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By Elizabeth Karmel The Associated Press

The 2017 Gift Guide from the chef behind The American Table

This holiday season’s gift guide contains a book by a real-life hero chef who built an empire by valuing his busboys, a set of nifty ceramic stoneware oyster shells, atasty tequila and “the last knife you ever buy.”


“L’Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home”

By David Lebovitz (Crown, $27)

Don’t toss that old beer: Make some delicious bratwurst

When I first moved to Chicago from North Carolina, I was amazed at the variety of sausages. There were polish sausages, bratwurst, bockwurst, Italian; sweet and hot, among others. At that time, the sausage that I knew best was knackwurst which is smoked like a hot dog, only thicker and made from all beef.

This pimento cheese is more than the sum of its parts

I almost always have pimento cheese in my refrigerator. It is one of my comfort foods and I never get tired of it. Like most Southerners, I grew up with it and there are as many variations as there are Southerners. The version that I make most is super simple and the recipe that my mother and my Grandmother always made.

Pastis Shrimp

This is my French-flavoured version of peel ‘n’ eat shrimp. The sauce is delicious and warrants a whole baguette just for sopping up!

It’s one of those summer dishes that I make frequently for friends and family. The dish pays homage to one of my favourite places on earth, the South of France, where pastis was born.

A tenderloin gets an assist from dark brown sugar, paprika

As its name implies, the tenderloin is one of the most tender cuts of pork, and comes from the full loin. It’s mild in flavour and takes well to rubs, marinades and sauces. Tenderloins range in weight from 10 ounces to 1 1/2 pounds. I prefer the smaller 10-12 ounce tenderloins and look for those when I am shopping for meat.