Anybody can gift-wrap a matching apron and oven mitts. But if you really want to impress the foodie in your life, give the gift of kitchen tech.
To suss out which gizmos are worth giving, we went to the master himself, Nathan Myhrvold, the former Microsoft executive turned high priest of modernist cuisine. Myhrvold spent hundreds of thousands of dollars decking out his Bellevue, Wash., kitchen-lab with texture analyzers that determine meat’s doneness, a laser that precision cuts pasta shapes and microns-thin daikon slices, even a centrifuge that separates peas and other matter into their component parts.
Most of that won’t land under the tree this year, but we walked the lab with Myhrvold to get ideas for outfitting a modernist kitchen on any budget:
This is true if you’re measuring flour for bread or if you’re measuring xanthan gum to thicken a sauce. Myhrvold recommends a scale for ordinary weights up to a couple of kilos, and, if you’re serious about pursing modernist techniques, a second model that measures tiny quantities – hundredths of a gram – for gums and gelling agents.
Use a blow torch to sear a steak or brown a chicken while still preserving the perfect doneness of the item in question.
$100 to $200
More than $200
Plus, he adds, “You can do really, really cool things.” Like cook scrambled eggs and dispense them from your whipping siphon (see above).