I spend most of my time in a kitchen, surrounded by modern gadgets that whiz and hum all day. Maybe that’s why the item I covet most is an antique machine, like a restored Berkel meat slicer. With a beautiful hand crank and a glossy red finish that’s more akin to a high-end sports car’s, antique Berkels look as good as they perform. When I was attending the Terra Madre conference in fall 2006, I spent an inordinate amount of time ogling the rare H8 model. Known as the Rolls-Royce of slicers, it cuts meat paper thin with ease, and without all the noise.

Antique Berkel H8 Slicer, $10,500

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