Shopping·11 min read

Gifts to Help the Home Chef Step Up Their Kitchen Game

the best holiday gifts for the foodie in your life
Photo: Brittany Sturrett | Credit: theSkimm
November 1, 2021

They’ve mastered TikTok food trends on the first try and have successfully cared for a sourdough starter or two in their life. They’re on their way to major home-chef status — and you get to enjoy the benefits. But wait. Shopping for the dedicated foodie in your life can be difficult. Especially when their pantry’s probably already fully loaded with the best stuff on the market. So surprise them with one of these culinary-minded indulgences guaranteed to spark some major food joy.

Want more holiday gifting ideas? Check out The Sleigh List — our guide to the perfect gifts for everyone on your A-list.


A do-anything pot they’ll use night after night… 

It’s designed to do everything and anything: boil, bake, crisp, steam, braise, roast, pour, serve, and store. If they can dream it, this pot can do it. It weighs in at a light 4.5 pounds, which makes lifting it out of the oven or off the stove easy as pie. Plus, it looks great on a table — or in the background of any ’gram. ($165, Our Place)

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Trader Joe’s cookbook

For the person who shops at one place and one place only… 

Trader Joe’s, of course. This cookbook will take their obsession to the next level. It’s 142 pages of delicious recipes that hinge on some of the store’s most beloved ingredients (hi, Everything but the Bagel seasoning). Appetizers, main courses, cocktails, and dessert, coming right up. Yum. ($22.49, Amazon)

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A handblown olive oil

A handblown olive oil pourer that’ll jazz up any counter it sits on...

Sometimes aesthetics matter. And with these glass carafes, they’ll feel oh-so fancy. The colorways are all inspired by the Mediterranean. And each bottle can hold up to 12 ounces of their go-to olive oil. Très chic. And for more of our fave holiday gifts from Uncommon Goods, shop here. ($45, Uncommon Goods)

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Hot Sauce

A hot sauce and spicy honey pack for the person who likes their taste buds to tingle...

This gift will really bring the heat. The bundles come in different arrangements, but we're eyeing the 'all stars' set. Aka hot honey, original hot sauce, and verde hot sauce. Everything is handcrafted in South Carolina and uses local ingredients. Plus everything is cold-pressed so they'll really taste the flavors. ($28+, Food52)

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Handmade flavored nut butter

Handmade, flavored nut butter they’ll want to eat straight out of the jar…

This decorative gift box comes with your choice of four handmade nut butters. It’s got a variety of irresistible flavors to pick from — like chocolate sea salt almond butter with wildflower honey, peanut pecan butter, Fiji ginger almond butter, and more. All they need now is a spoon. ($36+, Food52)

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10-pack of gourmet spices

A 10 pack of gourmet spices to up their cooking game… 

Italian-blend seasoning will only get them so far. Help expand their repertoire with this collection of Middle Eastern spices and seasonings like sumac, za’atar, harissa, turmeric, caraway, and more. They’ll bring everything from meat dishes to vegetables to baked goods to new heights. Bon appétit. ($54.99, Spicewalla Brand)

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fondue maker

A stainless steel fondue maker that’s perfect for a romantic Friday night dinner… 

Sweets dipped in even sweeter chocolate? Bread dunked in cheese? Yes and yes, please. This easy-to-clean gadget makes those culinary dreams reality. The removable 3-quart bowl comes with eight color-coded forks, a holder to keep drips at a minimum, and six cups to cradle dipping ingredients. Plus it has a temperature-control feature so they don’t have to worry about setting the house on fire during date night. Win-win. ($49.99+, Amazon)

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An authentic Japanese snack box

An authentic Japanese snack box for anyone who misses their passport…

Bring the travel to them, and give your recipient the gift of culinary delights straight from Japan. Each monthly subscription package comes filled to the brim with snacks, candies, and teas sourced from family-run businesses. Pure delight, incoming. ($39.95+/per month, Bokksu)

