Eric Wareheim’s Saucy Guide to the Best Cooking and Food GiftsDecember 13, 2021
Over the past decade, comedian, actor, director, and winemaker Eric Wareheim has been building a not-so-secret second life as a professional food expert. Whether it’s his previous work on his show Food Club, traveling to Italy to learn to make pasta for Netflix’s Master of None, or professing the dangers of an imbalanced diet in Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, food has always been folded into his career—but with the release of his first cookbook, Foodheim, Wareheim has become a bona fide, New York Times-bestselling, cooking show-appearing chef in his own right.
Colorful, funny, diverse, and—most importantly—informative, Foodheim is a weird journey through Wareheim’s culinary life, from orange chicken and beef bourgignon to pizza, sashimi, and tagine. In addition to all of the original recipes, Wareheim waxes poetic about wine and cocktails, offers party-throwing tips, and even includes a “Small Horse Chapter” (you’ll see). There’s a lot going on in this book, and if you choose to tag along, it’s a very fun ride.
“It was a beast, man,” Wareheim said in a recent phone interview. “And it took years of our lives, because we’re so anal about it being good—every little moment of every page, all the recipes, all the wine.” But when the hard copy of his book finally arrived, he ascended. “I’d say the first time I got the test pressing of it, and saw all of our hard work… It’s a real feeling, having a real book in your hand.” That feeling hasn’t gone away now that Foodheim is out in the world, because Wareheim is still using the book regularly. “I’m still cooking out of it. Everywhere I go, I set the book up,” he said, laughing. “Even if I’m eating at a restaurant.”
Once you grab your copy of Foodheim, you’ll need to stock up on some cooking gear. Lucky for you, Wareheim was kind enough to share some of his favorite tools, cookbooks, wines, dinnerware, and more. Read on, and enjoy.
One perfect pan
In Foodheim, Wareheim professes a love of Made In cookware. “I did an event with them in Austin, where they’re from. I just love Texas, and they’re really nice,” he said. “Their products are like chef-grade. It’s not some bullshit, and this isn’t an ad either—I just love their stuff. What really taught me cooking is their 12-inch steel pan. To really cook properly, you need to embrace high heat.”
That’s not a knife—this is a knife
Wareheim also loves Made In’s knives. “Their chef’s knife is one of the sharpest knives I’ve ever used,” he claimed.
A durable, dependable apron
The if-you-know-you-know champ of the apron game is surely Hedley & Bennett. “I’m friends with [owner] Ellen [Marie Bennett] and she was a big part of me getting into food,” Wareheim said. “Her stuff is just really, really well made. It’s chef-quality. You only have to buy one for the rest of your life.”
Three important pizza bibles
“One of my favorite cookbooks is Pizza Camp: Recipes from Pizzeria Beddia. It’s Joe Beddia’s book—he’s a good friend in Philly,” Wareheim said. “How simple his approach is, it really inspired me. He’s in my book a lot—he wrote a lot of jokes for it. He’s one of my biggest pizza influences.”
Wareheim is also a big fan of Chris Bianco’s Bianco: Pizza, Pasta, and Other Food I Like. “I love Bianco’s pizza book—I love a cookbook that has soul to it,” he said.
He’s also keen on the new book The Joy of Pizza: Everything You Need to Know from Dan Richer, the chef of New Jersey’s Razza, which is one of Wareheim’s favorite pizzerias. “I did an event with him recently. He made one of my pizzas, which is such a huge honor,” Wareheim said.
Nice plates, so people know you mean business
Real chefs love ceramic plates. “The point in the book was like, just buy four nice plates,” Wareheim said. “Instead of Ikea plates, just get some ceramic. It’s a different, more beautiful experience.” His book directs readers towards Heath Ceramics, so grab this gorgeous dinnerware set (or one of the many others they have), or other great ceramic sets from West Elm and Our Place.
A really sharp wine opener
Everybody knows that the best part about drinking sparkling wine is using a huge sword to slice the neck off the bottle. That’s right, baby—we’re talkin’ sabrage. Wareheim doesn’t have a specific brand or saber he likes; rather, he says it’s more of a personal thing. “I have a really long sabering sword,” he explained. “I started with smaller things. You have to find something that’s special to you.” You can also open wine with almost anything if you get good enough, but using a sword is still the coolest way—if done safely.
A beautiful wine primer
In order to always pick the right bottle, Wareheim suggests learning about wine from some of the greats. “Right now, I’m really into this book from England, it’s called Noble Rot. I shot Season 3 of Master of None in England and I hung out at Noble Rot a lot,” he said. “They’re so serious about wine—everything from natural wine to classic wine. It’s a really intense, awesome, fun book.” We’re sold.
Amazing tunes lead to amazing food
In the pasta chapter of Foodheim, Wareheim says that he loves listening to Italian disco music while cooking. “I just heard this new song that's amazing,” he said. “I’m making a playlist for Las Jaras. This is from my new playlist—it’s this band called Toto Cutugno, and the song is called “Una serata come tante.”
Food’s always better with incredible wine
We all know that Wareheim’s winery, Las Jaras Wine, is great. (They also have a killer wine club.) But what’s Wareheim ordering when he isn’t sipping on his own juice? He says to join Martha Stoumen’s wine club. “Martha Stoumen is one of my favorite winemakers in America,” he proclaimed. “We actually have a collaboration pét-nat together. But other than that, I’d support her.” We concur—her stuff is amazing.
You are legally obliged to own a microplane
“I recently got a different version of the microplane,” Wareheim said. “It’s crazy when you’re grating pecorino or Parmesan or garlic or lemon zest. The one in the book is a fancy wood one.” But you don’t have to be fancy; this basic, OG edition is absolutely fine.
Heed Wareheim's advice, and maybe someday, you'll have your own book that's a portmanteau of your last name and the word "food." Cheers.