Christmas countdown: 5 gifts for home cooks

December 10, 2012 

I'm certainly hoping some new kitchen gadgets appear under my Christmas tree this year. Need some ideas for the cooks in your family? Ryan Fichter, executive chef at Bodega Spanish Tapas & Lounge and Thunder Burger & Bar in Washington D.C., shares 5 culinary tools that make great gifts:

1. Chef knives. Get the best set that you can for your budget or pick one great chopping knife, which is what people use most often.

2. Cutting boards. Purchase a set that has various sizes. For wooden cutting boards, bamboo is the most environmentally friendly.

3. Wine openers. Choose from electric, winged, pump, lever pull and traditional.

4. Steel pans. All-Clad steel pans are high quality, durable and endorsed by professional chefs.

5. Emersion blender. Ideal for anyone who likes to make soups, gravies and smoothies. They are easy to use, store nicely in a drawer, and fit most budgets.

Bodega Spanish Tapas & Lounge offers a variety of traditional Spanish dishes, including several varieties of paella, cold and hot tapas, and dishes featuring squid, shark, octopus, cuttlefish, scallops, monkfish, quail, lamb and more. Bodega, located at 3116 M St. NW, offers a happy hour, a weekend brunch and patio seating during nice weather, and serves lunch and dinner daily. For more information on Bodega, visit .

Thunder Burger has 15 burgers, salads, appetizers, sandwiches, steak, fish and chips, crab cakes, ribs, salmon, and more. Thunder Burger & Bar is located at 3056 M. St., NW in Washington D.C.

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