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Best of Fall 2012: three of the trendiest kitchen essentials

Best of Fall 2012: Kitchen Essentials

After two decades, Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford, famous husband-and-wife cookbook authors, have split. Burma is Duguid’s first solo project, and it doesn’t stray far from the couple’s food-as-cultural-encounter formula. Over four years, Duguid toured Burma, tasting traditional cookery in bus terminals, markets and tea shops. The resulting recipes—galangal- and chili-laced curries, noodles and condiments—draw on the flavours of China and Southeast Asia and, aside from the eclectic pantry list that requires a trip to T&T Supermarket, are surprisingly simple to make.
On shelves Oct. 13.
Large, rich and thick, duck eggs have become a favourite with such chefs as Rob Gentile at Buca, who spreads the golden goo on his white truffle pizza, and Ben Heaton at The Grove, who perches them on plates of crumbled blood sausage. When soft-poached, the yolk takes on the consistency of runny custard, making for an excellent sauce when pierced over a tangle of angel hair pasta or a pile of bitter greens. The Healthy Butcher brings them in once a week from a small, free-range, grass-feed farm run by a Mennonite husband and wife in Paisley, Ontario. $4 per half-dozen.
The Healthy Butcher, 565 Queen St. W., 416-674-2642.
Lance Herriott, a retiree with a Santa Claus beard, carves one-of-a-kind wooden kitchen tools at his farm in Victoria, B.C. He took up the hobby when his daughter Nikole moved to Toronto and he wanted to send her unique care packages. She liked his spoons and bowls so much she set up an online store named Herriott Grace to sell them—along with mortar-and-pestle sets, cloud-shaped cookie cutters and beeswax candles. He carves his charcuterie boards from salvaged maple and yew, taking care to preserve the knot-and-grain details, and works them by hand to a super-smooth, durable lustre. $225.

(Images: from left, courtesy of Naomi Duguid; The Healthy Butcher; and Herriott Grace)