Top Chef Star Gail Simmons' Holiday Menu Tips and Tricks

Celebrity News Nov. 30, 2011 AT 12:17PM

Stuck on just what to get your favorite home cook this holiday?

Top Chef's Gail Simmons has a few ideas, and she shared them with Us Weekly during a recent visit to our New York City offices.

PHOTOS: The year in Us Weekly!

In the exclusive video above, Simmons gives Us her top gift picks, and offers one of her favorite holiday recipes: Her mom's latkes!

"I used to eat them by the dozen when I was younger, and now that I don't live at home anymore, I love to make them because they remind me of home," the New York City-based Top Chef star tells Us. Simmons' recipe secret? Use sweet potatoes and dill, which amps up the flavor.

VIDEO: How to eat seasonally during the holidays

When it comes time to shop for the home cooks in your life, simplify your shopping with a few of Simmons' fave products, including a citrus reamer, kitchen tweezers and a home soda maker. Plus, Simmons suggests filling home cooks' stockings with a rich lotion or moisturizer.

PHOTOS: More hot holiday gifts

The chef and TV personality, who is a member of Eucerin's Skin First Council, loves that brand's Intensive Repair hand cream. "While chefs are spending so much time in the kitchen, they should be washing their hands," she tells Us. "My hands get so cracked and sore because I'm using them so much and cooking so much, so I love getting products that keep me moisturized."

For more of Simmons' top holiday menu tips and gift ideas, check out the video above!

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