22 Last-Minute Kitchen Gifts That Chefs Swear By
The holidays are quickly coming up, and so is the deadline to pick up presents. Choosing the right gift for the aspiring home chef in your life can be tricky, especially with so many options out there. Because of this, we've tapped a bunch of experts to help recommend kitchen gifts that they swear by.
If you're still looking for a gift to pick up for the foodie in your life, then you're in luck. Below, you'll find 22 chef-recommended kitchen gifts that anyone who loves to cook or bake will appreciate. From colorful cookware to trending hot sauce sets, here's what the food pros are suggesting to give this holiday season.
Bamboo Spider Strainer
Chef Sophina Uong of Mister Mao in New Orleans, LA shares that a fun (and useful) stocking stuffer for someone who loves to cook is a bamboo spider strainer. "It's a round strainer and skimmer that is great for getting food in and out of boiling water or hot oil," Uong says. "I love using it for gnocchi and spaghetti."
JB Prince Spatula
"My favorite spatula is from JB Prince, this is a warehouse in NYC that chefs from around the world order from," says Emily Swaine, head chef at Forsythia in New York City. "I was first introduced to this spatula from Chef Jon Lavelle when he was the executive chef at Maialino. It's the best for pasta as well as getting everything out of the Vitamix!"
Great Jones Cookware
Great Jones, the popular kitchenware brand, is an ideal gift for home cooks who may be in the market for new pots and pans. "This holiday season, I would recommend gifting anything from Great Jones—their cookware is top-notch and always a fun, colorful addition to any kitchen," says Chef Michael Johnson.
Sauces by Jrk Hot Sauce Trio
"I also really love Sauces by Jrk's trio of flavorful hot sauces," adds Johnson, "These make a great gift for any home cook and hot sauce lover."
OXO Non-Stick Pro 2 Piece Sheet Pan Set
If you're buying for a baker (or someone who enjoys a good sheet pan recipe), get them something useful that will become their go-to—baking sheets. "I love the OXO sheets for home," shares Chef Joanne Chang, pastry chef and co-owner at Flour Bakery, co-owner of Myers + Chang in Boston, MA, and in-house expert at OXO. "They are nonstick, very sturdy and easy to clean, and they are attractive," Chang adds.
JB Prince Bowl Scraper
Help them get out every last bit with a bowl scraper from JB Prince. "This bowl scraper is a little thinner and the edge is sharper than most bowl scrapers—that's why I like this one so much," says Sandra Palmer, chef-instructor of Pastry & Baking Arts at the Institute of Culinary Education. "It can get every last bit of batter, dough, or whatever needs scraping."
Palmer shares that this handy kitchen tool is great for chocolate work as well as bread making. "No other scraper can rival this one," she says. "I often give these out to my students as gifts when they finish the Pastry & Baking Arts program at the Institute of Culinary Education"
Bachan's Family of Sauces Gift Pack
A favorite of celebrity chef Christopher Kimball, Bachan's Family of Sauces gift set (and individual bottles) makes a great Secret Santa gift for hot sauce lovers. These sauces, which are the #1 selling sauces on Amazon, are made from a heritage family recipe from third-generation founder, Japanese-American Justin Gill. Besides Amazon, Bachan's can also conveniently be found at places such as Whole Foods, Costco, Target, and Kroger.
Miyabi Fusion Damascus Chef's Knife Collection
High-quality knives always make a great gift. "I always use the knives from the Miyabi Fusion Damascus Chef's Knife Collection," says Chef Carlos, chef at JohnMartin's in Miami, FL. "These knives are made of high-quality steel, yet very light, well-balanced, and easy to use."
FinaMill Spice Grinder
Chef Jacoby Ponder recommends picking up a FinaMill this holiday season. Named one of Oprah's Favorites Things, this easy-to-use kitchen grinder is a must-have for anyone who loves to cook.
All-Clad Hard Anodized Cookware Set
"In my opinion, everyone needs a nice set of pans in their home," says Chef Omar Loney, head chef at Kokomo in New York City. "I recommend splurging on a nice set at least once in your life, and will always recommend All-Clad if you're looking for a set that will last you decades if you care for them properly."
The Lettuce Grow Farmstand
Chef, author, and food activist, Sammy Monsour, has a great gift suggestion for those who dream of growing their own produce—The Lettuce Grow Farmstand. "For those who want to grow their own produce, but keep putting it off due to a lack of space, skill, or set up, the Lettuce Grow Farmstand is a unique solution, and what I suggest as a kitchen gift I swear by," says Mansour.
Whether you are looking to grow cucumbers, herbs, salad greens, or more, this handy gadget can help make this a reality. "Snip herbs to order, serve crisp salads of heirloom lettuces, harvest a bunch of chard, and watch it keep growing back—this is everything you've ever wanted in your kitchen, but better," shares Mansour. "It's easy to set up, easy to maintain, incredibly sustainable and you'll actually save money on produce once you're up and running."
