What to Buy Your Favorite Chef for the Holidays

pots and pans hanging on a rack

As someone who has been into cooking for a while, I expect that someone will get me some type of cooking tool or utensil that they think I'll like. And sometimes I do. But since I've been cooking (professionally I might add) for almost two decades, I have everything that I really need.

Yet someone always gets me measuring cups, trendy cookware, or gadgets that do one thing not very well. You don't have to be a professional to have a nice collection. I mean people eat everyday, so if you're cooking a lot, you may have everything you need.

But some people really do enjoy it and will appreciate something nice. But how do you know who and what they want? Here are some tips.

First, don't buy blind. Especially if you're buying tools or accessories that most people have. While I appreciate any gift, I don't need a set of kitchen tools or knives. I have amassed a huge collection of measuring cups, spatulas, and mixing bowls. While there might be one of these things somewhere that I might like, a generic set of measuring spoons is something I don't need or have the space for.

It helps to pay attention to these things all year round. If the person has cooked for you, have you noticed problems that may have a solution? Maybe they have cheap cookware that doesn't heat very well, or chopping garlic is hard for them. These are easy things to get people that you can be assured they will use. Maybe you cooked for them and they commented on something they thought was neat ("Oh, I like these angled measuring cups!") This is the perfect opportunity for a good gift.

That said, there are always things I would love anyone to get for me. Things like:
  • Kitchen towels
  • Sheet pans
  • Parchment sheets
  • Fancy ingredients: oils, spice mixes, vanilla beans, cheese
  • Cookbooks, especially ones you use and love
  • Fancy hand soap
  • Handmade things: aprons, pot holders, etc.

But to get the best gifts, pay attention to what they like to cook, and also what they have or don't have. And remember, just because they don't have it doesn't mean it's a good gift.

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