42. The 2023 Gift Guide - Part 2
The Return of the All-Stars
For the second part of this year’s Plate Cleaner Gift Guide we are focusing on wish lists, rather than tried and vouched-for gift ideas. Fantasy over fact. Desire over details. As you’ve already learned from Part 1, I’ve brought in a bunch of ringers to share what they have on their lists. In many cases they’ve come through with contributions that I could not have predicted, though in retrospect I see how apt they are. It was also interesting to see how much shorter and sweeter the wish lists often were. People seemed to be much more expansive when thinking of gifts for others; that’s no shade on anyone who followed the brief more closely and told me what they actually wanted.
A few notes for Part 2:
- This time I’ve kept the introductions brief. For fuller intros check out Part 1.
- As in Part 1, prices were added by me and are the current list prices as of this writing.
- As noted below, I had to take a few liberties with images when there were a few options to choose from.1
What’s on our wish lists?
Tobey Nemeth and Michael Caballo
Chef-owners of Edulis
A Basque Grill from Josper Grills ($If you have to ask…) A wish list for a chef is a very long one, but for sure the top of our list of dream kitchen tools would be a Basque grill from Josper. So many restaurants in Spain and France use these—we just stare longingly whenever we see one. What a dream—design, functionality, what a tool. Our fingers tremble just to type the word Josper. Please make sure to pronounce it the correct Spanish way, as the “J” should sound like the end of the Scottish word “loch”).
It’s harder for me to think of a gift to receive. I am experimenting with AIP (Autoimmune Protocol Diet) bread so a perfect gluten-free sour dough starter ($15.50)? I’ve been eyeing the MUJI “beanbag” chair ($200) but then Instagram just showed me a “moon pod” ($399) so now I’m conflicted. Financial advice would be helpful. A door that doesn’t open into my toilet would be better. How about some lawn furniture? A new bathtub? A new knee? I guess I’m in the market for a lot of things but don’t get me anything, I’m okay.
Smart Cookie / Cookie Smart
My wish list has any unique bakeware from William Sonoma.
Owner of Sanagan’s Meat
I really want a Traeger grill/smoker (from $599 and way up). They are expensive, but it is a wish list item after all. I also want to build my own curing chamber for salumi, but it would be nifty to buy one already done for that exact purpose.
Fish smoker extraordinaire
Two things on my wish list:
Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine ($1199): It has always been a dream of mine to have a nice espresso machine at home. While I certainly do not have the time or money for it, this machine would be fun to play with. In recent years, I have become a Breville fan, and this machine seems like it is a good quality for the price point.
Coat Albret Cider ($32): I love this cider so much. It is one of the “fancier” ciders I have ever tried. It would feel like a luxury to have some bottles at home for special occasions.
On my wish list is the perfect wok for my induction stove. I still have not found it.2
If they sold a silencer for my Vitamix blender, I’d want that.3 Jesus fuck, is that thing loud. Otherwise, I’ve been fantasizing about owning a fully automatic coffee maker. This is the kind of coffee maker that stores whole beans, then grinds and brews them in any manner you wish, for any type of drink you can imagine.4 They are stupidly expensive and appear to take up a lot of counter space (and I’m guessing require some actual maintenance), but I can dream.
For now we’re stuck with our tiny four cup coffee maker and our pre-ground Costco beans and no counter space, and have to deal with actual expenses like dumb health insurance for our dumb bodies. And what’s extra dumb is that I don't understand what good coffee is supposed to taste like, but this is a wish list, goddammit, so I get to pick what I want.
My wish list? More time? A whole weekend off? A puppy? Peace on earth? A 7-hour massage?5
And finally, one wish list item from me:
Ernest Wright Turton 7” kitchen scissors ($250) A few years ago I saw a video about Ernest Wright scissors, which have been handmade in Sheffield, England since 1902. I knew I had to get a pair of dressmaker shears for Beth for that Christmas.
A few months ago, our kitchen shears mysteriously went missing. (Honestly!) Our best guess is that they somehow got thrown out. I bought a cheap new pair to replace them, but I can’t stop thinking about how much nicer a pair made of Sheffield steel would be. And even though the lead time for backorders is something like 14 weeks, as more than a few people have said so far, what is a wish list for if not for wishing?
And so ends the second part of the gift guide. Hopefully it sparked some ideas for the people on our list. (Or yourself. I won’t tell.) A huge thanks to everyone who contributed to this year’s guide. May all your wish list items come your way.
And let’s not even speak of the liberties I had to take with the original sources of all of the images.
I was really hoping that either Moccamaster (from Part 1) or Breville made one like that so I could be the one responsible for bringing about either a Dennis-Nobu or Dennis-Lev singularity. Alas…