Great Gifts for Your Favorite Cook in 2016
Hedley & Bennett Aprons
Ellen Bennett was a model and line cook before she started Hedley & Bennett, the country's coolest line of top-quality aprons, donned by star chefs like Hugh Acheson, Barbara Lynch, and Curtis Stone. Her dual background explains her approach: natty form sewn to sturdy function. "Our quality control team goes the extra 26 miles. The aprons are given the attention of a two-star Michelin restaurant," she says.
From $60, hedleyandbennett.com
Picnic Time Fajita Station
The ultimate set up for fajita making, this Fajita Station is solidly built with cast-iron and wood components. Created to be easy-to-use for the park or camp ground, it includes everything you need to make a Mexican-inspired dinner.
Wüsthof 4-Piece Steak Knife Set with Plum Wood Handles
Don't give just any steak knife set this holiday. Give the ultimate set. Wüsthof's new 4-Piece Plum Steak Knife Set cleanly slices the thickest, toughest cuts of meat. Their wood composite handles are sculpted to reduce fatigue (and also to be beautiful, of course). The steel blades are made of high-carbon, stain-resistant alloy that is engineered to stay razor-sharp after many many uses.
Belle & Union Kitchen Traditions Recipe Box
With its heirloom quality, Belle and Union's Kitchen Traditions Recipe Box deserves to be displayed. Made of salvaged Colorado blue pine, this simply designed box holds 24 letterpress recipe cards and six colored dividers, perfect for keeping favorite recipes close at hand. Fill out a card with your most famous cake recipe, and gift this set to a newlywed, new home owner, or the favorite young cook on your list.
KitchenAid Artisan Mini Stand Mixer
If ever a small appliance had a cult following, it’s the KitchenAid stand mixer. Bakers, cooks, and the kitchen DIYers among us fawn over the Michigan-based company’s colorful iconic stand mixers. This year, they added a new addition to their fleet: the Artisan Mini Stand Mixer. It is 20% smaller and 25% lighter than the brand’s Classic Stand Mixer, which makes it ideal for individuals with limited counter space or those who aren’t churning out large batches of baked goods. The Mini mixer’s bowl capacity is just 3.5 quarts, and the mixer is available in 10 colors.
Microplane Master Series Graters
Few cooks know that Microplane, the acclaimed zester and grater maker, began as a woodworking tool company. In honor of their beginnings, they created this new collection of artisanal-style hand-held graters, and they're just plain gorgeous. It's also the first release from the company to incorporate wood in the handle design. Available in four paddle-shaped graters (fine, ribbon, coarse, and extra coarse) and one rasp-style fine grater, the stainless steel frame boasts beautiful walnut handles sources here in the U.S.A.
Starts at $27, williams-sonoma.com
UncommonGoods Foodie Dice
Great for giving a little kitchen inspiration, these Foodie Dice are a fun way to figure out dinner. Each pack contains dice to represent protein, cooking methods, grains, herbs, bonus ingredients, and seasonal produce. With over 186,000 possible combinations, they're sure to never give you a boring meal.
Breville One-Touch Tea Maker
If you're serious about loose-leaf tea and want to brew black, green, white, and oolong to perfection, Breville's got you covered. Their new tea maker lets you program water temps and steep times, with a moving tea basket for peak infusion.
Breville Thermal Pro Clad Stainless Steel 5-Quart Covered Sauté with Helper Handle
Breville has been a big name in kitchen appliances and electronics for many decades, but this year, they took their technology and know-how to the cookware department. This superior line of pots and pans is second to none in performance and efficiency. This covered sauté is an investment piece, but it'll be a workhorse in the kitchen, going from quick stir-fries to simple sauces and simmers. If you are looking to give one big gift this year to your favorite cook, make it this one. They will be most appreciative.
The Pioneer Woman Harvest Bakeware Set
Bright and bold designs make this 10-Piece Harvest Bakeware Set stand out from everyday kitchen items. The versatile kit includes a loaf pan, rolling pin, 4-piece measuring bowls, and 4-piece measuring spoons.
Anolon 10" Round Teak & Marble Serving Board
It's a serving board, trivet, cheese board, or just something beautiful to sit on the kitchen counter. For the person on your list who loves beautiful natural materials, this 10-inch round Teak & Marble Serving Board from Anolon is a can't-fail gift. Add a cookbook by a favorite author or custom-printed recipe cards to round off a perfect gift for your favorite cook.
