Iron chefs can make a tasty meal from the dregs of a devout bachelor's fridge. Iron chefs mastered multi-course meals for 20 before they were age 20. And they wax rhapsodic when discussing a new technique, piece of equipment or ingredient. So of course there's no gadget or cookbook they've not heard of and you are not confident enough to bring them something you made (will you ever be?). Until then, try these gifts.
A BOTTLE TO SHARE
While most people who earn their keep from the kitchen will appreciate a well-made knife or interesting cookbook, says chef Angelo Brunson, what gift-givers consider a good fit might not jibe with the chef's perspective. Instead, give a bottle of wine. "Good wine does not have to be expensive," says Brunson, the owner of Angelo's Ristorante and Martino Tuscan Grill, both in Coeur d'Alene, who also makes wine on the side. At the Dinner Party, you might be asked your preferences — red or white, sweet or dry — and parameters, namely price, although you can't go wrong with one of their 25 recommended $15-and-under bottles. Try Raymond R Collection "Field Blend," designed to appeal to any palate. $15 • The Dinner Party • 3520 N. Government Way, Coeur d'Alene
It's only a matter of time before your favorite chef gets a boo-boo, so go the funny (and very affordable) route of funky Band-Aids. Add Insult to Injury bandages advise "Maybe if you were smarter you wouldn't keep getting hurt." Ouch! Better yet, go with Archie McPhee's bacon bandages which suggest you "Treat your minor cuts, scrapes, and scratches with the incredible healing power of meat." $8 • Zany Zebra • 317 N. First, Sandpoint
Unlike some occupations, cooking rarely occurs while seated, making kitchen work especially hard on the body. You've heard of farm-to-table? Slogger's slip-on, waterproof, sturdy-tread shoes go garden-to-galley, providing stylish comfort all day. Let acclaimed chef Mario Batali have his orange Crocs; your iron chef gets to express him or herself through whimsical designs like the Chicken Print Barn Red. $29.99 • sloggers.com
SOUS VIDE COOKER
Fall-off-the-bone chops, perfectly cooked chicken every time, easy cheese-making: That's sous vide, in which bag-sealed food items cook while immersed in hot water, leaving food tender and moist. Getting your iron chef a sous vide cooker is a win-win; as they perfect the technique, you'll be invited over to try out the results. $949 • Bargreen-Ellingson Foodservice Supply & Design • 223 W. Boone. ♦