From a food-smoker to a home canning system, here are 9 holiday gift ideas for your favorite chef

CINCINNATI - The holidays are all about food (among other things), so what better time to show the cook in your life that you appreciate their culinary stylings? 

1. Cincy Sharp's knife-sharpening services

Quality knives are not cheap. Moreover, they are a chef’s very personal tools. I am not overstating “personal.” Just try asking a chef to lend you his or her knives. When those implements get dull, you can entrust them to a fellow chef, who also knows the time-honored craft of knife-sharpening.

Chris Weist, chef and proprietor of Cincy Sharp, uses Japanese water stone to do his sharpening. His sought-after services include blade restoration.

Price: $1.00 an inch
How to get it: Call (513) 240-8130 or go to Cincy Sharp's website

2. "Modernist Cuisine" books

If money is no object, pick up this 2,400-page set of six books by Nathan Myhrvold for your restless chef.  Modernist Cuisine takes a scientific approach to explaining cooking methods and the transformation of food.  The books drip with beautiful anatomy-like photographs that clearly show how food changes during cooking. 

Myhrvold and his team did not hesitate to cut an oven in half to give you a cross section view of the food cooking in it. Guilty pleasure or serious learning tool? Either way, your chef will forever love you for it. 

Price: $450.00
How to get it: Go to

3. "The American Craft Beer Cookbook" by John Holl

You cheer, I cheer, we all cheer for craft beer. It is on fire nowadays, and we still can’t get enough of it. This beautifully photographed book captures favorite recipes from breweries, brew pubs and beer lovers across the nation.

Not every recipe uses beer, but all of the recipes are outstanding when paired with beer. 

Price: $14.48
How to get it: Go to

4. Butchery and sausage-making classes

If you know a chef who is dusting off his or her charcuterie skills to make cured and smoked meats, Avril-Bleh and Sons have just the thing.

This Cincinnati institution--known for its handmade sausages, cold cuts, and smoked meats--is offering classes in sausage-making and butchery. Students will learn how to make sausage, and take home 15 pounds of the fruits of their labor. If you favorite chef wants to learn how to break down a hind or fore-quarter of locally raised beef, and take home 20 pounds of meat and a premium steak cut, this is just the ticket. 

Price: $125 and $225 
How to get it: Call (513) 241-2433 or go to Avril-Bleh and Sons website

5. Cordless rechargeable hand blender

We’ve all been there: that dastardly cord putting up a fight as you maneuver the immersion blender to puree food in the pot. The cordless, rechargeable immersion blender from Cuisinart allows cooks everywhere to break free from that dreaded leash. The immersion blender is a workhorse in the kitchen, performing multiple tasks from pureeing to whipping in situ.

Price: $69.95
How to get it: Go to

6. Food-smoker

Want the flavor of smoke without the fuss? The Smoking Gun®, a handheld food smoker from PolyScience, allows you to finish food with natural, cool smoke. The smoke can be created from an assortment of wood chips--even teas, spices and dried flowers. This versatile smoker can be the chef’s secret weapon in creating unexpected smoky notes in foods like butter, oysters and cocktails. 

Price: $99.95.
How to get it: Go to the PolyScience website

7.  Automatic home canning system

Canning, a method of preserving food associated with June Cleaver’s era, is making a comeback. With the emphasis on buying locally nowadays, what better way to extend the life of the season’s bounty?

The Ball® FreshTECH Automatic Home Canning System is built with smart technology that makes canning as simple as selecting the right program. The system comes with a recipe book which includes salsa, jam, jelly, fruit, pickle and tomato sauce. 

Price: $299.99
How to get it: Go to the Ball website

8. Magazine subscription

You can hook up your chef with a year’s worth of Lucky Peach magazines for the price of an entree at your favorite classy restaurant. Lucky Peach is the brainchild of David Chang, a much raved-about chef, and founder of Momofuku restaurant in New York.  The quarterly food and writing journal explores various themes through essays, art, photography and recipes.

Price: $28.00
How to get it: Go to the Momofuku website

9. Mixer attachments

Mixers are not just for mixing. If your busy cook already has a Kitchen Aid, you can help him or her maximize the functionality of this staple. These attachments can turn the mixer into an ice-cream maker, grain mill, pasta maker and more. 

Price: Starts at $99.99
How to get it: Go to the Kitchen Aid website

Connect with WCPO contributor Grace Yek on Twitter: @Grace_Yek

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