Melissa Denchak, New York
As an assistant editor at Fine Cooking, I work on our Marketplace section, departments like Repertoire and Test Drive, and features. I received my culinary diploma from the Institute of Culinary Education before interning at Financier Patisserie, a French pastry shop based in lower-Manhattan (and fabulous spot to satisfy a raging sweet tooth). Prior to Fine Cooking, I worked as an assistant editor at Departures and Black Ink magazines. I've also freelanced for Publishers Weekly, SpaFinder, and Budget Travel, and interned at Food & Wine.
I’ve always been food- and travel-obsessed. Even as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay, I spent enormous amounts of time hunting down the best chipa (a manioc-based bread) and begging my host mom to make her sopa Paraguaya (a creamy cornbread with cheese and onions)—my versions just never quite cut it. I’m thrilled to be part of the Fine Cooking team, though fantasies of opening a bakery-bar in Madrid are never far from mind.
Known for its great Jersey tomatoes, the Garden State now boasts ketchup, too.
The gel-lined PackIt Social Cooler folds into a compact shape for storage in the freezer until you’re beach- or picnic-ready.
A new take on the springform cake pan, the PushPan from Kuhn Rikon is uniquely designed to prevent leaks.
This vintage-looking, BPA-free bottle makes tap water taste better.
Made from larch, a durable, antimicrobial wood that was once used for boat building, this cutting board will last a lifetime.
Many countertop scrap bins look like mini trash cans, but the 3-quart EcoCrock is a more stylish container for collecting compostable food waste.
This unusual banana vinegar from Veracruz, Mexico, is tart, with a delicate sweetness, subtle caramel notes, and a nuanced banana flavor.
These colorful blade guards are a simple solution for storing and transporting knives of all sizes.
Based on an 18th-century recipe for rhubarb tea, Rhuby is a sweetly aromatic spirit with a slightly tart kick and delicious floral notes.
For risotto with a deliciously nutty, slightly chewy texture, we love Integrale organic brown rice.
Inspired by the rings that form when a rain drop hits water, the Fruity fruit basket from Normann Copenhagen has a simple, open design that allows plenty of air to circulate around fruit.
With the new Key to Wine set from Riedel, oenophiles can experience how the shape, size, and rim diameter of a glass impacts their favorite wines.
Handmade in Ireland’s County Tipperary, Kerrygold Cashel Blue is a crumbly, semi-soft cheese.
We can’t get enough of the full-flavored, wildly fragrant, and beautifully packaged organic teas from Bellocq.
C4C flour is a gluten-free blend that includes rice and tapioca flours, potato starch, and cornstarch.
The California company truRoots soaks its organic grains until they sprout which makes them more nutritious.
Add a touch of whimsy to any kitchen with this porcelain spoon rest.
We love cooking from our iPad, not cleaning it, which makes this kitchen cabinet iPad mount a must-have.
These offbeat spatulas have a colorful silicone coating, so they’re heat resistant and perfect for nonstick surfaces.
The nonstick coating and razor-sharp teeth of the Better Zester from Edgeware make for exceptionally smooth grating.
These candy cap mushrooms have an intense maple aroma and a slight earthy flavor that lends itself surprisingly well to desserts.
Go whole hog and break down your own poultry and large cuts of meat with Wüsthof’s new three-piece butchering set.
Surry Farms’ Jowciale is buttery rich and deliciously porky.
The Recipe Rock holds recipe cards and 8x11-inch printouts upright and perfectly angled.
Festive and elegant, these snowflake-embossed 8-oz. cocottes from are perfect for holiday hosting.
This nonstick pie pan is great for mini fruit pies, pot pies, quiches, or tarts.
These small-batch, all-natural syrups from Brooklyn-based Royal Rose Syrups aren’t just for cocktails.
All-Clad’s new stainless-steel Spherical bowls make for easy mixing.
These 60-minute kitchen timers let you monitor cooking time at a glance.
These playful, understated ceramic canisters are perfect for storing kitchen goods.
Each of these hand-turned beauties from Vermont Rolling Pins is fashioned from a single piece of wood.
A spinoff of his award-winning blog, Hank Shaw’s new book is an introductory course in how to fish, forage, and hunt for your own food—and then reap the rewards in the kitchen.
You love steaming hot corn on the cob—just not when it falls off the corn holders and into your lap.
Forget hovering over the grill—the new iGrill probe thermometer will keep an eye on those steaks for you.
This single-varietal Arbequina extra-virgin olive oil from Las Doscientas is made from hand-picked olives.
This chunky Marcona almond butter will make you rethink PB&J.
This plug-in fire starter will blow superheated air that’s hot enough to light briquettes in seconds, no lighter fluid required.
These handsome grill tools by Zwilling J.A. Henckels (the knife pros) are for the serious griller.
Use this gorgeous glass drink dispenser from Roost to show off your summer drinks.
These modernist Ekke shot glasses are made of soapstone, not glass.
Made from Pure Nacional, Fortunato No. 4 is a full-bodied dark chocolate with fruity notes and a silky smooth texture.
These vintage-inspired, double-sided “Cutlery” placemats from Cake Table & Home are made from 100 percent recycled paper.
Bambu’s new line of bowls is made from water- and stain-resistant natural cork.
This all-natural ginger ale is refreshing, slightly sweet, and packed with gingery heat.
Move over peanut butter—our new favorite spreadable treat is made from crushed Belgian spice cookies.
I'm not usually wooed by quesadillas, but this one definitely caught my eye.
