Why Matt Preston and I might butt heads23:06
Believe it or not it has nothing to do with his cravats. His differentiating neck accessory might be quirky but not butting heads-worthy.
No, Matt Preston and I might butt heads about his piece in Stella magazine two weekends ago where he outlined his ideas on kitchen gifts for Christmas.
I’m a self-confessed gadget collector. I love kitchen accessories and equipment and have a large collection of used and unused items that I have purchased (or been gifted) so I read with interest as to what Matt Preston, cravat-wearing, MasterChef judge suggested for this gift giving season.
His first suggestion that a wooden spoon would seem to be “on the surface a perfect present” left me with a look of disbelief on my face. I am not sure anyone would consider a wooden spoon a “perfect” give even if the gift giver was on a tight budget.
And the alternative suggestion thrown up by Mr Preston? A $10 silicone spatula. Really Matt? A spatula? Silicone or not, personally I would be tempted to slap anyone with it if that was wrapped ready and waiting under the tree on Christmas morning.
I’ll give him credit that a prawn deveiner might be a waste of money but what authority (besides being a MasterChef judge and food critic) does he have to say “stuffed zucchini will NOT be the next big thing?”. I happen to be a fan of stuffed zucchini and can’t wait to see a future MasterChef contestant step up and blitz the competition with a fabulous version creating a new food trend #stuffedzucchiniisawesome
Matt’s advice on not giving a “clumsy cook” a mandolin is not without merit as a trip to Accident & Emergency in the New Year is not cool – kitchen gadget related or not. And I will concede that his suggestions of a decent peeler or even the gravy separator are good ideas for the home cook – anything to make those mundane chores a bit easier is a bonus.
But I draw the line (and even scoffed) at the idea that “presents with plugs on them are seldom embraced by the woman you love”. Of course it’s never a good idea to buy an iron, vacuum cleaner or steam mop – that should go without saying. There are stacks of gifts with plugs that the home cook (or wannabe chef) might enjoy, especially if they wouldn’t buy them for themselves.
The KitchenAid with multiple attachments and Thermomix are definitely high end items but both can replace multiple appliances. A lovely coffee machine, juicer or food processor are also great additions. The key is to listen and see what your giftee is interested in but thinks twice about buying. Just make sure it isn’t because they already have one!
Ok, so I’ve trashed Matt’s article enough and I guess you are wondering what my gift suggestions would be (or not…). Well, I reckon you can’t go past a stunning serving set on special at Robins Kitchen ($19.95) which come in 3 colours – black, steel and rose gold.
Or you could pick up a lovely timber chopping board and get it laser etched at a trophy shop (try Whitsunday Trophies in Mackay) or a brand new, super sharp kitchen knife engraved with the giftee’s name on the handle. My thoughtful neighbour bought me a wonderful cookbook stand that I use every day which is not only useful but a fantastic looking kitchen accessory.
If all else fails I don’t think you can go wrong with a voucher from House, Robins Kitchen or even one for a food lover’s cooking course.
PS. On a side note, I quite like Matt Preston so we probably wouldn’t really butt heads ;)