With Christmas just around the corner, it can be a daunting task to fill your friends’ stockings. Especially your food-loving friends. You know, the ones whose cameras eat first or always have the insider tips on the world of food and beverage. Or those friends that work in the industry and lust after food products you have never heard of. Or maybe you want to use this guide for yourself. We get it, self-care is important. So to make your holiday shopping easier, our team members and some of Hong Kong’s food experts shared what they want this Christmas.
Christopher Mark, Co-Founder, Black Sheep Restaurants
A knife block from Material Kitchen. Anyone serious about cooking will probably already have a few beautiful knives and, as someone with a lot of them, I know that it always feels like a bit of a shame when they are tucked away in a drawer. This magnetic knife block displays them in a minimal, functional way that suits a lot of spaces.
Chris Dwyer, Hong Kong-based food and travel writer @chrismdwyer
It would be great if Santa’s sack included an entirely new kitchen in which I could stand and not touch both walls with arms outstretched. Slightly more realistically, some Colston Bassett Stilton, Keen’s Cheddar and Stinking Bishop would make for a brilliant British cheeseboard. And a bottle of ancient Madeira too, because no cheeseboard is complete without wine.
Braden Reardon, Executive Chef, Carbone
Easy! I have a list of gifts that would be great individually, but I do have a vision of them all together so that someone, aka I, can smoke meat and drink single malt the right way: instant-read thermometer, a Big Green Egg BBQ smoker, premium rocks glasses and a professional ice-ball maker from Cocktail Kingdom.
Leslie Yeh, Editor-In-Chief, Lifestyle Asia
Like most people, I’m definitely guilty of over-imbibing during the holidays. That said, when I drink I want to make sure I have something worthwhile in my glass. This Christmas, I have my eye on a subscription from Toasst, a wine service that delivers six hand-picked bottles to your doorstep (monthly or quarterly). Each shipment comes with a tasting guide and sommelier notes, so you can feel *slightly* more sophisticated when you have just opened the third bottle at home on your couch. What better way to indulge over the holidays?
Billy Otis, Chef de Cuisine, Taqueria Super Macho
Looks like Chef Braden has good taste! I would also love one of the Big Green Egg BBQ grills. It doubles as a smoker and is the perfect item for all your meat-cooking needs, which I am a huge fan of. Unfortunately, I would also need a terrace for my apartment. Not sure that I am high up enough on the “nice list” for both, but that will not stop me from dreaming.
Alicia Walker, Editor-in-Chief, Foodie
Mine is a combination of a dorky and macabre kitchen wish. It might teeter on controversial to say so but with the new Star Wars coming out this Christmas, it highlights to me that the middle three are still the only ones that endure (insert gasps here). I think Le Creuset must agree with me, as they have come out with a new range of Darth Vader dutch ovens and R2D2 mini cocotte dishes. The one I would love to pop into the oven, however, is the Han Solo in Carbonite Roasting Dish. Doesn’t everyone want to lift Han Solo’s petrified body to reveal the delicious scent of a casserole? Or is it just me…
Gisela Alesbrook, Chef de Cuisine, Hotal Colombo
Sri Lankan food makes use of so many spices, at their most fragrant and flavourful when freshly ground. I also like to get creative and make distinct blends by grinding different spices together, so I would be so grateful to Santa and his little helpers if I found a mixer-grinder in my stocking on Christmas morning.
Kevin Lu, Sommelier, BELON
A bottle (or two or three) of Chateau La Mission Haut Mission 1982, one of the most memorable wines I have had. 1982 was one of the greatest years in Bordeaux’s history, making this an outstanding vintage. The grapes’ blend is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon which produces a wine that is all-at-once very complex but with an indisputable finesse. A cold-weather classic!
Chiara Vezzani, Sommelier, Carbone
I am definitely asking Santa for a bottle of 1987 Marsala Superiore Riserva from Marco de Bartoli Winery. The history of this wine dates back thousands of years, with recipes jealously kept secret by Sicilian families. Marco de Bartoli uses only the Grillo grape variety and the ancient technique of “mistela” – adding brandy obtained from the same grapes to the base wine, known as fortified wine. Very festive indeed.
1987 was an outstanding year, highlighting complex, fresh and intriguing notes of dried figs and orange jam. I would happily unpack this from my stocking and enjoy it with a cheese platter and spicy jams. And, of course, a whole Panettone.
Tony Ferreira, Executive Chef, SoHo, Black Sheep Restaurants
If you want to make me happy, on Christmas Day or any other day, just feed me! This holiday season I have been in the mood for the traditional Italian Panettone from Stazione Novella. I go for the classic Gran Milanese with sultanas and candied citrus peel.
Top tip: Panettone is available on GO to make the perfect last-minute gift for endless holiday get-togethers.