See PEOPLE's 50 Food Faves of 2017: Ree Drummond, The Great British Baking Show, Kitchen Gadgets & More!
From her wildly successful Food Network show to her growing empire (she recently revealed she is opening a hotel and her fifth cookbook, Come and Get It!, is due out on October 24th), the Pioneer Woman star never ceases to amaze us—or herself. “When I was young, I wanted to be an actress," she tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story. "I had no idea what that meant, but I just thought it sounded fun.”
The Chew cohost is as known for his charming personality and quirky style (his favorite vests come from Lands’ End “because they write anything I want on them,” he says) as he is for his encyclopedic knowledge of Italian cuisine. The chef’s own favorite recipe (Bucatini all’Amatriciana) is a perfect example of his simple-meets-satisfying cooking. “The firm texture and the rich porkiness of the guanciale make it unique and impossible to fake,” he says.
She may be a relative newcomer to the food world, but she’s already paving her way with a Food Network series, bestselling cookbook, delivery meal-kit service, and her own cookware line. Despite a busy schedule, the wife of NBA star Stephen Curry and mom to daughters Riley, 5, and Ryan, 2, says she loves time spent cooking for her family—like the Currys’ favorite dinner: Pork Chops with Apples. “When we eat this, there’s never any leftovers!”
After 15 years on the Food Network, the Barefoot Contessa star credits her success to her tried-and-true recipes, like her "most requested" roast chicken, and unwavering support from her husband, Jeffrey. “He’s a great audience because whatever I serve, he says, ‘That’s the best thing I’ve ever had!’ Which is why I love to cook for him!”
The My Name is Yeh food blogger isn’t shy about adding a little fun to her baking, which is why her most popular recipe, Confetti Biscotti, includes her favorite ingredient: rainbow sprinkles! “It’s like an instant little party,” says Yeh, who served the biscotti at her 2015 wedding and often sends them out in care packages. “They’re an easy way to make something really festive.”
INSTAGRAM FOOD ARTIST
Samantha Lee bucks the idea that it’s rude to play with your food. To encourage her daughters to eat healthier, the Malaysian-based designer began turning everyday staples into scrumptious plates of art, and posting them on social media—gaining more than 700K followers. “You don’t need special tools or ingredients—just imagination,” she says.
CULINARY COMPETITION SERIES
The Great British Baking Show
Even if you’ve never heard of banoffee pie (banana, cream and toffee) or croquembouche (a tower of profiteroles), it’s impossible not to be enamored of the British series, in which 12 amateur bakers compete in a series of weekend challenges. Judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry gently critique while presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins add witty banter. Future seasons on PBS will feature new hosts (only Hollywood remains), but watching the bakers root for each other is inspiring and their creations will leave you amazed—and hungry!
You don’t have to spend your weekend driving to the grocery store anymore. This site lets you shop your local markets online and then sends a personal shopper to pick up and deliver your order. Sign up for an Instacart Express account ($149/year) for unlimited free deliveries from stores like Whole Foods, Costco, Wegmans and Petco. instacart.com
GOOGLE HOME ASSISTANT
The personal concierge device is ready to play sous chef. Google Assistant lets users find recipes by name, ingredient, course or chef—or pick from more than 5 million available options. The unit will then talk home chefs through the dish, step by step, moving to the next direction only when the cook is ready. Ask for measurement conversions and calorie counts, set timers and build shopping lists—all hands free. $129; store.google.com
Choose from 17 easy-to-follow recipes each week like prosciutto pizza, sticky sesame cauliflower and lamb vindaloo— made with high-quality meats and locally sourced produce. The plan is flexible so users can skip weeks, swap recipes and customize their box to serve two, three or four people. plated.com
Don’t know where to dine tonight? The restaurant reservation app offers curated options at buzzed-about spots in 80 different cities. Through the app, diners can reserve tables—even on short notice during primetime hours—and text the restaurant if they’re running late or have a special request. The company recently partnered with Airbnb, offering visitors exclusive dining experiences during their trips.
Virgin America (domestic) & Emirates (international)
When flying Virgin America, passengers enjoy the convenience of ordering food and drinks at their leisure from the seat-back entertainment system—and, thanks to a new partnership with Dean & DeLuca, there’s no shortage of healthy snacks. For international fliers, Emirates treats travelers to gourmet meals featuring authentic foods from the region they’re flying to. Headed to Tokyo? Expect bento boxes served with Japanese crockery and tea sets on board. Leaving for Sydney? Don’t miss their Australian-inspired minted lamb sausages.
