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26 holiday gift ideas for the cook

December 2, 2010 |  8:30 am

In this week's California Cook column, L.A. Times Food editor Russ Parsons says there are two ways to shop for Christmas gifts for a cook: "You can drop a wad on a spectacular piece of equipment that will get used three or four times a year and sit in the pantry the rest of the time. Or you can convert a relatively small amount of money into a potful of tools that will get used on a daily basis."

In Thursday's L.A. Times Food section, we offer you a guide to both options. Here's a look at pricey sous-vide machines, dehydrators and other equipment that used to be only for professional chefs but are being targeted to the home cook: "An equipment bonanza for kitchen geeks." (Williams-Sonoma sells the PolyScience Sous Vide Professional immersion circulator for $799.95.) For the rest of us, Parsons offers more than a dozen ideas: "Affordable gifts for the kitchen."

Here's a photo gallery of foodie holiday gifts that pulls them both together.

So, what cool cooking gifts did we overlook? What are you buying -- or hoping to receive -- this holiday season? Let us know in the comments section.

--Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch


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Photo composite: Los Angeles Times