Ray Garcia knows a thing or two about kitchenware. Before becoming the executive chef and co-owner of two of Los Angeles’ hottest restaurants, Broken Spanish and BS Taqueria, he put in years of time behind the stove at some of Southern California’s most respected institutions. With the holidays in full swing, this Williams-Sonoma Chefs’ Collective member has plenty of ideas when it comes to gifting instrumental tools in the kitchen. Here are five things he can’t live without that he thinks should be at the top of every cook’s holiday wish list.
All-Clad Deluxe Slow Cooker with Cast-Aluminum Insert, 7-Qt: A slow cooker is clutch in any kitchen environment. They don’t take up a lot of space and are amazing for slow cooking — braises, stews, soups, and beans are just a few of the places where they excel.
Lodge Round Fry Pan: This is a must for any kitchen. It’s great for everything from frying eggs to searing a steak and even baking.
Molcajete: We have a giant molcajete at Broken Spanish; this is a great centerpiece for any kitchen counter. It works for grinding spices, or making marinades, sauces or salsas. Molcajetes also make good serving vessels for large holiday dinners.
KitchenAid Professional 620 Stand Mixer: The standing mixer is a powerful and versatile tool with many sweet and savory applications. We use it mostly for dough and masa, but it can be a great tool for sausage making and pasta rolling as well.
Breville Oracle Espresso Maker: This is a luxury item for sure, but worth the splurge if you are a coffee drinker. This machine makes perfect espresso every time.
Check out even more holiday gift suggestions from our Chefs’ Collective in our 2015 Holiday Entertaining Guide.