20 Gifts These Chefs Want to Give (and Get) for the Holidays
Somehow, the holidays are right around the corner. While joy can feel in short supply right now, sometimes the best way to lift your spirits is by giving. The holiday season is a brilliant time to distract yourself from quarantine despair and the relentless news cycle by doing some shopping for the people you love most.
If you're looking for great gift ideas to give (or get), you're in luck. We reached out to some of our favorite chefs for their picks of the perfect holiday gifts for food lovers. Their suggestions are sure to inspire you to find the perfect gift to give, get, or make for yourself and/or others during the holiday season.
Carla Hall, chef and television personality
GET: All-Clad Non-Stick Pans
"One of the things I would like to get is All-Clad's new non-stick pans. Have you seen them? They are so sexy. They are beautiful. The handles are cantilevered for the size of the pot. Non-stick pans that go in the oven. BEAUTIFUL!" From $80 at williams-sonoma.com or amazon.com
GIVE: AP's Back Beach Bees Honey
"I usually go to the Metropolitan Food Show and find a small batch maker, someone I don't know, and I give a gift from them to everyone. This year, I found AP's Back Beach Bees—a woman named Judy Hazel, who makes organic honey and jam from Sullivan's Island. It's harvested in spring, and the honey tastes amazing. The bees feed on local wildflowers and the straw they use to make Charleston baskets. She makes this bourbon and fig jam that was to die for. These are some of my gifts this year." apsbackbeachbees.com
Amethyst Ganaway, chef and food writer
GET: Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer Attachments
"For this holiday, I would love some Kitchen Aid stand mixer attachments! Being out of a restaurant and doing more developing from home has shown me I need a lot more tools, but I don't want to take up too much space with a bunch of individual gadgets." $100 at williams-sonoma.com
GIVE: Gift cards to Black-owned food businesses
"For a gift, I think gift cards to Black-owned food businesses would be one of the best things I could give to people. It takes the guessing out of gift giving by letting people pick out what they'd want, and you support a Black-owned business and hopefully get them a new customer!"
Cory Bahr, chef at Parish Restaurant
GIVE: Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler
"The original Kuhn Rikon peeler makes the perfect stocking stuffer. I've used them nonstop for the last 25 years and they are priceless. From peeling garlic or potatoes, to shaving vegetables for a salad, they are absolutely a choice piece of equipment in my toolbox!" $12.50 at amazon.com
GET: Berard Round Salt Cellar
"I love gifts that are useful and this salt cellar is useful and beautiful! You can put it right next to your stove you know where it's really handy and it looks as great as it functions." $55 at amazon.com
Jocelyn Delk Adams, founder of Grandbaby Cakes
GIVE: Automatic Pan Stirrer
"Everyone could use an extra pair of hands in the kitchen, and this automatic pan stirrer definitely helps out when you need them." $25 at uncommongoods.com
GET: Tomorrow's Kitchen Instant Marinator
"This instant marinator. Because even in the middle of a pandemic, I am staying super busy and that's why having something that speeds up adding incredible flavor to my foods is a must." $40 at amazon.com
Maya-Camille Broussard, founder of Justice of the Pies
GIVE and GET: "Lunchroom cookies"
"Living well into her 90s, my great-aunt Ruby is one of my eldest relatives. She still cooks the entire holiday dinner every year. She knows that I am coming there specifically for her lemon pound cake and my mom is showing up for her rutabaga. That's all we want to eat during the holidays each year; that's her gift to us.
One year, I noticed that the dessert table was a little bit lean that year because my Aunt Ruby doesn't bake as many desserts as she used to. So that following year I made "lunchroom cookies" (Chicago's affectionate name for butter cookies that are shaped with a three-finger indentation). I got a late start and was rushing when making the batter before Aunt Ruby's dinner because I was a bit burnt out from baking holiday pies the night before. So, I whipped up and cling wrapped a log of cookie batter, took it to her house, and baked it fresh. The cookies didn't even make it to the dining table; we all crowded in the kitchen, munched, and moaned as the cookies melted in our mouths.
