For the Epicurean: Kitchen Accoutrements They Crave...

If the way to a man's heart is his stomach, the way to my heart is through overflowing bags fro Williams-Sonoma. Sorry, it's true. Just walking through the marble slab & butcher block adorned space is enough to make my knees weak. Like the sirens calling out to sailors from eras past the gold-lettered signage above the doors seduces me from far away in the parking lot. I simply cannot pass one of these shops without just "peeking inside for a moment" in hopes of sampling some freshly baked cranberry bread or perhaps (on luckiest days) an espresso. Ahhhh, sweet American consumerism at it's finest. And. I. Love. It. 

A good gift for a kitchen enthusiast and Giada wannabe like myself? Anything from Williams-Sonoma. It's true. For all my highbrow sensibilities and Chanel preferences, the idea of seeing a white paper bag with that iconic green logo on it tells me Santa was indeed good to me this year. 

What do I want? The short answer is: everything. The longer answer is a rich medley of culinary accessories almost assuredly designed to put me on the path to greater kitchen mastery. 

Perhaps the iconic KitchenAid Pro countertop mixer is all I need to whip up baked goods in a flash. Is the lack of silver-plated ice bucket what's keeping me (and my equally absent bottle of champs) from channeling my inner Beyonce? What about those Shun knives demonstrated at the private cooking class? Is the perfect fillet of fish eluding me due to insufficient cutlery? What about a monogrammed salt keeper? The mere possession of one would impress any Alton Brown fan. Could a proper bar cart be all that's holding me back from unleashing my inner hostess with the mostess? Probably. 

I suspect the answer to all of this is a resounding yes. Why? Because each time I've invested in any of the quality instruments at this culinary haven it's been life-altering in some way. We no longer use the microwave thanks to the use of our Breville Smart Convection Oven. These pans are seriously boss and I've now reduced my pan collection to JUST one of each size. Amazing. How do I calculate my love of Nespresso? Instant espresso in seconds whilst still wearing your jammies is an undeniable life boost for the caffeinated crowd. These aren't material acquisitions so much as confidence builders and repertoire developers. New tools mean new methods. New methods results in more practice. Experience builds expertise and that expertise in turn wants to shine. Yes... the arrival of new cookware and spatulas very well will unleash your inner 

My point is... quality investments in the kitchen have paid off for me tenfold. Selecting quality equipment. tools and utensils for food preparation has repeatedly been a sound and pleasurable choice. Preparing meals is more enjoyable, easier and certainly more luxurious thanks in no small part to choosing better methods and means for prep. I'm not saying shopping is the cure, I am saying quality accoutrements in every area of your life - especially the kitchen - is a fast way to refine your cooking mojo. 

How do you make the luxury lover in your life swoon this holiday season? Neiman Marcus never fails to please, but don't overlook the opportunity to give him or her the indulgences they crave from Williams-Sonoma. Your stomach will thank you almost as profusely as they will.

FOR THE GIADA LOVER IN YOUR LIFE