Greek yogurt, fresh grapefruit, and honey are a delicious combination in these homemade scones.
What's a Hasselback potato without the potato? If you're using a beet instead, it's a stellar-looking update.
Chunky and hearty or velvety smooth: Which kind of soup do you prefer?
Bakers will appreciate this clever digital scale, since it doubles as a bowl that lifts off to transfer ingredients.
Dried red chile threads add a touch of heat, a hint of smoky flavor, and a pop of color when used as a garnish for soups and salads or mixed into egg dishes or stir-fries. For deeper flavor, toast the threads in a skillet for a minute or two before using.
With its handcrafted ceramic utensil holder, Beehive Kitchenware Company turns utilitarian storage into handsome kitchen decor.
For blue Iranian rock salt, black salt flakes from Cyprus, or pink Pakistani Himalayan salt, check out The Spice Lab, a gourmet purveyor that sources exotic salts from 40 countries.
This adorable stoneware tumbler of chocolate fondue from Aux Anysetiers du Roy (a Paris gourmet shop) heats up in minutes and is the perfect size for sharing.
Although it was introduced more than 50 years ago, the recently relaunched Krenit bowl by Danish design company Normann Copenhagen is coolly contemporary.
This Valentine's Day Red Velvet Cheesecake is made for a Monday.
Blogger Kim Neill creates edible Pantone "color chip" cookies.
For this rugged, dark-golden soda bread, I'd gladly tweak a family recipe.
With elegant curves and swooping spiral handles, Kähler’s Storia tea service is a throwback to Art Deco design.
Bold and aromatic, Salami della Musica is handmade in limited quantities by artisan salami-maker Cristiano Creminelli. With a mixture of pork, pork liver, and cloves, it tastes one part salami, one part rich pâté.
This white-glazed stoneware fish trivet by design guru Jonathan Adler keeps hot serving dishes off the table—but with a sense of humor.
Le Creuset’s first-ever cassoulet dish has the slope-sided shape of a traditional French cassoulet pot and a wide surface area that allows for plenty of crunchy crust. It comes with four serving bowls.
This seven-piece lobster set from kitchenware company WMF comes with a lobster cracker and six slender forks that will help extract every last morsel of tender meat.
For more than 600 years, aromatic bison grass has lent its sweet, herbal essence to Zubrowka, a Polish vodka distilled from rye.
Wedgwood’s lovely Cuckoo plate, made of fine bone china and trimmed with burnished gold, is the perfect size for small sandwiches or canapés.
Steaming bowls of ramen are incredibly comforting, especially when temps turn frigid. These homemade noodles will bring you one step closer to ramen bliss.
How leftover cranberry sauce begets pancakes, cocktails, and more.
In the U.S., nutmeg is key to decadent pumpkin pies and rich egg nog. In Malaysia? It's the base for fresh, tangy juice.
Figs, pine nuts, cheese...and oatmeal? Sounds good to me.
Forget Ohio State's mascot. These are buckeyes that would really make me cheer.
Nancy Newsom’s robust prosciutto-style bone-in hams are cured with salt, brown sugar, and hickory smoke, and then aged for 12 months.
By adopting one of Nudo’s olive trees in the Abruzzo or Le Marche regions of Italy, you’ll receive the harvest from it (and its neighbors) over the course of one year, including a tin of olive oil from the first cold press and flavored oils like zesty mandarin and spicy chili.
Served with a crusty French baguette, Les Trois Petits Cochons’ decadent and savory cranberry-and-pistachio-filled venison pâté will be the hit of any hors d’oeuvres table.
With a rich, butterscotch flavor, Berkshire Mountain Distiller’s rum has a dryness that’s pure pleasure in a glass.
Rivers Edge Chèvre’s Sunset Bay goat’s milk cheese is creamy, perfectly salty, and complemented by the warmth of Spanish pimentón (smoked paprika).
Smoked over fresh-cut cherrywood logs for a full day, Nueske’s new all-natural cherrywood-smoked bacon is complete porcine bliss.
Dragonfly Sugarworks offers four grades of organic maple syrup, from a dark, gutsy Grade B to an amber-colored, more delicate grade called Vermont Fancy.
Robert Lambert’s salty-sour Rangpur limes (think tart mandarin oranges) are cured with juniper berry, bay leaf, rosemary, and lavender before they’re preserved in salt.
Nina Wanat, the founder of San Francisco-based BonBonBar, uses top-shelf single malt Scotch, bourbon, and dark rum in her handmade confections.
The Cherry Shiraz preserves from Tishbi Winery (a family-owned estate in Israel) have big pieces of sweet-tart cherries and pleasant, lingering notes of red wine.
Sarivole Organic Bakery’s baked-to-order cookies—in flavors like peanut butter oatmeal and chocolate coconut almond—arrive fresh, chewy, and delicious.
Handmade in small batches with milk from free-range goats, Happy Goat’s caramels are tangy, chewy, and far from ordinary.
479° Popcorn’s black truffle Pop It Yourself kit comes with heirloom popcorn, La Tourangelle black truffle oil, and truffle-infused sea salt.
Come autumn, the harvest of almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts begins in earnest. Turn your favorite nuts into a rich butter to be savored for months to come.
Use up leftover grilled meat and crisper drawer odds and ends in a delicious no-cook meal.
Have you ever tried a mulberry? If you haven't, you should.
I can’t stop thinking about figs. On Friday, we sampled white, sun-dried ones from Italy. The day before, we tested a delectable golden fruitcake that was filled to bursting with them. And about a week ago, I came across...