Plato Putas is all about spreading the holiday cheer, especially when it’s related to food. We’re asking some of the most beloved chefs and food lovers about the best gifts to give…and get.

Best Cookbook to Give
My cookbook of choice is Thomas Keller’s Bouchon. If God himself appeared to me in golden flowing robes and wrote out his divine recipe for Roast Chicken on golden tablets set a light by the power of the holy spirit, I would thank God for his many blessings and the recipe, but still follow Keller’s recipe from this book.

Best Gourmet Food Item to Give
Anything from Thobor’s Boulangerie Patisserie Cafe at 627 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto. I have never tasted better bread than his. Try the Religieuse or an Almond Croissant.

Best Kitchen Gadget to Give
If you really want to get something that someone can actually use in the kitchen, get them a good French Mandoline, it’s worth every penny. Just remind the receiver, that the guard that comes with these things isn’t for sissies and the French, it’s for keeping you fingers attached to your hand. Cook safe!

In Toronto, you can find a French Mandoline at Nella Cutlery, Nikolaou Restaurant Equipment (629 Queen St. West), Tap Phong Trading Company (360 Spadina Ave). or at Caynes the Super Housewares Store (112 Doncaster Ave.). Caynes is where I do most of my shopping, they usually have the best prices too.

On My Wish List
A set of All-Clad Stainless Steel pots and pans. Considering the price point, I think it’s going to take awhile to accumulate the set.

Daniel Muia is the chef and owner of Mogette Bistro (581 Mt. Pleasant Rd.) in Toronto. He’s a disciple of the French culinary arts and if he had his way, he’d still make apprentices pluck chickens and ducks, run water from the well, chop firewood, and fetch coal to feed the stove. In the immortal words of Daniel: “I did it, why shouldn’t they?”


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