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The best food gifts for an amateur chef: Cookbooks, Caraway cookware, and more

These are the best gifts for the cook in your life

Person decorating Christmas cupcakes
Tim Douglas/Pexels

Chances are, this holiday season, you have someone on your list who either already loves to cook or is interested in learning the art of cooking. It’s a common passion for the creative among us, and finding the perfect tools to make the job even more enjoyable is an experience worth sharing. This year, we’ve compiled a list of the best food gifts for anyone on your list who is either already in love with the hobby or just starting to dip a toe in the culinary waters.

Souper cubes
Souper Cubes/Facebook / Souper Cubes

Souper Cubes

If you’re a fan of Shark Tank, you may already be familiar with Souper Cubes. These silicone molds are for freezing and storing leftovers in perfectly portioned servings. There is no need for messy plastic bags or clunky storage containers. These handy trays portion out servings of soups, pasta, sauces, desserts, casseroles, and anything else you can think of. When you’re ready to enjoy, pop a cube out of its tray and keep the rest in the freezer. We have no idea how we survived so long without this product, and the cook on your Christmas list will feel the same way!

Heraclea Food Co. olive oil pairing
Heraclea Food Co./Facebook

Heraclea olive oil

Artisanal olive oils aren’t new on the market, but Heraclea olive oil is head and shoulders above the rest in taste, quality, and integrity. Because of poor growing practices and overly used mechanized labor, olive oil has been compromised when it comes to bigger grocery store brands. But Heraclea is changing all of that with their commitment to never using any agrochemicals, including synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. This reduces the risk of pollution and contamination both today and in the future.

These beautiful oils are exquisite in flavor and will make the perfect gift for the environmentally-conscious foodie on your list. Their pairing of both early harvest and mature harvest olive oils will meet all of your culinary needs, from seasonal salad dressings to savory winter roasts and baked goods.

Stalwart Crafts rustic apron
Stalwart Crafts/Facebook

Stalwart deluxe leather apron

This gorgeous deluxe leather apron from Stalwart is every cook’s dream. With its authentic luxury Italian leather, incredible durability, and sleek, masculine design, this is an apron for anyone who loves to get dirty in the kitchen.

America's Test Kitchen cookbooks
America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School cookbooks

Real talk? I’ve learned more from watching and reading everything from America’s Test Kitchen than I ever did in culinary school. Their cookbooks are the absolute best when it comes to recipes, tutorials, and explaining the “why” behind any and all of your favorite dishes. While all of their cookbooks are fantastic, we love this pairing of the fundamentals, both basic and advanced, for anyone who is even slightly interested in learning more about cooking. Combined, these two books offer 30 years of test kitchen discoveries, 800+ meticulously tested recipes, and countless innovative techniques woven through themed courses taught by expert test cooks.

Caraway cookware

Caraway cookware

If you’ve spent any time at all on social media, you know that Caraway cookware is a hot item. It turns out there are some pretty legitimate reasons for this. Unlike other nonstick cookware, Caraway doesn’t use any harmful chemicals or synthetics. Chemicals like Teflon have been proven to do horrible things to our bodies, and brands like Caraway are starting to do something about it.

Caraway’s nonstick surfaces release food with ease, giving you a healthier meal and a pan that’s a breeze to clean. They’re also absolutely gorgeous and available in a wide range of colors for anyone you happen to be shopping for.

Minted recipe card art

Minted recipe as an art print

If your family is anything like mine, there are certain family recipes that are simply sacred. Untouchable. Recipes that, no matter how much professional training or culinary know-how comes into the family, must never be changed. These are our Grandmother’s potato salads and our Mother-in-law’s banana bread, and they deserve special attention.

This gift is absolutely perfect for the sentimental cook on your list. Turn a favorite or cherished handwritten recipe into a piece of art that’s as special as it is beautiful. Simply upload a photo of the recipe, and Minted will transform it into a beautiful art print for your kitchen.

Apollo lotus mixing bowls

Lotus Bowl Tableware Set

Mixing and serving bowls are a big part of life, whether you enjoy cooking or not. In most homes, mixing bowls are an odd, mismatched assortment of plastic bowls that tirelessly and honorably support the home as mixing bowls, movie night popcorn bowls, and a convenient drumset for your toddlers, if you have them. They’re often scuffed, old, and worn, and we are grateful for their dutiful service.

But it might be time to trade in those tried and true bowls for a more aesthetically pleasing option. Enter this Lotus Bowl Tableware set from Apollo. This gorgeous ceramic set features bowls in a variety of sizes that are easily stackable and perfect for prepping or serving your dish.

Sur La Table salt block
Sur La Table/Facebook

Sur La Table salt block

If you’re unfamiliar with cooking on a salt block, the process can seem a bit strange at first. But, we can promise that it’s something that the culinarian in your life has at least thought about. We’re here to tell you it’s not as weird as it sounds and can have some absolutely delicious results. Cooking on a salt block’s unique composition imparts food with a subtle hint of mineral saltiness that’s delicious and really fun to do.

So gift your favorite cook with this salt block from Sur La Table, and invite yourself over for dinner when they decide to break it in.

West Elm Marble & Brass Dip Bowls
West Elm

West Elm Marble & brass dip bowls

These gorgeous little dip bowls from West Elm are an absolute necessity for anyone who wants to serve their dishes in style. Beautifully crafted and perfectly sized for a variety of snacks, from guacamole and salsa to hummus and olives, these little bowls will hardly ever see the inside of a cupboard.

Seido steak knives

SEIDO Kaze VG10 Damascus steel steak knives

These are just about the sexiest steak knives you can find on the market. SEIDO’s 4-Piece Straight-Edge, VG10 Damascus Steel Steak Knives make light work of that mouthwatering ribeye while exuding an air of sophistication and style. Gift these to your favorite carnivoran cook for what is sure to be their favorite present under the tree.

Editors' Recommendations

Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
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