Finding the best food gifts for people who like to cook is a little bit of a mission for many of us. My mom, my sister, my sister-in laws, several of my closest friends….all people who like to cook and entertain (and we will entertain again!), and I love the hunt for the perfect cooking and food gifts.
Here are some of the things that will be crowding into my little gift closet (yes, I have a gift closet….yeah, I know) in the coming weeks, waiting to be given (and I may have to buy duplicates of a few….I already hit the balsamic vinegar that was supposed to be for David….).
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10 Practical But Awesome Gifts for Foodies and Cooks
Cuisinart Cook Central Multi-Cooker
I am a huge Cuisinart fan, and am very excited about this new 7-Quart multi-cooker. Lots can happen in your kitchen without turning on the stove. you can do it all without firing up the stovetop. You can brown your food, then roast or slow cook, all with one button. Plus you can program your cooking ahead of time. The inside cooking pot is nonstick, and dishwasher safe, so clean up should also be pretty simple.
Pause on the roasting thing: nice to be able to cook at temperatures from 250°F to 450°F for up to 6 hours. And you can also steam for up to 90 minutes. The pot includes a reversible roasting/steaming rack.
Microplane Rotary Grater
If you know a regular user and grater of Parmesan, then this tool would be a pleasure. Fluffy clouds of finely grated cheese pour out with some simple cranking. The blade is made of the same steel as the long slim microplane tool (also a must have) and beyond Parmesan and other hard cheeses you can also grate chocolate and nuts. The tool comes apart in 3 dishwasher safe pieces and it’s easy to put back together. All of the plastic is BPA free. Left hander friendly as well!
Misen Chef’s Knife
Misen was started by a chef who was balking at the price tags for high end brand pans and knives, and wondered if the same quality could be achieved for less. And in addition to that big question there was a question of style.
The knife world is split into two major players: German steel, known for its toughness and durability; and Japanese steel, known for its razor-sharp edge. They decided to go for the ultimate hybrid and created a knife that stays incredibly sharp, but with durability.
For you knife nerds, the chef’s knife is made with AICHI AUS-10 steel and 2x the carbon content of other “premium” knives, the sloped bolster is very fine tuned, and while most Western-style knives have edge angles of 25 degrees, they use more acute 15 degree angles for a noticeably sharper cutting face.
Coyuchi Organic Waffle Kitchen Towels
I am a little bit of a dishtowel enthusiast , and while I have some old and stained ones for dirty work, I love having a stack of pretty ones for joyful cooking (and for photos shoots!). The colors of these Coyuchi dishtowels are just plain gorgeous, but the fabric is even nicer. When you wash them the smooth basket weave transforms into a waffle texture that offers more surface area per square inch , which means they absorb water much better than a flat woven towel. They are made with yarn-dyed organic Indian cotton crossed with white resulting in subtle colors that stay.
It’s hard to choose from the three colorway options, but each set of 6 includes two of each color in the assortment.
Note: Unfortunately, this product is currently sold out, but keep an eye out on the Coyuchi website in case of a restock.
Sawyer Ceramics French Butter Keeper
My mother has always kept softened butter on the counter, which many people find odd. But when you want some room temp butter for a piece of toast or a bagel, it’s pure bliss to not have to chip away at a cold little square. Sawyer ceramics makes beautiful butter keepers in the French style, that keep the butter safely at room temp, and also really beautifully as well.
The ceramic butter keepers are hand thrown on a potter’s wheel and each hold a full stick (1/2 cup) of butter. You add a bit of water to the base to create an airtight seal to prevent spoilage. All you have to do is change the water every day or two and it will stay fresh for days and days. Amazingly the ceramics are dishwasher safe as well.
If it is possible to fall in love with a step ladder, then this is the one I am choosing. Unless you are 7 feet tall, you need a step ladder handy in your kitchen (that Instant Pot isn’t going to get itself down). These light but sturdy Japanese-designed beauties are made from aluminum with a resin coating that comes in your choice of really pretty colors (I have mint, but also am longing for the orange, red, and white). You can choose from one, two, three or four steps, it has a non-skid base and supports up to 225 pounds, folds flat, and even stands up on its own when folded.
Indulgent Ingredients for People Who Love to Cook
Saltverk Flaky Sea Salt
If you are an avid cook, then you probably have some serious thoughts on salt. For everyday cooking, I use kosher salt, but for finishing things, or just for playing around, I have a fondness for playing around with all kinds of different salts. And the flakier the better.
Saltverk flaky sea salt is a crunchy, mineral-fresh Icelandic sea salt made using a method based on the 17th century old practice. Geothermal energy from hot springs in the northwest of Iceland is the sole energy source used. What that means is that the whole process leaves zero carbon footprints on the environment. It’s hand harvested in the Westfjords of Iceland and besides the classic version, you really need to check out some of their seasoned versions in wild classically Icelandic flavors like seaweed, licorice, birch smoked, and arctic thyme. The simplest chicken breast will never be boring again.
Due Vittorie Oro Gold Balsamic Vinegar
A great balsamic vinegar is the kind of thing many people wouldn’t buy for themselves, but would LOVE to receive as a gift. True balsamic vinegar (known as aceto balsamico in Italian) is made only in Modena, Italy and has been aged for a minimum of 12 years, up to 25, in a strictly delineated process. It is made from grape must (musto), which are essentially crushed grapes, with the skin and seeds and everything included. It is dark, and fairly thick, and has a notable level of sweetness playing into the tanginess.
Do not give this to someone who will splash it willy nilly into a pasta salad, but someone who will appreciate every pricy little drop. This brand was featured on Master Chefs for 3 years, and is used in restaurants throughout Italy.
Norm Architects Bottle Grinder
I bought these during a trip to Copenhagen and even though I had no need for a new salt and pepper grinder set it remains one of my favorite tabletop purchases in a while. Every set comes in two impeccably paired colors (there are lots on the Menu site to choose from; I’m loving this blush toned pair), the soft rubber surface is easy to grip and clean, and there is something so incredibly satisfying about the shape and hues. They feel like a little bit of modern art on your table.
Best Food Gifts to Order
Zucker’s Bagels and Smoked Fish
Do you know a displaced New Yorker? Then you are about to become that person’s hero. One of NYC’s staple beloved bagel shops, Zucker’s Bagels: – one of NYC’s most beloved bagel shops will pull together a package for your giftee that will bring them right back home. Try the holiday brunch for 6, with your choice of bagels, cream cheeses, and lox all in a cooler bag.
Plus, if you have latched on to the everything bagel craze, you will want to check out Zucker’s Toasted Everything Bagel Seeds in three flavors. There is also a new EVERYTHING holiday gift assort that includes everything bagels, everything seeded lox, cream cheese, t-shirt and the spices. Don’t miss the rainbow cookies and the black and whites, as well.
Few things are more exciting to a cheese lover than an assortment of excellent cheeses. It’s one of the best food gifts you can give, and Murray’s is always n excellent choice. You can go with a general selection, like the Holiday Feast Deluxe, or if you want to hone in one a type of cheese choose from options like The Best of France Cheese Sampler, including our brie, nutty Comte Saint Antoine, and snackable Ossau Iraty or the Red Wine Lover’s Collection, with gruyere, Manchego, blue cheese and lots of other treats to nibble with the cheese and wine.
Or treat someone to a virtual cheese class, where the recipient (and a few friends!) can take the class of their choice: Murray’s sends the cheeses ahead of time, and any suggestions =for wine pairings and such, and then you click and join and learn and eat.