Wednesday, December 14, 2011


'Tis the season to be givin', and us here at Slop Press have our eyes on more than a few lumps of coal. If you're stuck with the holiday shopping, or a hellish Secret Santa conundrum that you just can't solve, here's a few gift ideas from our stable of contributors.

Naoto Fukasawa's Shiba series for Alessi

Industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa's got quite the illustrious portfolio: he's one of the original IDEO designers (you may recognize his cd player for MUJI), and the design director of plusminus zero. So when he designs a line of cookware for Alessi, you know there's some magic in the mix.

Reflecting Fukasawa's utilitarian, minimalist bent, the Shiba series (named after the Japanese dog) emphasizes the essential. There's only a handful of pots and pans in the series, designed to be used by a family of four throughout one's lifetime. That's fine, because this is cookware we're glad to be stuck with.

- Anya

Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale

This is an amazing beer. Smoky, complex and, yes, it tastes like a maple bacon donut. Its success (and price tag - this is a relatively pricey beer) comes from the large number of ingredients including real bacon and maple. If this shows up under the tree for me, I'll be having this for Christmas breakfast.

 - Arif

Turkey Deepfryer

This was the way the good Lord intended turkeys to be cooked. Amen.

- Frank

Boreal Birch Syrup

The maple is not the only tree that produces sap for tappin’ in the spring. Birch syrup, traditionally harvested by aboriginal people throughout the Canadian north, is now being produced commercially in small quantities across the country and in Alaska. It can be used as an ingredient in baked goods, meat and fish glazes and vinaigrettes, or go ahead and pour it over pancakes or ice cream. 

- Ian

The Great Food Series

If your bookshelf is already over-flowing with cookbooks that don't get much use, why not go with Penguin's "Great Food" series of classic re-issues? The series gathers food-related writings from over the last four centuries: from Alice B. Toklas' Murder in the Kitchen, to Alexandre Dumas' From Absinthe to Zest: an Alphabet for Food Lovers, to Brillat Savarin's the Pleasures of the Table. If you're worried that flavour-of-the-month cookbook won't endure the test of time (or interest), this series has got you covered.

- Joe

The Seasonal Cocktail Companion (by Maggie Savarino)

The author runs the bar program at Madison Park Conservatory here in Seattle. The book, just as it sounds, has recipes for seasonally specific cocktails including some really interesting 'savory' cocktails (i.e. aquavit, pickle juice and celery bitters = Chicago hot dog-flavored cocktail "the Harry Caray").

The book is found at most major retailers (I generally prefer Powells over amazon), but if you buy direct from her website, she signs/inscribes the book and includes a hand-written cocktail recipe with each order.

- Jordan

Moribashi chopsticks

Japanese food fanatic? Looking to recreate your favourite sushi chef’s delicate plating? You need a pair of moribashi or Japanese plating chopsticks. These slender chopsticks commonly feature magnolia (or ‘ho’) wood handles and stainless steel tips which taper to a slender needle point. Japanese chefs tend to prefer the 180mm length (tip length only, they measure about 300mm with the handle), but those less adept with chopsticks might want to stick with the shorter 135mm or 150mm lengths. These basic models start around the $60 model mark, but there are plenty of options for those looking for something a little more refined, such as hexagonal or octagonal ebony and bone handles (heavier weight in hand, and the flat sides prevent them from rolling away from you when set down) and silver rather than stainless steel tips (silver supposedly possessing anti-bacterial properties). At Korin, you can even get a pair that feature hand painted lacquer peony motifs

(Available at Korin, Japanese Knife Imports, AFramesTokyo, among others.)

- Marco

Global Chef's Knife

Every cook must have a nice piece of steel. Bourdain speaks highly of this brand in Kitchen Confidential. For about 120 bucks, it is truly a must.

- Matt

Macallan Lalique Whiskey Series

A union of the finest in Scottish and French taste, a historic collaboration, this gift begs the recipient to exhibit his own sense of style in approaching its consumption. Will he be unable to bring himself to open it, put it on display and admire the glow of the whiskey through the sculpted glass in the sunlight? Or will he dismiss any possibilities of pretentiousness by immediately downing its contents among those gathered? And if the recipient is a she, I would like to be with her, surrounded by oak, fur and leather. We would share a cigar and sip this heavenly nectar while we speak of faded memories, lust and the immortality of the soul.

The Lalique "Cire Perdue" was fashioned to contain the oldest Macallan ever bottled, at 64 years, in 2010. It sold at a charity auction for over $460,000 and toured the world. The decanter is based on a ship's decanter of the 1820s and features a beautifully engraved panorama of the Macallan estate by the river Spey. The bottle was designed employing an ancient wax. The piece is first modeled in wax, then covered with plaster and baked in an oven while the wax melts. Finally, molten crystal is poured in the emptied shape.

While the Cire Perdue is now out of our reach, you can still find Macallan Laliques of various vintages for various prices. The 55 year old, for example, can be purchased for around $15,000. Hand-crafted at Lalique's factory in Wingen-sur-Moder in Alsace, the decanter is based on the classic "Paquerettes" tiara perfume bottle designed by Lalique in 1910. The stopper is made in amber coloured crystal, one of the most difficult colours for crystal makers to achieve. My favorite gifts implicate us in their enjoyment and simultaneous obliteration, making us especially attentive and receptive to each moment of pleasure. The Macallan Lalique series of whiskeys is a great way to enact this existential dilemma during the holiday season.

- Niklaus D'Oloferne 
the clutterer Web Developer


  1. I didnt know we were doing cool stuff. Now my knife looks lame.


  2. It is very important things to choose the best kitchen knife. Really this is the top quality kitchen knife which is suitable for kitchen and restaurant.