With Christmas around the corner, we’re busy shopping for last-minute gifts and nudging loved ones about our own holiday wish lists. Looking for gift ideas for a wine-wonk friend or food-loving relative? We asked a few chefs and a sommelier what they’d most like to find under the tree.
Barry Koslow, executive chef at Georgetown’s Mendocino Grille & Wine Bar: “I did hint to my wife that I need a new Misono Japanese knife, but I don’t know if I’m going to get it. I love getting little things, too. Little Southern things always make good presents, like Georgia peanuts and Mississippi honey. And anytime I get a bottle of wine, it just makes my day. I’m kind of a Francophile when it comes to wine, so a bottle of Champagne is usually the best present in the world for me. Hint, hint.”
Joy Ludwig, pastry chef at downtown DC’s Oval Room: “For work, an unlimited supply of vanilla beans from Madagascar and Valrhona chocolate. For home, tools are always good. An immersion blender with plenty of horsepower, a chinois, a Vita-Prep 3 blender. And cookbooks—you can never go wrong with those. I love Sweet Seasons by Richard Leach.”
Anthony Chittum, executive chef at Vermilion in Old Town: “I’m trying to complete my All-Clad cookware set. I’ve got a few pieces left that I need: a stock pot, a straight-edge sauté pan, a two-quart saucepan. I cook at home sometimes, on Sundays when I can. Ingredients? A pound of white truffles would be nice.”
Kathryn Morgan, sommelier at 2941 Restaurant in Falls Church: “I love Champagne this time of year, so I would love some ’96 Bollinger R.D. (‘recently disgorged’). I would love that. And some ’05 Burgundies for my cellar. That would be good for me. I never get to go to CityZen—my days off are the days that they’re closed. So I’d love to have dinner there, too.”