Built NY Go-Go Baking Dish with Insulated Carrier
If your friend is constantly on casserole duty for new babies, sick friends, or just because they're a wonderful person who likes to feed the people they love, they need Built NY's 2-Piece Go-Go Baking DIsh with Insulated Carrier. Available in Red Dot and Plum Dot, the two-piece set includes a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with plastic lid and a Neoprene carrier sleeve. The sleeve keeps foods warm or cool and features a comfortable handle for easy carrying.
Perpetual Kid Cheese Degrees Cutting Board
A light-hearted take on the traditional cheese board, this Cheese Degrees Cutting Board guarantees no more uneven slices. Made of sturdy bamboo, the measuring features are engraved for durability.
Circulon 2-Quart Morning Bird Teakettle in Chocolate
Morning cups of tea are much more enjoyable to brew when done so in this chocolaty brown kettle. Circulon's 2-Quart Morning Bird Teakettle features a sleek contemporary design with a melodic whistle that blows just as the water comes to a boil. Control the flow of water with a squeeze-and-pour handle. This kettle is so beautiful it's okay to want to leave it on the counter all day, even when it's not in use.
Zwilling J.A. Henckels Blackened Carbon Steel 8" Chef Knife
Now this knife is a work of art. Master artisans from Germany's Zwilling J.A. Henckels factory hand-forge cutlery from carb steel so the knife stays razor-sharp use after use. This collection is a unique work of art because each metalsmith finishes burnishing every piece. Gift this gorgeous knife to the cook who adores beautiful craftsmanship in everything from food to cooking tools.
Short Stack 1-Year Subscription
Get six issues a year of Short Stack's collectible cookbooks. Similar in design to a zine, these small-format books focus on a singular ingredient and feature recipes created to highlight its various uses.
Juiceman 3-in-1-Total Juicer
The ultimate in juicing and extracting, the Juiceman 3-in-1-Total Juicer combines a blender, juice extractor, and citrus juicer in one compact machine. A 24-ounce Tritan BPA-free blender cup holds whatever liquids you need, and a 4-tip stainless steel blade presses every drop of juice from your favorite fruits. When you're juicing, catch pulp in the machine's extra-large two-liter container, and then pack everything away in one space-saving design to keep from taking up precious kitchen space.
Calphalon Contemporary 12-Piece Space-Saving Self-Sharpening Knife Block Set
You don't have to worry about when and if to sharpen your knives with this self-sharpening set of knives from Calphalon. Built-in ceramic sharpeners in each knife slot ensure peak sharpness and proper blade angle for precise sharpening. The 12-piece set includes paring knife, six steak knives, kitchen shears, santoku, bread knife, and chef's knife. This set is a great starter block for newly weds, first-time home owners, or people just looking for a knife block they can rely on for years.
Magical Butter Machine
Originally designed for use with botanicals (read: marijuana), the Magical Butter Machine has a world of culinary uses. Through blending and heat, it quickly infuses (in an hour) foods that would normally take days or even weeks. Oils, vinegars, and liquors are just a few of the products you can add intense flavor to. It also has other cooking uses, like creating drinks, sauces, and soups. The weekend cooking hobbyist will appreciate the encouragement to play with their food in fun new ways. You may just get to enjoy their flavorful creations.
KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Mini Food Processor
A mini food processor is a healthy cook's right-hand small appliance. This compact tool makes quick work of chopping vegetables, nuts, and other foods. It also makes pesto, nut butters, spreads, and sauces with ease. Plus, it's available in 12 colors, so you can show a little personality with your pick.
Calphalon Signature Nonstick Bakeware
One of the titans of cookware launched its best-ever bakeware set this holiday season. Calphalon's new Signature Nonstick Bakeware is designed to be four times more durable than their previous Simply line. Each piece is ideal for the home cook, but it's made strong enough for professional performance. When it comes to bakeware, money spent is product earned. Investing in good baking pieces pays off beautifully in perfectly cooked brownies, cookies, cakes, and pies. Dishwasher and oven safe up to 500°F.
Belle & Union Half Pint Baking Bundle
Hand-carved and adorably engraved with phrases like "stirring up trouble," this Half Pint Baking Bundle is a great way to introduce the next generation to baking. Created from hardwood sugar maple, this keepsake kit includes a rolling pin, mixing paddle, and spreader. Everything is food prep-safe, so let your littlest cooks join you as you mix, measure, roll, and bake.
RBT Beer Growler
Beer growlers are easily one of the trendiest gifts in 2016. Until recently, most growlers haven't been very appealing to the eye. Their function was more important than their form—keep the beer drinkable as long as possible. Now, however, RBT's Beer Growler is changing all that. Made of nylon, silicone, aluminum, and stainless steel, this bottle holds 64 ounces of your favorite brewski. For the beer lover on your list, include a gift card to a favorite brewery and this growler so they can take a few home.
