Sardinillas $15.90 at McCoppins (Hawthorn East), Skinner and Hackett (North Carlton), Casa Iberica (Fitzroy) in Melbourne and for the month of December, at Movida Sydney (Surry Hills). Photo: Jill Dupliex
The Good Food team has been so very good this year. So here, Santa, is our list of demands. Pretty please.
Nothing says Christmas like compost! The CLO'ey is an eating machine, like an awesome rubbish bin that never gets icky or smelly, but instead, munches its way through four kilograms of household food scraps each day. Eggshells and potato peelings are converted to a rich, hardcore compost that can be scooped off the top, and mixed into a garden bed or pot. It's the domestic version of the Closed Loop system adopted by eco-designer Joost Bakker at his Melbourne cafe Brothl, and by top-ranking chef Rene Redzepi at Noma. It's a sleek, white, easy-to-clean electrical appliance and a trial run has reduced my rubbish by a third. You won't be able to open it on Christmas Day, though; stock available from January 5, 2015. $700, closedloop.com.au
Williams Sonoma Peppermint Bark, available in stores. $39.
Editor, Good Food
Malcolm Greenwood ceramics
The big pressure most top restaurants are facing right now is not just getting what is on the plate right, but getting the actual plate right. That means having gorgeous hand-made, bespoke porcelain flatware. I desperately want beautiful handmade plates for my own little dinner parties (with the caveat being, I don't want to have to hand wash them). Malcolm Greenwood is a Sydney based ceramicist who has designed for some of Australia's best restaurants and will make everything from dip bowls, to dinner plates and water jugs to order. You can work with him on the design, or choose from his range. They are beautiful, individual and dishwasher proof. Yes please, dear Santa. Plates/platters from $50, malcolmgreenwood.com
Real Safe Candles
Nothing good could seemingly come from the words "battery operated candles" strung together. But these are outstanding. Made from wax, they look and flicker like real candles, but they will not burn your house down, blow or burn out. I covet them in different sizes, grouped together on tables, hallways, outdoor areas in my house to add instant panache to any soiree. $69.95 for a set of 3, realsafecandles.com.au
Good Food. Wish list party items. Photo: Photo: Edwina Pickles.
Bruny Island cheese club
Remember the days when a mail delivery held more promise than a license renewal or dental check-up reminder? Well, for a cheese lover like me, this is the holy grail of mail – a parcel of the good stuff, delivered straight to your door. Tassie's Bruny Island Cheese Co offers their Cheese Club members a delivery of their artisan from age eight or nine times a year. You don't need to sign up for all of them, just pick and choose the offer that appeals the most. Orders for their Christmas delivery close December 5. If only I could figure out how to get some of their wood-fired bread delivered too! #picnicdinnerIt includes four cheeses and a blackberry paste for $96 plus delivery. brunyislandcheese.com.au
Zokoko Tranquilidad chocolate bar
This is the kind of stocking stuffer I'd be happy to find my little red sack overflowing with. It really is luxury in a chocolate bar, made by Sydney's Zokoko Chocolates from 72 per cent heirloom cacao sourced from a plantation at the start of the Amazon basin. I'm not the only one taken by its luscious charms either. Good Food writer Jill Dupleix Instagrammed it earlier in the year with the caption: "I reckon Australia now has a truly great chocolate bar". $12.50 for 85g, zokoko.com
Bruny Island Cheese co. Photo: Photo: Domino Postiglione
FLB tomato mincer, model SP3
Every summer the warehouse over my back fence turns into a draughty, makeshift tomato and grape mega shop where you can pick up a box of fruit for a pittance. For years I've been visualising an annual neighbourhood passata-making day. Sadly none of my neighbours are Italian, so there's a good chance we'll make a mess of it - but a legendary Fabio Leonardi Bologna nickel-plated, stainless steel manual pulping machine will surely set us on the right path? $240, Costante Imports (Victoria) or online at costanteimports.com.au
Peppermint Bark (Williams-Sonoma)
Folk residing in North America have invented some fairly revolting confectionary (Reese's Peanut Butter Cups come to mind). But Williams-Sonoma's cult Christmas "candy" - only recently available here - is not lost in translation. Its layers of quality white and dark chocolate laced with peppermint oil and covered in shards of candy cane is all kinds of good. You may baulk at the price tag, but Santa's no Scrooge. I hope. $39, Williams-Sonoma.
Chefs armoury - Saji desert ironwood santoku.
Good Food columnist
Canon EF100mm f2.8L macro lens
Dear Santa, all I want is this lends for my food photography. I get so excited when I can count the tiny fibres on a raspberry or see the dribbles of juice on a tomato. canon.com.au
Krisk French bean slicer
A bean-slicer. I know it sounds pedestrian, but I don't have one of those old-fashioned bean-slicers anymore and I am craving those gorgeous green beans sliced lengthwise that my mother used to serve with the grilled lamb chops and mashed potato. This is made in Australia, about $6, from good cookware shops such as Chef's Hat chefshat.com.au, and Scullerymade in Melbourne, and The Bay Tree in Sydney. thebaytree.com.au
These fun spreaders from kitchenware company French Bull are as stylish as they are practical.
Real Conservas sardinillas from Spain
Not because these baby sardines are utterly delicious piled on toast with fresh tomato, or because I can dribble the sardine-flavoured olive oil over salads and vegetables, but because oily fish is good for me, right? Around $15.90 at McCoppins (Hawthorn East), Skinner and Hackett (North Carlton), Casa Iberica (Fitzroy) in Melbourne and for the month of December, at Movida Sydney (Surry Hills).