Le Creuset Cast Iron Dutch Oven
No kitchen is complete without a Le Creuset Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Recommended by pastry chef Ashley Drum from The Fulton by Jean-Georges in New York City, this versatile piece of cookware can be used to roast, bake, slow-cook, and more.
Braun 3-in-1 MultiQuick Processor
Pesto, chimichurri, whipped cream, minced garlic, pancake batter, vinaigrettes, sauces–you name it, the Braun 3-in-1 Multiquick Processor can (probably) make it.
"This is an absolute must-have for convenience," says Jonathan Dearden, executive chef at Patchwork Philly in Philadelphia, PA. "You'll be cooking like a professional chef in no time with this thing. It's a great gift for the amateur chef or foodie."
Artaste 60034 Stainless Steel Fish Spatula
Sam Lippman, the in-house chef at Hooray Foods, a plant-based bacon brand, suggests gifting a fish spatula for its multi-functionality. "Fish spatulas are the best kind of spatula because they work for almost every function," says Lippman. "They're wide enough for flipping large items but thin and small enough for more precise work. And because they are slotted, they can also work as a slotted spoon or pasta strainer."
Whether they love to whip up smoothies or have been toying with the idea of making their own plant-based milk, a Vitamix helps get the job done—and quickly, too. "A gift I tell everyone to purchase is a Vitamix," says Diana Manalang, chef and owner of Little Chef, Little Café in New York City. "You cannot go wrong with this machine. It's the best for smoothies and purées, hummus, and nut milks."
Any home baker would be over the moon to receive a Kitchenaid mixer, a classic kitchen must-have that can be used to make a whole array of recipes. "As a chef that works with a lot of food items that involve dough with pastas, cake and pizzas, the Kitchenaid Mixer is the easiest way to combine all the ingredients before cooking or baking," shares Chef Salvatore Olivella of Little Charli in New York City.
Make any home chef's life easier by giving them a Thermomix, an impressive multi-use kitchen tool that can cook, simmer, boil, chop, blend, knead, puree, and even grind coffee.
"I actually got my wife a Thermomix last month," mentions Chef Luis Parreira of The Paris Café in New York City. "We have 3 boys and she has a very tight schedule, and the Thermomix has made her kitchen duties way easier."
Chef David Bouhadana, founder and head chef of Sushi By Bou, enthusiastically suggests picking up a Magic Bullet as a last-minute holiday gift. "I use it so much in the kitchen that I bought 2 for my apartment," Bouhadana shares. "From my 2 daily smoothies to margaritas on the boat, it's the best," Bouhadana adds.
Bodum Chambord French Press
"I love my French press coffee maker," says Emmett Burke, owner at Emmett's and Emmett's on Grove in New York City. "Very simple, but I prefer the taste and like the routine of preparing French press coffee."
Carsten Johannsen, chef and partner at Renwick Hospitality Group and Lindens at Arlo Soho in New York City, echoes this sentiment. "A high-quality French press coffee maker is a great holiday gift idea," Johannsen says. "I really enjoy waking up in the mornings and having the ritual of brewing my own cup of coffee with a French press. The start-to-finish process of making coffee this way is highly adaptable and can be modified to suit your specific tastes," Johannsen adds.
Nate Ashton, an executive chef at Gab's in New York City, which is set to open in January 2023, recommends giving a molcajete as a holiday gift. The Mexican version of a mortar and pestle, this handy kitchen tool is made from volcanic rock and can be used for grinding spices, smashing nuts, preparing guacamole, making salsas, and more.
"Because of the unique surface, it really makes all the flavors of your favorite ingredients pop," says Ashton, "Not only is it super useful, but it also adds a really nice aesthetic." Many versions are available at places such as Food52, Williams Sonoma, Crate and Barrel, and Amazon.
Trade Coffee Subscription
Get the always-caffeinated person in your life a gift that keeps giving month after month—a coffee subscription. "This gift is great because the recipient can choose what coffee best matches their tastes and how they brew their coffee," says Andrew Dana, founder and partner at Call Your Mother Deli. "It's a super cool way to get to try different coffees from around the country," Dana adds.
Cup Board Pro
Give them a functional kitchen gift that comes with a heartwarming backstory. "I love the Cup Board Cutting Pro, not only because it keeps things neat in the kitchen, but there is a true meaning and story behind the board," shares Chef Alain Allegretti, a Michelin-starred chef who is also the partner and culinary director at Fig & Olive.
"The cutting board was designed by Keith Young, a New York City firefighter, chef and devoted dad. After losing their dad to cancer, Keith's children are continuing his legacy by bringing his product to life," explains Allegretti.