Black + Decker XL Blast Drink Machine
Have someone on your list who loves to stay behind the bar and blend margaritas, daiquiris, or smoothies? Consider this Black + Decker XL Blast Drink Machine their new best friend. The 72-ounce BPA-free Tritan lightweight one-piece jar can take all the mixed drinks and shakes they can mix up. For bartending nights, a 2-ounce measuring shot glass is built into the lid, and to keep things icy cold, an insulated chill sleeve protects the beverages from outside temps so chilly drinks stay cooler longer.
Olympia Provisions Pickle of the Month Club
Olympia Provisions uses local produce and ingredients sourced from the Northwest to create their quality pickles. Each month, the recipient of the Pickle of the Month Club will get a 9-ounce jar of various pickled veggies. With picks like fennel, green beans, and giardiniera, they're sure to never be bored with this gift that gives all year long.
Zwilling Sorrento Plus 2-piece Double-Wall Glass Coffee Mug Set
After the crowds have cleared, encourage your happy hostess to sit down to a warm cup of coffee with these beautiful new glass coffee mugs. This isn't your average coffee cup though. Each piece is double-walled to protect hands from hot liquid, and the design sets it apart from the random collection of mugs your hostess has certainly collected over the years. These coffee cups are as much about enjoying the beauty of the coffee as they are savoring the taste.
Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 Electric Spiralizer
The ideal gift for the healthy cook, Hamilton Beach's 3-in-1 Electric Spiralizer makes quick work of zucchini, carrots, squash, and any veggies you can think of turning into noodles. Two speeds of electric power are controlled by a comfortable-grip handle, and when the cook is done making strings from vegetables, they can store all the pieces safely and compactly.
Minted Custom Printed Recipe
The recipe card that's so fragile you're afraid to touch it. The piece of ledger paper that's been folded so many times it's nearly falling apart, stained where a spoon once rested. There's hardly anything more precious to a cook than an heirloom recipe in a beloved family member's slanted script. That's why companies such as Minted are helping turn your retro recipes into frame-worthy pieces of art. Simply send them a photo or scan of the recipe, and a design consultant will go to work customizing your culinary memento—you can remove index card lines or combine multiple pages, for example. Prices begin at $37, including a frame, with numerous printing options. The foil-pressed version we show here is $158.
Find more info by searching "Completely Custom Recipe" at minted.com.
Masala Mama Produce Bags
The perfect gifts for someone who is already a staunch fan of reusable grocery bags, step up their game with these reusable produce bags. These unbleached organic cotton alternatives are machine washable, so avoid sharing bacteria between grocery hauls. They also double as great gift bags or grab-and-go bas for lunches and snacks.
Nate Berkus Marble Cheese Stand
This new black marble cheese board from Nate Berkus will make any entertainer giddy on Christmas morning. The metal hairpin feet are finished in metallic gold, and the board's elegant presentation resembles any beautiful sculpture at an art museum. Even better, this beautiful board is dishwasher-safe, so a tired cook can drop this in their dishwasher after a party and not bother hand washing.
Sal Del Mar Sea Salt
For the gourmet in your life, this Cortez sea salt is sure to thrill. Packaged in a hand-embroidered bag, each is distinctly unique in color scheme and design.
WellnessMat Signature Collection
For cooks who stand for hours stirring, canning, decorating, or baking, WellnessMats is a gift of a lifetime. These anti-fatigue mats are designed with ergonomics and kitchen function in mind. You can color match to your favorite cook's kitchen, and now you can monogram for an extra layer of personalization. The Signature Collection is available in two patterns, eight colorways, and two sizes. Monograms are available in gold or silver so you can create a mat that is as unique as your loved one.
Starts at $150, wellnessmats.com
Michael Michaud Asparagus Handle Serving Set
Add a bit of whimsy to dinner or a buffet with this Asparagus Handle Serving Set. Handmade in New York of 100% pewter, this two-piece serving set is a gift that will last a lifetime.
Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker
We've been big fans of the Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker since the single-sandwich style come on the market a few years ago. Many Cooking Light editors and staff use their sandwich maker still, but Hamilton Beach improved their very popular machine by doubling its capacity. Make a wholesome homemade breakfast sandwich in just a few minutes every morning. This gift is ideal for a busy young professional, retired couple, or anyone who really could use a helping hand getting food on the table any morning.