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A knife sharpener

A knife sharpener to level up their tools… 

Because a dull knife is a dangerous knife. Save them from a kitchen mishap with a handheld sharpener that anyone (we’re looking at you, beginners) can use. All they have to do is slide the blade through a handful of times, and voilà, magic. ($15, Material)

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Cake pop kit

A DIY cake-pop kit…

So they can make fresh goodies from home. Each set comes with 120 sticks, a dipping pot, an icing pen, bags, and ties. Plus the silicone molds are dishwasher safe so it makes for easy cleanup. ($38.99, Amazon)

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trendy set of pots

A functional yet trendy set of pots and pans for anyone still using the skillet they’ve had since college… 

This nontoxic, ceramic-coated bundle is oven-safe up to 550 degrees and works on induction, gas, or electric stoves. Available in six color options from brights to neutrals, the set also comes with a storage solution. So your giftee won’t have to dig through a messy kitchen cabinet to find the proper lid ever again. ($395, Caraway Home)

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 red sauce

A red sauce that’ll change their pasta game… 

Your typical grocery store brands may be a fine option in a pinch — but you’ll rock their world with this restaurant-quality sauce with a cult-like following. It’s a blend of ripe tomatoes, fresh herbs, red chili peppers, and black winter truffle. Essentially: umami in a jar. Choose the arrabbiata flavor for a subtle kick, pomodoro for the spice-averse, or combo pack. They’ll find themselves looking for any excuse to cook with it, promise. ($29.99/2 pack, Truff)

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A pasta machine

A pasta machine that’ll transport them to the Amalfi Coast come dinnertime… 

This chrome-plated kitchen gadget rolls and cuts fresh dough for fettuccini, lasagna, and more. It comes with an instruction manual and all the tools they’ll need, so even if they’re not used to making pasta from scratch — they’ll be good to go. Now that’s amore. ($80.15, Amazon

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DIY Cheese kit

A DIY kit for the budding cheesemonger in your life... 

They’ll just need milk and some kitchen staples, like a colander, pot, spoon, and measuring utensils. Even amateur chefs will have no trouble whipping up some fresh mozzarella and ricotta in a flash. Compliments to the chef. ($29, Grommet)

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A mushroom-growing kit

A mushroom-growing kit for anyone who loves a good project… 

All they have to do is soak the log and keep it in a cool, damp, dark place. Boom — fresh shiitakes in about six weeks time. The log lasts for up to three years, which means there will be a lot of mushroom-centered meals in their future. Lucky them. ($30, Uncommon Goods)

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A small but mighty kitchen gadget

A small but mighty kitchen gadget that’ll make them feel like a five-star chef… 

Though it’s just 13 inches tall, this WiFi- and Bluetooth-enabled sous vide tool has serious prowess. (ICYMI: Sous vide is a super precise method of cooking that involves gradually heating vacuum-sealed food in temperature-controlled water.) All they have to do is attach the device to the side of a pot, set the sealed food in a bath of water, then set it and forget it. It even works with Amazon’s Alexa. Michelin star restaurant who? ($199.95, Amazon)

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Fresh macaroons

Fresh macaroons that’ll hit the sweet spot... 

This variety pack of soft, chewy coconut macarons come encased in crispy Belgian chocolate. They'll experience delicious flavors like amarena cherry and salted caramel. Did we mention they’re gluten- and egg-free? Because they are. Chef’s kiss indeed. ($30/12 pack, Michelle’s Maccs)

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sourdough cookbook

A cookbook for someone who’s still on a sourdough kick…

This cookbook puts artisanal sourdough techniques at the center — and will take their skills to the next level. It’s full of step-by-step instructions complete with helpful photos to guide them through mixing, shaping, and baking everything from pizza dough to challah bread. We loaf to see it. ($14.77, Amazon)

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If you buy anything from this article, theSkimm may get something in return. Oh, and if something’s out of stock, oops, it was there (and all prices were accurate) when we published. Thanks.

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