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Tuesday, Oct 23, 2018
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Five trendy gift ideas for the cook in your life

Giving the gift of cooking isnít really something you can mess up.
Whether gifting a gadget or paying for a class, you can encourage a budding culinary enthusiast or give a seasoned veteran a new toy to play with.
Here are five ideas for holiday gifts based on what trended this year.

Carlynn Crosby, Times correspondent

Multi-use cooker

Arguably one of the biggest trends of the year, multipurpose cookers picked up over the summer. Popularized by their multifunctionality ó they work as slow cookers, pressure cookers, rice cookers and steamers ó 6-quart Instant Pot pressure cookers are a bestseller on Amazon and retail for $87.99. Theyíre great for college students living in dorms or for people who donít have a lot of time to cook. For recipe ideas, consider Melissa Clarkís Dinner in an Instant: 75 Modern Recipes for Your Pressure Cooker, Multicooker or Instant Pot ($22).

Alice Waters Master Class

Credited with pioneering the farm-to-table movement in the 1970s, Alice Waters is a James Beard Award-winning chef ó the first woman to win the Outstanding Chef title ó and the owner of the renowned restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif. In September, Waters released her memoir, Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook ($27) and in November she was featured in Firsts, a special project by Time that recognized women for their groundbreaking accomplishments. Waters will be leading a Master Class in the spring, a multilesson online course that focuses on home cooking with fresh ingredients. The class is $90. For more information, including how to pre-register or give the course as a gift, visit

Wine chiller sleeves

Know someone who drinks a lot of wine? These sleeves get stored in the freezer and then slipped around a bottle of wine to keep it chilled for hours. Le Creuset makes sleek sleeves for $24.95 a piece.

Cold brew coffee maker

Get the coffee lover in your life a cold brew coffee maker ó theyíre inexpensive, easy to use and make big batches of coffee that stay fresher longer. Most work through a simple infusion process: Place coffee grounds in a filter, place the filter in a pitcher of water and store in your refrigerator overnight. The result is coffee with a slightly higher caffeine content and lower acidity. Generally, they run from $15 to $40.

Sous vide immersion circulator

An immersion circulator is a great gift for anyone, be they an amateur cook or a classically trained chef. Sous vide, a cooking technique that involves vacuum-sealing proteins and cooking them low and slow in a water bath for several hours, used to be reserved for restaurants, but it has made its way into home kitchens. Most circulators, which clip to the side of a large pot, can be controlled by an app on your phone and come with helpful guides and online databases full of recipes and tips for different proteins. A popular choice is the Anova immersion circulator, which sells for $149. And, for someone who likes the science-y side of food, consider The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by Kenji Lopez-Alt ($49.95) or Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat ($35).

Contact Carlynn Crosby at [email protected]

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