Inner Chef

Enjoy your kitchen, your food and your inner chef

Christmas Gifts for the Cooks in Your Life

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I want to talk about gifts for the cooks in your life. Whether they are beginners or well-experienced cooks; there is always something to be found.

The important thing is to make sure the gift is not so mechanical that it freaks out the beginner or bores the experienced. While it’s fun to see all the gadgets they have out; before purchasing them, ask yourself this: “Is it worth the money?”  “Will they actually use it more than twice a year?”

Below are some gift ideas for the beginner, moderate and experienced cook in your life.

Beginner Cooks:

  1. Cookbooks! Everyone loves a good cookbook. Cooks from beginner to the well-experienced can learn something and create amazing dishes. Used bookstores have an amazing assortment of cookbooks ranging from old textbooks to books by their favorite celebrity chef.
  2. Cuisinart 5” Santuko knife. These knives are easy to handle, they last a long time and are usually inexpensive.
  3. Large, good-quality cutting board. For best results when looking for a cutting board; look for the NFS seal. This seal shows the user than it is safe for use in restaurants and this means it’s tough and reliable!
  4. Measuring cups and measuring spoons. I use stainless steel cups and spoons. They won’t warp if I get them too close to the oven and they won’t stain or hold odor the way the plastic and silicone do.
  5. Finally, a nice set of pots and pans. I use restaurant quality pots and pans and it takes getting used to (they are not non-stick). I wouldn’t use anything else, but the      beginner may feel more at ease with a set of non-stick pots and pans. Easy clean up and just in case something gets cooked a little too long; it won’t stick.

Moderate Cooks:

  1. Cookbooks! Yep, I will say it again, everyone loves getting cookbooks. Try finding cookbooks that represent how they like to cook or bake. Are they into seafood, grilling, pies, cakes?
  2. Good quality knives are a must for any cook; but moderate and experienced cooks tend to be a bit harder on knives because they are used with many different ingredients that a beginner may not be cooking with. The best present I got one year was my Wüsthof chef’s knife. They are pricy but well worth it.
  3. Emulsion Blender. These are amazing for making vinaigrettes or sauces.
  4. New Utensils. Maybe you have noticed that the cook’s utensils are looking a little worn; I love using stainless steel utensils and a high-grade silicone spatula. The spatula that I have can withstand heat up to 450°, so if I happen to leave it in the pan for a few minutes…it won’t melt.
  5. Gift cards! Who doesn’t like gift cards? This way; if you aren’t sure what they may need or want…it’s covered.

Experienced Cooks:

  1. Blow torch. You read correctly; a blow torch. Now, I am not talking those huge ones you see when someone is welding a car together. A blow torch for making crème Brule or for scorching the tops of certain dishes. Amazon has a really nice blow torch that is like a pencil and doesn’t cost but a fraction of the cost of an actual kitchen      torch.
  2. Oil and Vinegar Pipettes. These are so cool! You can watch and measure your vinegars and oils to the drop!
  3. Cookbooks! That’s right, cookbooks. Going to a second hand book store; you can find amazing deals and amazing books showing different techniques or well-experienced recipes.
Vinegar and Oil Pipettes

Vinegar and Oil Pipettes

Dessert Torch

Dessert Torch

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