Every year since then, Aunt Ruby asks, 'Mayra bringing those cookies by?' Mind you, my name is Maya, but she never got it right. Each year during the holiday season, she now looks for my gift of lunchroom cookies. Similarly, I look forward to her lemon pound cake and her mispronunciation of my name."
Julius Russell, chef at A Tale of Two Chefs
GIVE: Seasoning blends
"I love to give unique and flavorful seasonings. At a time when home cooks are cooking, more than the usual. I like sending a seasoning blend that can jazz up one of the mainstays. Or it can be something that can create an entirely new dish. This helps break up the monotony of everyday cooking for some people."
GET: Food club membership
"I want a bacon of the month or BBQ sauce of the month, food club-like gift. Bacon and BBQ are two of my favorite things."
Eric Rivera, chef at Addo Seattle
GIVE: Spice mixes
"I like to give spices and ingredients that people have never tried. Usually, I'll make a spice mix around that time of year so it's a one-off thing that they can use." From $5 at ericriveracooks.com
"I like to receive food as well but it doesn't need to be anything crazy or fancy. When people find different flavors of SPAM, it's super cool for me." 12-pack from $30 at amazon.com
Jeremiah Bullfrog, chef and television personality
GIVE: Best of the Season Box
"A great option for under $100 is the Best of the Season box from Farmer Jones Farm at the Chef's Garden. They grow some amazing fresh produce for the best chefs in the country. It's a real treat for the general public to take advantage." $89 at Farmer Jones Farm
GET: Roccbox Portable Pizza Oven
"A great big baller food-related holiday gift would be the Roccbox Portable Pizza Oven. It gets rip-roaring hot, which makes for stellar pizza. A game-changer by allowing folks to produce restaurant quality pies at home (or the beach.)" $499 at amazon.com
Emily Nejad, founder of Bon Vivant Cakes
GIVE: Nougat batons
"EVERYONE is getting nougat batons from Sugoi Sweets this year. These have been my go-to pandemic sweet splurge and they are so, SO worth it. Belgium chocolate, a luxurious variety of toasted nuts, and dried fruit nestled into marshmallow-y soft nougat. It's BEYOND delicious." $9.50 at sugoisweets.com
Carol Hilker, cookbook author
GIVE: Custom recipe plate
"I think the holidays this year are going to be a little simpler. The first few weeks of COVID, living alone and being in isolation, I became very sentimental and now, months later, I still haven't seen my family and I miss them. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about my Grandma Stella, who passed away about six years ago. She was our rock and the cook in my family. All recipes, technique, and many food memories in our lineage lead back to her. I would like to gift my family members with a custom recipe plate of her beef stroganoff recipe, written in her handwriting. The best place to find these is on Etsy." $70 at etsy.com
Natalie Slater, founder of Bake and Destroy
GIVE: uKeg Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker
"The gift I would give is the uKeg Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker. This gadget allows you to brew and infuse your own nitro cold brew at home, in about 24 hours. If you've been avoiding coffee shops out of an abundance of caution, or just spending more time at home, it's a really fun gadget, and once you've mastered the nitro cold brew you can find tutorials online to infuse lattes. There are lots of coffee gadgets out there, but this is one that will actually get used and appreciated." $200 at williams-sonoma.com or amazon.com
Tregaye Fraser, chef and television personality
"This year I'm giving flavor to the holidays with my specialty seasoning brand. The box comes with four seasonings. I personally blended the spices, which are spicy Southwestern, all-purpose seasoning, Sweet Sensation seasoning, and barbecue rub." $35, cheftregaye.com
GET: Cast-Iron Kitchen Set
"I would most definitely like a new cast iron kitchen set, and an unlimited credit card to go clothes shopping. Hey, a girl can wish, right? That's what the holidays are all about!" $520 at williams-sonoma.com