The holiday season is here and none of us started gift shopping in September like we’ve always been told to do. But who has time for that, truly? The good news is that you still have plenty of time, but if you’re stumped when it comes to the actual gift selection then you’re going to burn through that time quick.
Never fear! Gift guides are here to help. I’ll be putting out a few this year to assist you on your quest to find holiday delights for the people in your life who love consuming food and drinks as much as I do. First up?
A Gift Guide for the Ones Who Love to Cook
- Retro inspired kitchen timers — Because we all need a kitchen timer, and they might as well make a statement.
- Cookware with character — The accessibility of artisanal goods has been made SO easy through sites like Etsy. Find a unique, useful gift online that supports the Maker community. Some even have options for personalization. (Pro tip: this is also a good way to scout out vintage finds).
- Copper cooking utensils — For your trendy friend who enjoys cooking, and having a very instagrammable prep space.
- Mortar and Pestle — The more I cook, the more I understand the need for one of these. They’re used for crushing and grinding herbs and spices, and it doesn’t hurt that they look nice on display, either.
- Ravioli and Tortellini starter set — Remember your friend who studied abroad in Florence? Firenze. They’ll love this.
- Hot chocolate pot — Why? The better question is “Why Not?”. At first glance this probably seems ostentatious, but check this out: the teak handle makes pouring a breeze, the lid can be used as a trivet while cooling, and think of how COOL you/your friend will look when they whip out this puppy for a cocoa sesh.
Joule by Chef Steps — Sous vide is a cooking technique that’s really blown up in the last couple of years. While I’ve never done it myself, it has already sealed its reputation as being a modern cooking method that boasts ease of execution and perfectly prepared steaks. But it can certainly do more than just cook your meats to the ideal medium rare. If there’s someone in your life who enjoys learning new techniques in the kitchen, this is the gift for them. Learn more on the Chef Steps website.
If you’re a person who feels safer giving, say, socks than this years trendy tech, try some of these safer, more practical gifts on for size:
- Wooden Cutting Boards — Make it interesting, though! Look for different compositions of wood, wood grain, shapes, and materials.
- Mandolin — No, not the instrument. This kitchen machine cuts major time out of slicing (see what I did there?).
- Oven Thermometer — Yes, it’s just a food thermometer, but you can never go wrong with All Clad, right?
- Scale — Bingo. A practical gift, with a high tech touch. (Plus, who doesn’t need a scale in the kitchen?)
I know what some of you may be thinking, “What about a cookbook?”. My friends, worry no more. I’ve got you covered:
- A Boat, A Whale, & A Walrus, Renee Erickson [PNW pick!][Award winning chef]
- The Food Lab, J. Kenji López-Alt [PERSONAL FAVORITE/BIBLE]
- Lark, John Sundstrom [Another Seattle chef!]
- A Cozy Coloring Cookbook, Adrianna Adarme [I know we all have a friend who will be BEYOND stoked to own this]
- Plum, Makini Howell [For your Vegan (or not vegan) friends] [+++ANOTHER Seattle chef]
Perhaps you’re giving to someone who’s less of a “things-person” and more of an “experience-person”, which I totally get! There are a lot of options for these people, too.
Look for cooking classes in your area for the two of you to take together, or for them to take alone or with someone else. Are they adventurous? Maybe a foraging excursion is more their speed. Learn, alongside an expert, about the edible ingredients found in nature around you (+10 points if it’s a mushroom tour because that’s DOPE).
Or maybe they’re the kind of person that just wants to hang out and be together. Why not get all the ingredients you need to tag team a meal, and a few bottles of wine, obviously. Even plan an outing where you go to the Farmer’s Market together and gather everything you need, while simultaneously sampling your community’s best ciders and spiced donuts.
Want to gift all your kitchen-dwelling friends at once? What if you invited them all over for a night of enjoying company and YOUR cooking? All they’re required to do is kick back and snack. Sounds like the makings of a special evening to me.
Hopefully this makes your holiday hunt for the Home Chefs (or Chef Chefs!) in your life a little less stressful, or gave you some ideas of your own! I’ve got more headed your way in the coming weeks.