Read Time: 10 Minutes
Our Holiday Tradition
As with Thanksgiving, our Christmas through New Year holiday will be quite different this year. Our gift guides have traditionally featured a cookbook that was based on helping others. The first was Together to create funds for the families devastated by the horrific fire that destroyed the Grenfell Tower in London. The second guide showcased the cookbook created by a group of chefs under Food For The Soul in support of their unique dining spaces, which continue to serve meals to communities in need. In 2020 we would like to celebrate family-run companies that have been supplying KD readers with superlative products and now classes! Some are protagonists in respecting the environment, and all are committed to sustainability. And even better, they are unique in what they offer to their clients. We hope you get to know them.
Marmotecnica in Italy
One of the unique finds at La Cuisine and later for Kitchen Detail readers are the mortars and pestles from the Baudoni family in Carrara. If you have one of their mortars, you don’t need a passel of others. Well in honesty, I have two, one small one that is on top of my stove and the other larger one, which has become quite famous on Instagram. This particular one they will reproduce by special request. You may write to them for a quote. I use it for pesto, mayonnaise, tuna sauce, guacamole, salsa. The smaller one is used for grinding herbs, spices, and aromatic pastes and rubs. A Baudoni mortar is a working piece of art that is as useful today as it was centuries ago. Marmotecnica mortars are used in restaurants and homes throughout the world.
Pictured here is Giordano Baudoni, the founder of Marmotecnica, who introduced me to the lusciousness of Lardo di Colonnata in a tiny and rustic trattoria on top of one of the marble mountains of Carrara- which you can view in our banner photo. He took us on a tour that included the marble sculpting workshop still operating today, where a statue ordered by the Fascist Party (but never paid for) rests inside. As if that were not enough, we were then treated to some of the best ice cream from the Rosellini Gelateria which he owns. He also told us stories of the hardships endured in his youth during the Fascist/Nazi rule in Italy.
We are honored that the Baudoni family is offering KD readers a 10% discount on their marble mortar and pestle selection. Even though they are not discounted, you may want to look at their meat pounders or rolling pins as well. Use the code scf10 when you check out. It is good through December 31, 2020. Queries can be emailed to email@example.com
Sertodo Copper In Texas & Mexico
Sertodo Copper is one of the few artisanal copper manufacturers in the US. I have one of their sauté pans with its unique handle designed to hold your stirring utensil. But they produce so much more than that, as you can see from their website. The newest piece from their workshops that has thrilled me is their freestanding copper bowl with a handle that fits a KitchenAid mixer. I have a really awkward copper insert that fits into my K5A bowl. It is a pain to put it in the bowl and and even more of a pain to pull it out. But to use it for making meringue, genoise, meringue buttercream, nougat, it is divine. Copper is the magic tool for working with egg whites, and you can read why in this previous KD post. I have started believing in Santa again and have put this lovely copper bowl on my list. If Santa Pays attention, he will be rewarded with his mother’s famous spice cake with maple meringue frosting.
Sertodo offers KD readers a 10% discount through December 15, 2020 on their website, including the bowl for the KitchenAid Mixer. Use the code LaCuisine10 when you check out.
La Cuisine Paris In France
Kitchen Detail’s sharp-penciled editor, Victoria Sackett, realized a life-long dream and spent a wonderful week in Paris, including a class at this friendly and intimate school nestled in the Marais neighborhood. Since travel to Europe is out of the question for many of us, the owners of La Cuisine Paris offer KD readers a 10% discount on their live online (Zoom) Classes. You can join the experts in their Paris kitchen, mastering classic French home recipes in their online Cuisine Camps. Although not discounted, an array of video online classes is available too, with step by step instruction — yours to keep and use as many times as you like. The classes are in English, for those of us who are less than fluent en Francais.
For the discount, visit the home page, lacuisinefrancais.com, then click on the Calendar icon. Select any of their live online Cuisine Camps. Use KitchenDetailFamily when you check out, and save 10%. Their offer is good through January 31, 2021. For video classes, is it the website and click on “online classes.” You’ll enjoy being part of their family. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Open Hand In Maryland
This local group of restaurant chefs, prep cooks and front of the house, formed a miraculous company under the leadership of John Wood. Open Hand delivers weekly menus and extras to create elegant meals you wish you had been served in restaurants. You may have to heat up some water for their divine pasta or warm up a pan for their perfect sauces, but a superlative meal is delivered to your door in the DMV. Open Hand will be delivering a gorgeous Thanksgiving meal to participating KD readers, myself included. The crew is set to give us another special meal on Christmas day, priced per portion so that you can serve just yourself or 10 people in your bubble. The festive menu will be delivered on December 24th. Check out their Christmas Day feast, pick out your music, Zoom in with your family and friends, and enjoy a very special meal. The menu starts with a Butternut Squash Tortellini in a traditional Chicken Brodo, followed by mini Beef Wellington with a Horseradish Cream and Red Wine Jus. A side dish of broccoli with preserved lemon and sweet peppers, plus Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary, Sage, Parmesan, and Garlic Confit. And of course, you’ll have room for the Apple Napoleon and a Spiced Brandy Sauce.