BUZZ-WORTHY COFFEES: HOT
Illy Medium Roast Whole Bean Coffee
Prefer grinding your own beans? Look to this Italian variety, polished of all harsh acidity and bitter edges.
BUZZ-WORTHY COFFEES: ICED
Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee
The not-so-strong roast and spot-on ice-to-java ratio is a refreshing way to start the day.
BUZZ-WORTHY COFFEES: COLD BEW
Stumptown Cold Brew
Skip the shop lines with these ready-to-drink cans that pack a delightful fizz and a chocolaty finish.
BUZZ-WORTHY COFFEES: FLAVORED
Melitta Hazelnut Creme
Start with rich, bold flavors (infused with a hint of nuttiness) and end with a sweet, creamy finish.
BUZZ-WORTHY COFFEES: BLENDED
It’s been remade into dozens of unique flavors — like the limited-edition Unicorn frap — but there’s nothing quite like the original.
BUZZ-WORTHY COFFEES: FROZEN
Talenti Coffee Chocolate Chip Gelato
Satisfy a sweet tooth—and get a caffeine fix—with this creamy dessert flecked with semisweet chips.
PASTA FOR EVERY PLATE: SEMOLINA
Barilla Classic Blue Box
With tiny crevices that help the sauce stick, this pasta cooked up flavorful and al dente every time.
PASTA FOR EVERY PLATE: CHICKPEA
The gluten-free noodles taste and act remarkably like wheat pasta—plus, they have a big boost of protein and up well without going mushy in the fridge.
PASTA FOR EVERY PLATE: BROWN RICE
Lundberg Family Farms
While other brown rice brands turned gummy or fell apart in the pot, this spaghetti stayed firm—and paired nicely with cream, tomato and oil-based sauces.
PASTA FOR EVERY PLATE: LENTIL
Trader Joe’s Organic Red Lentil
Made with ground red lentil flour, TJ’s sedanini is packed with flavor and protein. Another benefit: The lentils cook up quickly—it needs to boil for just 5 minutes.
PASTA FOR EVERY PLATE: WHOLE WHEAT
Whole Food 365 Every Day
Some whole-grain pastas have an earthy taste and a rubbery texture, but these noodles have a deliciously mild nuttiness and firm chewiness.
GADGETS WORTH THE COUNTER SPACE: VITAMIX
This high-powered machine really can blend it all: creamy soups, chunky nut butters, veggie smoothies, icy cocktails, DIY flours—and the list doesn’t end there. $599.95; williams-sonoma.com
GADGETS WORTH THE COUNTER SPACE: INSTANT POT
Whether working as a slow cooker or any of its six other functions (pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, etc.), it’s ideal for folks with little time—just set it and forget it. $120; williams-sonoma.com
GADGETS WORTH THE COUNTER SPACE: SODASTREAM
The sparkling water machine is made for families who love to guzzle soda or seltzer. The new Aqua Fizz model saves on electricity too—no plugs or battery needed. $149; williams-sonoma.com
ESSENTIAL TOOLS UNDER $50: KUHN RIKON SWISS PEELER
The straight and serrated blades peel fruits and vegetables efficiently, without fear of nicks and cuts. $5; surlatable.com
ESSENTIAL TOOLS UNDER $50: ZYLISS SAFE EDGE CAN OPENER
By cutting from the top—and not the side—of the can, the metal wheel eliminates any sharp edges around the lid. $14; amazon.com
ESSENTIAL TOOLS UNDER $50: VICTORINOX SWISS ARMY FIBROX PRO 8-IN CHEF'S KNIFE
With its sharp, extra-wide blade and nonslip handle, this all-purpose knife makes slicing and chopping easier. $45; surlatable.com
ESSENTIAL TOOLS UNDER $50: OXO GOOD GRIPS SALAD SPINNER
It eliminates almost every drop of water from damp greens. The one-handed pump and brake button make it a cinch to use. $30; amazon.com
ESSENTIAL TOOLS UNDER $50: VERTICAL RABBIT LEVER CORKSCREW
No more twisting to open a bottle. In one fluid motion, the Rabbit pulls and ejects the cork. $34; amazon.com
ESSENTIAL TOOLS UNDER $50: PEUGEOT TAHITI 6-IN. PEPPER MILL
Get a consistent grind—whether coarse or fine. The beechwood mill is also easy to fill and hold. $36; amazon.com