Blackberry Farm

Friends of the Farm

Top Ten with Chef Joseph Lenn for December

When the holidays come around, I am always asked for Christmas gift suggestions for cooks, chefs and foodie types.  At first, I am honestly stumped, because as a chef I hardly wait for Christmas if there is a new cool tool, knife, or something. But I am getting a head of the questions this year. Here’s my list…

1)    A standard for any kitchen, southern or otherwise, is a Cast Iron Skillet.  From frying eggs to creating more complex dishes, this is a definite necessity.  I am currently cooking in the Le Creuset Cast Iron Skillet.  

2)    Maldon Salt – A necessity for finishing meats and fish, and as a chef you really cannot have too much in stock, so this make a perfect stocking stuffer

3)    A proper wooden cutting board is a perfect gift for a chef. Make sure you find one that is THICK.  

4)    Cruze Farm Buttermilk Ice Cream – okay so this might not be on every chef’s Christmas list, but it should be, and probably missing only because you can find it in a few select retailers in East Tennessee.  At any rate, delicious artisan products from your home area are always appreciated.

5)    Knives – Chef’s love knives. They are the tools of the trade and we use them, and always need new ones!  I like Korin Knives. They have a vast selection and great quality.

6)    An iPad, sounds a little geeky, but to be honest this is a great tool in the kitchen as long as you stay off of twitter and don’t let the food burn! Seriously, it is lightweight and a handy resource for checking recipes, ingredients, techniques and more!

7)    Olive Oil – something chefs use a lot, and we love the Blackberry Farm Olive Oil that is carried in the gift shop, it comes in a pretty bottle too, so it makes a nice impression on the receiver!

8)    Pepper mill – A classic in the kitchen, period.  Find one that looks great and works well.  We use this one that you can find at, but this one, the Vic Firth pepper mill, also works great.   

9)    Tweezers – this is not for bodily use!  Tweezers come in handy when plating or handling more precise dishes.  Your fingers stay clean and so does the plate.  

10)     2013 GS Lexus or an Allison Bass Boat – Okay…so you think I am reaching… but the GS makes a great grocery getter and the Bass Boat… what chef wouldn’t want to go 100mph on the water to get to the best fishing hole first!