With the holidays just around the corner, we asked some top tastemakers in the food community to curate their own gift guides from our collection. Check back for more Gifts with Taste and start making your own gift list!
Jodi Liano is the founder and owner of San Francisco Cooking School, which offers certificate programs in culinary and pastry arts in addition to hands-on classes for knife skills, pastry, weeknight cooking and more. Over 15 years ago, she switched careers after returning home from a one-week cooking vacation in Italy — and she’s been a cooking teacher ever since. Read on for her top holiday gift picks!
1. Le Creuset Signature Oval Dutch Oven: When we opened San Francisco Cooking School, we filled the kitchens with Flame-colored cookware from Le Creuset. I knew it was the tank of the kitchen and can’t tell you how often we use them. Mine at home sits on my stovetop at all times — I never put it away because it’s my go-to pot for soups, stews, sauces, pastas, and more. The cast iron means it holds heat incredibly well, and the enameled interior makes it simple to clean. You know you’ve been eyeing one forever — this should be the year you ask for it!
2. Wusthof Classic Wide Chef’s Knife: A classic chef’s knife is a cook’s best friend. It does 90% of the work that needs doing in the kitchen and, because of that, it should hold an edge and feel comfortable in your hand. This knife does just that — it’s a trusty workhouse you’ll have for a lifetime (just don’t forget to also buy a honing steel).
3. Cooking from the Farmers’ Market Cookbook: I give this book to everyone! Sure, I co-wrote it, but I’ve written a handful of books and this one remains my all-time favorite. Taking inspiration from a year’s worth of market produce, each section guides you through how to shop, store and cook the best of each season. The recipes all come together quickly and ensure the produce you’re using stays the star of the dish.
4. KitchenAid Pasta Roller Attachment: Homemade pasta is fun, inexpensive, and infinitely easier to make when you have this KitchenAid attachment. I bet most people don’t even know they can turn their KitchenAid mixer into plenty of other things. My favorite transformation is this pasta attachment. It rolls gorgeously thin sheets of dough and even cuts them into spaghetti or fettuccine. Since I’ve had this I’ve been known to crank out fresh pasta on a weeknight after work — it’s that simple.
5. Boos Cutting Board: My preference is to always cut on wood, versus plastic or any other type of surface. I love it so much that I installed a full counter of it in my home kitchen. If you don’t have that in your own house, buy a Boos wood cutting board. They’re substantial enough to handle any cutting job, and your knives will thank you, too.