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Gifts for the chef or foodie

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If you have someone on your holiday shopping list that loves to cook, you're likely looking for something they can use in the kitchen. With so many cool gadgets on the market, you're probably having a tough time deciding. That's why we turned to some expert chefs to help out.

Our own culinary master, Richard Nunn, has some great suggestions. First and foremost, he says have a really sharp knife. Not a good, great or expensive knife, although better knives will last longer and hold and edge better. Richard says if you diligently care for your blade, even moderately priced knives will work.  He says the most important rule; no serrated blades.

Number two from Richard is directly related to number one. He says a quality knife sharpener would make a great gift for someone who loves to cook. Here's a link to a site that describes the different types of sharpeners and how to use them.

Another suggestion, three cutting boards. Richard says that you need one for meats, one for pork and poultry and one for vegetables. This helps you avoid cross contamination. Check out these that even come color coded so you can keep track of what you use them for.

His final idea for a great gift for the foodie or budding chef, something to handle hot utensils. Not just pot holders, but the Ove Glove!  Yes, the "As seen on TV" Ove Glove. He uses his in the kitchen and around the BBQ. 

As for Executive Chef Michael Lugo of Michael's Tasting Room in St. Augustine, he says that precision tongs are an excellent gift. They're great for someone who likes to get fancy with their food because it let's you place smaller items, like garnish, exactly where you want it.

A microplane grater or zester is another great idea from Chef Lugo. It's a long, sharp grater that you can use for everything from lemons to cheeses. And one more idea he shared with us, " A good quality food processor. I can't emphasize the quality of a good quality food processor or blender like a Vitamix or something because when you want a perfect puree or you want something that's done with precision. The horsepower those come with and the durability is priceless."