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Gift inspirations from celebrity chefs

The stocking stuffers famous cooks would like to wake up to on Christmas morning

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A large pot of caviar and a bottle of Krug, or a knobbly white truffle to slice into scrambled eggs would make me a very happy elf,“ Sophie Conran admitted when asked to name her ideal stocking filler  

15 DECEMBER 2008

Still haven't sorted out all your stocking fillers? To inspire you when it comes to buying small gifts for the foodies in your life we've asked celebrity chefs what they are hoping to find tucked into their stocking this year.

If you're lucky enough to get asked what you want it's a great time to suggest treats you might not splash out on yourself. A really good red wine or balsamic vinegar, a rare olive oil, a truffle, good iberico ham or cured sausages are probably too luxurious to merit a place in the usual weekly shop, but they make great suggestions for people stumped over what to buy you.

For luxury epicurean treats, look no further than Sophie Conran for inspiration. “A large pot of caviar and a bottle of Krug or a knobbly white truffle to slice into scrambled eggs would make me a very happy elf,“ says the cookery writer. She has a slightly more wallet-friendly option, too. “I would be ecstatic to find a box of rose and violet creams from Prestat in my stocking,” she admits.

Star of the BBC series Chinese Food Made Easy, Ching-He Huang shares Sophie's passion for rare fungi, and wouldn't say no to waking up to find one of those tucked in amid his gifts. “I'd love some truffles, they're a real treat," he reveals. "I like making Chinese style sweetcorn soup and grate some over the top, definitely a favourite dish of mine."

Levi Roots of Dragon's Den fame has got his sights set on something a bit different this year. Asked what he'd like to find awaiting him on Christmas morning he replies: “Girls Aloud, all five of them," clarifying saucily, "to cook them a meal of course!”

Celebrated Indian chef Manju Mahli has a great idea for the roving cooks, suggesting “a portable spice container so I can carry my five essential ingredients wherever I go." It would work especially well for her, she explains, because: "My friends are always asking me to rustle up a curry and I never seem to have all the bits!”

And Anjum Anand has a helping hand with all that Christmas Day chopping in mind. The BBC chef would love a set of KIN knives. "I used them on set while filming the series and they were absolutely fantastic,” she says.

Laid-back Aussie chef Bill Granger is also food focused, if a tad more hedonistic. Having come across some indulgent Maldon Sea Salt caramels on a recent shopping trip to Notting Hill, he's hoping to find another box in his Christmas stocking.