June 17, 2024

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Some Creative Gifts for the Aspirational Home Cook Who Has Everything

6 min read
Some Creative Gifts for the Aspirational Home Cook Who Has Everything

The holidays are a home cook (excuse me, a home chef)’s time to shine. From elaborate side dishes based on the idea that traditional favorites like green bean casserole would be even better if they were deconstructed to holiday parties where the theme is “I wanted to make a terrine, so I did, and now we’re all here to admire it,” they’re showing off and showing out—and you, if you happen to be friends with or related to such a person, are reaping the benefits in the form of delicious snacks, meals, and drinks you’d never think to make on your own. But what to give such a person? They already have the basics and then some, which is why you have to get creative: elegant garnishes, tools for adding fresh spices and extra flavor, and gadgets some of us (OK, me) would be a little intimidated by.

The bests gifts are ones that say, “I see you for who you are and I celebrate that,” which is why we’ve put together this list of giftable (and in some cases, edible) items that let the Top Chef in your life know you simply can’t wait to try their next culinary creation.

A kitchen workhorse 

Cuisinart Spice & Nut Grinder

Get the most flavor out of your nuts and spices with Cuisinart’s Spice and Nut Grinder, which lets you grind these ingredients right before using them for the freshest flavor and most tantalizing aromas. Cuisinart designed this space-efficient grinder specifically for these ingredients.

Pair with a big jar of peppercorns (perhaps these, which look like little pearls of caviar) for when they want to make a cacio e pepe even the most discerning Roman would devour.

Add some joy to your Dauphinoise

Staub Tomto Casserole Dish

Ovenproof casserole dish from Staub. Dishwasher safe, but washing by hand is recommended for longer product life.  …

Is there anything more cheerful than a tomato? I would argue that there is not, which is why I’d gift this casserole dish—it’s quirky but not too over-the-top whimsical—to myself.

A sturdy tool that also functions as art

DWR Tondo Mortar and Pestle

With Tondo (2018), Jessica Källeskog set out to fully rethink the traditional mortar and pestle, creating a form that calls for calmer motion. More than just a tool for grinding herbs and spices, this sculptural piece can serve as a centerpiece for the kitchen. Made in Lithuania.

A chic, sleek mortar and pestle for muddling and crushing.

A good shortcut that isn’t takeout 

Momofuku Pantry Starter Pack

Bring Momofuku flavor to your home kitchen with our pantry starter pack.

Even the most chef-y chefs have off nights, which is why this pack of condiments is so genius. Whether they use one or mix them all together, they’ll add flavor to simple pasta, meat, and vegetable dishes for an easy dinner that still tastes special. 

Avoid accidents!

Graf Lanz Merino Wool Felt Pan Handle

Cast iron skillets are our friends- but sometimes they turn on us. We’ve all been there, lured with promises of sizzling glory. Stop getting burned.

If anyone in your life has ever spent New Year’s Eve watching the ball drop on a small TV in the emergency room thanks to a hand burned on a very hot pan holding filet mignon and onions finished in port (hypothetically), give them this.

Make it nice  

Aerogarden Harvest Slim

The 6-pod Harvest garden is our most popular countertop garden.

Not that they would forget an ingredient, but just in case, this herb garden can live on a windowsill or a kitchen counter, putting a sprinkle of chives or a quick parsley garnish within arm’s reach at all times.

A good way to flex when they’re not in the kitchen.

Zabar’s Bagel T-Shirt

Let them know where your heart is in this Zabar’s Bagel T-shirt! A modern retro design features everyone’s favorite brunch must-have (a NYC bagel) and the infamous Zabar’s logo.

So at everyone at the Farmer’s Market will know they have impeccable taste. 

They can throw out their old takeout containers. 

Anyday Limited Edition Emerald Microwave Cookware

Breaking news: You can make incredible food from scratch in the microwave, and this cookware set will show you how. It’s got the skills to prep veggies, grains, meat, soup, dessert, and oh-so much more, thanks to the lid that keeps moisture in while venting excess steam.

If I’ve learned one thing from watching hundreds (thousands?) of hours of food TV over the course of my life, it’s that no one—not even Michelin-starred chefs!—is too fancy to use the microwave. This set is much more glamorous than plastic containers from the grocery store, and they’ll love crowing to guests about the elaborate feast they made all with the touch of a button. 

A fancy midnight snack

Amarena Fabri Cherries

Enjoy the delicious flavor of Amarena wild cherries in heavy syrup. Serve with ice cream, cakes, pastries, and other desserts. Also great for adding a sweet touch to your favorite beverages, from Champagne to Shirley Temples.

This blue-and-white jar will look great on counters, and the cherries and syrup inside are perfectly sweet and tart poured over vanilla ice cream for a dessert no one has to think too hard about. 

Hone their weapons. 

HENCKELS International Knife Sharpener

The handy J.A. Henckels International Handheld Knife Sharpener offers a simple solution to knife care. Featuring both coarse and fine ceramic grits, you can maintain the sharp edge of your blade in one innovative tool.

People who love to cook are obsessed with their knives—it’s a whole thing! This compact sharpener will keep them occupied for a while. 

Make it artisanal—like, really artisanal. 

Roots and Harvest Butter Making Starter Kit

Make homemade butter in as little as 10 minutes with this LEM Butter Making Starter Kit.

Churning your own butter is surprisingly easy, and they’ll love the chance to incorporate fresh herbs (see above), shaved truffles, or a dash of maple syrup for slathering on…anything and everything.

Give them a break. 

Vermont Cheddar Cheese Straws

These flaky cheese straws are rich and buttery with the unmistakable flavor of tangy Vermont cheddar—they’re an irresistible snack! Their shortbread-like texture melts in your mouth and the burst of real cheddar flavor will keep you coming back for more.  …

Perhaps the most important lesson I have ever learned from Ina Garten: during cocktail hour, serve things you don’t actually have to cook! I like these in a silver bowl, but I also like them directly out of the tin.

For their no-knead bread side hustle.  

Le Creuset Bread Oven

The Le Creuset Bread Oven takes home baking to the next level of delicious and beautiful. Crafted from our legendary cast iron for superior heat distribution, this purpose-built shape is designed to produce bakery-quality results.

For the family member who felt not-so-secretly annoyed when everyone got into making their own bread.

Another nice snack

Mama O’s Homemade Kimchi Kit

Necessity is the mother of invention. If you are Kheedim Oh, so are cravings. When he couldn’t find satisfying kimchi—a traditional fermented Korean condiment made with cabbage, cilantro, and green onions—in stores, he decided to consult the chef of his favorite version: mom.

I saw this on Shark Tank a few months ago and immediately ordered one—now, I have a constant supply of freshly-fermented kimchi to throw into scrambled eggs, leftover fried rice, and eat directly out of the jar with a fork. 

Some teeny tiny spoons for all your teeny tiny spoon needs  

Blue Pheasant Cora Small Mother-of-Pearl Spoons

Set of seven spoons.
Made of mother-of-pearl shell.  …

Pair these with a jar of smoked salmon roe (or actual caviar if you’re working with a Champagne budget—don’t forget the Champagne!). 

Looking for something else? Let our gift guides lead the way. 

We love the products we feature and hope you do, too. If you buy something through a link on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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