How to Choose Christmas Gifts for a Chef


Choosing Christmas gifts for a chef may seem daunting when he has a kitchen full of professional gadgets at his disposal. However, if you think creatively, you can find ideal gifts that will appeal to his love for good food and give him a night away from the kitchen. When choosing presents for your chef’s home kitchen, do a little digging and pick gifts that he may not have but would enjoy owning for a little culinary experimentation.

Chef's Night Out

  • Most chefs work long hours -- and at times, late into the evening -- which can leave very little “me time.” Choosing a gift certificate for a hip, fine-dining restaurant, allows him to take a break from cooking and taste dishes created by up-and-coming chefs. If he is the adventurous type, give your favorite chef a gift certificate to a trendy, blind-tasting restaurant -- which are popping up in many major cities -- where he can test his culinary senses with food served in a dark environment.

A Few New Tricks

  • A culinary class teaching the art of making chocolate, wine or cheese -- or even sushi rolling -- for a budding chef can add to his skill set, while a seasoned sous or executive chef might prefer a wine or ice-wine tasting experience at a local vineyard. If there are no wineries in your region, check local wine-and-cheese shops or specialty wine stores for tasting classes. Alternatively, buy tickets to an upcoming food festival where the chef can taste and learn about local food products while rubbing shoulders with celebrity chefs in the industry.

The Ultimate Foodie

  • Impress the chef with a gift basket filled with exclusive food items such as a tin of high-quality black caviar, a single black French truffle or a bottle of less-expensive truffle oil. Add a bottle of infused or freshly pressed olive oil or an aged bottle of balsamic vinegar. If the chef in your life enjoys watching movies, give her some of the best foodie flicks for an evening of entertainment such as “Julie & Julia,” which parallels the life of chef Julia Child and food blogger Julie Powell, or “Ratatouille,” an animated movie about a rat with a passion for cooking French food. Whip up some homemade, gourmet popcorn such as a savory, Parmesan pepper popcorn or a traditional caramel corn, and package it in cellophane bags. Tie the bags with a decorative ribbon and give them together with the movies.

A Few of Her Favorite Things

  • When choosing gifts for your chef’s kitchen, pick items that she would enjoy owning and experimenting with such as a fondue set, pasta maker, ice cream maker or waffle iron. If she loves a great cup of coffee or tea, give her a coffee or tea press, or a single-cup coffee maker that works with her favorite brew. Chefs love their tools of the trade, and quality chef’s, paring and bread knives are always useful. However, when it comes to knives, a gift certificate at a knife shop might be more appropriate, since most chefs have a personal preference for their knives based on the weight and feel in their hands.

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