, plus tons of sweets,” says Jinich. “I'd be so curious to see what they would make and put in a picnic basket without my having anything to do with it.”
$79.00, L.L. Bean
Maggie Hoffman, Epicurious senior editor
“I recently received a few of the East Fork lapis bowls (ahem, my husband and I received them) as an anniversary present,” says Hoffman, drinks-writer extraordinaire and the person who keeps the trains running on time at Epi. “They really do make it feel a bit more like we’re going out instead of eating at the same table for the ten thousandth time, so now I covet a full set, ideally in a mix of colors.” As fans of East Fork know, the company's production is limited, so Hoffman has a backup plan: “I’ve let my eye wander a bit, and I definitely wouldn't say no to any of the dishes from Jono Pandolfi.”
Aside from ceramic dinnerware, Hoffman's top gift idea for moms comes from personal experience. “I feel like it’s worth mentioning that the absolute best gift I’ve received in recent memory is a Dyson Stick Vacuum. It makes the constant cleaning under my kid’s dinnertime chair so much easier.”
$142.00, East Fork Pottery
Maria Lichty, cookbook author and blogger, Two Peas & Their Pod
Countless moms have turned to Two Peas & Their Pod while trying to answer the question of what do I cook for dinner tonight? But the blog’s secret weapon is its collection of cookie recipes; they are co-founder and mother of two Lichty’s obsession. Anyone who makes cookies en masse knows that a stand mixer makes the process infinitely easier, but they're the kind of appliance you leave on your counter—so looks matter. “I’ve been eyeing the Copper KitchenAid Mixer,” says Lichty. “It is so pretty and a classic color! I am a cookie monster and could whip up a lot of delicious cookies in this beautiful mixer.”
$750.00, Williams Sonoma
Lien Lin, chef and co-owner of Bricolage
Sometimes what moms would like above all is a break from cooking itself. For Lin, who made her name at San Francisco’s Slanted Door before opening the much acclaimed Brooklyn Vietnamese gastropub Bricolage with her husband, a relaxing spa day would be the ideal holiday gift.
“Items for kitchen and cooking are always nice, but I usually justify those purchases for myself because it’s part of my professional growth.” says Lin. “Having three young children and a restaurant, it’s difficult to find any time for myself. It would be amazing to have just one full day of being pampered! Massage, facial, pedicure, manicure, and don’t forget the Champagne!"
Alex Raij, chef and owner of Txikito, Saint Julivert, La Vara, El Quinto Pino
Raij, who with her husband is the force behind four beloved restaurants in New York City (most with a Spanish bent), says the most giftable cookware she owns is a Staub paella pan. “I use it for everything from the signature Saint Julivert tuna casserole to Belgian endive gratin," she says. "But it's also great for layered nachos and rice dishes.”
But what she wants this year is for serving rather than cooking: “I pine for an Astier de Villatté Bac deep oval platter, for everything from sausages and polenta to sliced turkey thighs and pasta.” The company also has a line of incense that Raij claims is perfect for when “you are over cooking smells in the house. I was gifted some years ago and have been a gifter of them since.”
$190.00, John Derian
$50.00, ABC Carpet & Home
Barbara Sibley, chef and owner, La Palapa
Like wine, good olive oil expresses terroir, and its distinct flavors can transform a dish. Sibley, the chef and owner of La Palapa in New York City, goes to great lengths to get her favorite oil. “I order it from California in three-liter jugs from the Napa Valley Olive Oil Company in Saint Helena. It's just that good.” She’d welcome a delivery as a gift at the holidays. “It is deeply aromatic and reminds me of many good times."
$13.00, Napa Valley Olive Oil
Originally Appeared on Epicurious