There’s no place like home for the holidays.
Unless of course you’re a chef, in which case you usually spend
all the major national holidays like Easter, Mother’s Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving,
Christmas, and New Year’s Eve in the restaurant, away from your own
family, and serving someone else’s. After preparing all those meals
and manipulating your menu to accommodate discriminating and demanding diners’ special
requests, we thought it was about time someone took care of your needs and
fed your desires. We asked chefs around town what would make the perfect gift
for themselves, no holds barred, and the list is in! You’ve told us
what you’re wishing for this holiday season, and it ranges from fast
cars and personal assistants, to grand tours of foreign lands (strictly
research based of course) and stocking the kitchen with the latest and greatest
cooking equipment, aka toys! Some suggested their staff reap the rewards of
the holiday while quite a number of you are equally inclined to give more
than you get; trying to make the world a better place for those less fortunate.
So now that we’ve gathered this list, we’re checking it twice
(though we really don’t care if you’ve been naughty or nice) and
then we’re sending it on to the big, jolly fellow in the non-flame retardant
red suit in hopes that he’ll grant some of your wishes for the season.
Click on images to view a larger image.
Franklin Becker (Brasserie)
Would like: Another CVAP unit from Winston Industries. I currently have
two, and the units have changed my lunch service completely and sped up
Ng (Chinatown Brasserie)
Would like: The knife of my dreams; a 14” yanagi knife, handmade, with
an ebony handle and ebony cover.
Pelz (Goblin Market)
Would like: A Pacojet to make sorbets and ice cream. I also want a cook with
brains, or rather, cooks who can think for themselves.
Would like: A Vita-Prep3, with its 3+ horsepower motor and extra cooling
Would like: A Blodgett combi-oven and a 36 x 36 John Boos butcher block.
Scotese (Mai House)
Would like: Very nice knives, specifically Nenohi Nenox Red Handle knives.
These are my favorite knives. If $30,000 is the limit then I might expand my
answer to be “Nehoni Nenox knives for the whole kitchen staff!”
Would like: Koch vacuum package machine for sous vide cooking and an Electrolux
power under pressure braising pan “it cooks 200# rice in 8 minutes”,
and a Roner’s water circulating machine “it cooks at temps of 50
degrees to 212 degrees.”
Payard (Payard and Intent)
Would like: The Thermomix for myself. To friends/family members I’d like
to give the KitchenAid Hand Blender- a great gift because it is small, yet powerful.
Would like: There’s nothing on my own list this year, but I love to give
Microplanes since they are great tools and make great gifts.
Daniel Boulud (Daniel)
Would like: This year’s holiday wish is to top last year’s goal
of raising $1,000,000 for Citymeals-on-Wheels and raise at least $1,500,000.
And I’d like to get even more NYC chefs involved in Citymeals’ efforts
to deliver food to NYC’s homebound elderly.
(David Burke & Donatella)
Would like: I’ve always wanted an “of the month club” gift.
Sausage of the month, beer of the month, anything! Just as long as it comes
once a month.
(Room 4 Dessert)
Would like: Time with my wife and daughter, a small mixer, and an ultrasonic
Alexandra Guarnaschelli (Butter)
Would like: A refrigerated butchering room, an immersion circulator to
make the perfect poached egg, a personal assistant, and a massage.
Thomas Keller (per se)
Would like: To get a kitchen refrigeration unit that never breaks down.
I would also give a kitchen refrigeration unit that never breaks down.
Tyson Wong Ophaso (Chinatown Brasserie)
Would like: A new pair of Bathing Ape kicks - “this would be my 50th
pair, they are so comfortable to cook in!”
Michael Psilakis (Onera and
Would like: A plane ticket to the Greek Islands so I can do some
research, eating my way through the regions. Included with that gift should
be a clone of myself that could hold down the kitchen while I am gone.
Eric Ripert (Le Bernardin)
Would like: A new kitchen for my home in the Hamptons. I recently decided
to give it a complete make-over. I’ve been looking around at all the
options for appliances but now I have my eye on the Electrolux Icon Designer
Would like: All I want for Christmas is a cook who is never sick, who
never injures themselves, who never shows up hung-over or tired, who
never blames the subway or alarm clock or a roommate for their woes, a person
who owns their own knives and cooking gear and can use them with even
modest skill, one who can season food without trepidation and make food
sing to the guests in the dining room. Give me that, some good dishwashers,
new doors for my Jade range, a Koch vacuum machine and a good bottle of
Scotch and I’ll
Adam Shepard (Lunetta)
Would like: For Christmas I would like a nice new Dynamic stick blender
and a new robot coupe. I would also like to give my cooks raises and a
Angelo Sosa (Loft)
Would like: My dream list includes a number of still to be invented/produced
products: A spice distiller to extract the essence of spice (from Merck);
a custom-made Bonnet induction wok with copper induction pots; a smoker,
made specifically for spice-smoking, ideally custom-made by Rational.
Laurent Tourondel (BLT)
Would like: A 1967 Corvette, a small dry aging room in my house in the
Hamptons, an extravagant trip to China and India, and the biggest luxury
of all - the time to do it all.
Francine Cohen is a freelance writer who lives in New York City.
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