Kitchen Detail readers can sign up below and get a 10% discount with their Christmas order. Open Hand can only deliver this to your door if you are in the Washington, DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland areas.
SHOP OPEN HAND
Truly-Life In Virginia
This company produces genuinely environmentally sound products that actually deliver on their promise. We are totally dependent on their soap, and buy it in lots of fifteen bars. Founded in 2008 literally out of their garden, Mellenie and her partner Andy put new meaning into the old marketing adage to let the packaging tell the story. All of their products are wrapped in lovely recycled paper or cardboard. There is no plastic. But more importantly, the soaps, lotion bars, and even a dishwasher detergent in powder form are made from ingredients that are natural, local, and simple as possible. With the frightening amount of chemicals that have invaded our bodies and homes, Truly-Life ‘s formulas benefit them both and perhaps contribute to your peace of mind! When you check out Truly-Life’s website, you can click on and follow her One Thing You Can Do Today Instagram account. I have found that many of the photos and accompanying text offer thoughtful advice on small habits we can develop or acts we can perform that benefit the Earth that we all share.
If you are looking for ideas from her selection, my husband adores her Sandalwood soap. With each purchase Mellenie will include a complimentary Lotion bar when you mention Kitchen Detail in your order.
Ernst & Company In New York
The most popular potholder and skillet handle covers in the shop were from Ernst & Company in the Catskills, New York. Functional, top quality, with attention to design and production, I have never found anything quite like them, either here or when I shopped for kitchen gear in the UK and Italy with my daughters. If you have not read our earlier post about these potholders, take advantage of the discount now and get some for yourself too. They come in three styles, a 9-inch square fabricated to be an oven mitt as well as a large potholder, the standard 7.5-inch square ones and a skillet sleeve. Designer Tanya Ernst is also now knitting winter hats with faux fur pom- poms, Her ideas and workmanship never cease to amaze me. Even though I am tempted by her Sock Monkey design, I think I will opt for the cheery red one so that I can find it in the dark when I do my early morning walks by the river.
KD readers will receive a 20% discount on your holiday purchase of Tanya’s production when you use the code NANCYSCHRISTMAS20. This offer is good through December 13, 2020.
Monkey Business In Israel
I love the fun part of function and Monkey Business nails it. Monkey Business is the brainchild of Oded Friedland and the design firm includes his brother and partner and Oded’s wife. Truly a family affair. In addition to their humorous but well crafted designs, they mentor young designers in how to bring their work to fruition and then market the product. We always sold out of our Monkey Business selections at Christmas in the shop. Their Corkers are in my bag when dining with children, as they keep those who are below drinking age amused while the adults polish off the bottle of wine. Their current addition to my kitchen is their Ravioli spoon rest. It’s fun, unbreakable and minimal in design. Their pasta spoon looks like spaghetti but really works to fork up long strands of pasta, which even the Bologna side of the family has recognized as an equal to the famed Italian sense of cool design and function. I am planning on purchasing the Beanie bottle stoppers since we never can slam the corks back into wine or water bottles. Besides, the red one will match my new hat from Ernst & Company.
Kitchen Detail readers will receive a 10% discount from the Monkey Business USA website when the use the code 10%MBLacuisineus at checkout. This offer ends December 16, 2020
Precision Knife Sharpening In Virginia
If you do nothing else for your cooking this year, give your knives a new life with this superior service. After all, our kitchen knives have probably served double duty for many months and will continue to do so. Or treat a friend with a knife sharpening gift certificate so that their knives are ready to chop and slice in 2021. We received the most emails on this particular supplier in the 2018 KD Gift Guide. You or the recipient can ship your knives to them, and they will ship them back, lethally sharp. Or, if you are local, drop them off and pick them up when you get the email announcing that your knives are ready. Check out Precision Knife Sharpening for the possibilities, including sharpening a fancy but dull pocket knife. Dave Arnold has even selected a a particular ceramic sharpening steel that you can purchase to keep your knives in shape at home — a step that’s often overlooked.
As you can see from our “In My Neighborhood” post (which was one of the most widely shared by KD readers), Dave can probably rescue knives you thought were beyond help. I have taken my knives to several places for test sharpening, and this neighborhood gem is superb. Recently they added the same service for your gardening tools, such as hatchets, pruners and axes. If you have stored your lawn mower for the winter, this might be a good time to have PKS sharpen the blades (they do not sharpen reel mower blades)
For the KD reader, Sherrie and Dave offer a free knife sharpening for every four knives you send them with the code KITCHENDETAIL entered when you check out And it might not be a bad idea, if you don’t have one in your kitchen, to purchase a new steel to keep up with your newly sharpened knives.
We received several emails about the De Buyer discount for KD readers and it ends on November 30, so you still have time to use it site wide.
After owning one of the best cooking stores in the US for 47 years, Nancy Pollard writes a blog about food in all its aspects – recipes, film, books, travel, superior sources and food related issues.