National Editor, Food and Drink
Kuvings Whole Fruit Slow Juicer
Cold press fruit juice has taken hold in a big way, have you noticed? And clearly I'd be crazy not to jump on this particular bandwagon given that it's a) easy (no chopping), b) good for me (I'll keep all the good bits of the fruit) and c) pretty (love a bit of silverware). So I'm asking for this juicer to offset all the not-so-good stuff I'll be putting in my body for a few weeks. Win win! $599, from Harvey Norman.
Malcolm Greenwood porcelain plate. Photo: Photo: Malcolm Greenwood
The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2015
I'm sure you know this but this is the ultimate Chrissy gift for the elf who has everything. The 2015 Guide (available for $24.99 from selected bookshops and online at smhshop.com.au) has more than 650 new reviews of the very best places to eat in this city and beyond, from the nation's best food reviewers.
Chief SMH restaurant reviewer
Yasa Elite sturgeon caviar
I would like 100 grams of caviar for Christmas, thanks. But it has to be ethically farmed and sustainable, like this one, coming in from Abu Dhabi. And some hot buttered toast on the side, please. Hey. I've been good. Yasa Caviar is available from Victor Churchill and David Jones Sydney from $65 for 20g to $1950 for 500g. For more information, contact Luxe Seafoods on luxeseafoods.com.au
1803 paring knife. For Callan Boys.
Maidenii dry vermouth
This is made in Victoria by winemaker Gilles Lapalus and bartender Shaun Byrne using strawberry gum, sea parsley, river mint, wattleseed, kaffir lime leaf, nigella and Japanese gentian. I need it for my dinky-di Australian dry martini, along with one of the new dinky-di Australian gins – Four Pillars, McHenry, The West Winds, Melbourne Gin Co – and a dinky-di Australian olive. Around $55, from good wine stores including Wine Republic, Fitzroy, and Blackheart & Sparrows, Richmond, Melbourne, and Best Cellars, Darlinghurst, Sydney. maidenii.com.au
Chief Age restaurant critic
Design your own knife from Chef's Armoury
I'd take anything from Japanese knife-shop-cum-provedore Chef's Armoury. Unpasteurised sake; the sushi-porn book about Jiro Ono. Even a packet of fishy crisps. But if someone is willing to drop a few hundred, owner and knifemaker Leigh Hudson will make you a bespoke knife with hammer forged Japanese steel and handles made of ebony and either oak, mallee or yakka woods. From Chef's Armoury, chefsarmoury.com
Steak wrapping paper. $20 from Gift Couture
Kombucha brew starter
A mother culture of acetobacter bacteria and yeast isn't for everyone, but it's the gift that keeps on giving. It's called a SCOBY and if you add it to sweet tea, you'll end up with a big batch of fermented kombucha which allegedly can fix anything that's wrong with your insides. The more you use it, the more it will thrive. It's the perfect low-commitment pet. $15 plus delivery, goodbrew.com.au
French Bull spreaders
Stuck for ideas for the apartment-dwelling foodie who's short on space? These fun spreaders from kitchenware company French Bull are as stylish as they are practical. Made from dishwasher-safe melamine and available in a range of eye-catching designs, they'll scream "party" at even the smallest gathering and can spread anything from soft cheese to guacamole. $6.95 + shipping, shop.until.com.au
Malcolm Greenwood porcelain pitchers. Photo: Photo: Malcolm Greenwood
National Food and Drink Writer
1803 Artisan Deer Design Paring Knife
These knives are striking, elegant, and deathly sharp. Paddington-based Penny Hannan works with Australian artisans and Mandagery Creek Venison (operated by her brother Tim Hansen) to craft knives with deer antler handles. The paring knife is a handsome workhorse that will never let you down, but I'd be stoked to receive any of Hannan's products (big fan of the Damascus steel carving set and 'ham sword'). $220, 1803.com.au
Steak wrapping paper
This steak paper from New York's Gift Couture could be wrapping two boxes Gravox and a Shrek 2 advent calendar and it would still be an awesome present (even if the US$18 shipping fee is a bit rich). US$20 plus shipping, giftcouture.bigcartel.com
Malcolm Greenwood Bowl `cement' glaze. Photo: Photo: Malcolm Greenwood
Mixing glass and bar Spoon
I mix a lot of negronis at home using a golf club swizzle-stick purchased from a 1950's fair and a KB Lager collector's glass. Both are ace, but now that I'm 30 it's time to upgrade to this Japanese-made mixing glass and copper bar-spoon from Aussie gin distillery Four Pillars. For an excellent stocking stuffer, there's also a Four Pillars 'Breakfast Negroni' - marmalade made with gin-steamed oranges and a dash of Campari. $60, fourpillarsgin.com.au
Copper mixing bowl for KitchenAid
Forget a frosted glass bowl or the pricey pasta attachments, all I want for Christmas is a copper bowl for the KitchenAid stand mixer I am yet to purchase (hint hint, Santa). The gleaming unlicensed accessory might just convince me to make a down-payment on the cult appliance. In my defence, egg whites react well when whipped in a copper bowl. Ignoring the fact that it costs almost half the price of the KitchenAid itself, the shiny bowl will look gorgeous against my imaginary (pistachio green) mixer. US$319, frenchcopperstudio.com