Cook up a great holiday gift.
It’s Unpeeled Journal’s second annual Holiday Gift Guide for Home Cooks, Lovers of Food, and Baking Enthusiasts! Basically, if there’s someone in your life who loves to cook, bake, or eat in 2021, then we have some creative holiday gift ideas for you. Read on.
The Best Gift Ideas for Home Cooks, Bakers, and Food Lovers
Holiday shopping can be tricky. But thankfully, great gift ideas abound for the food and cooking lover in your life. Whether you want to gift someone a practical, high-quality kitchen equipment upgrade, or just some fun food-themed socks and PJs to put a smile on your loved one’s face, this food-lovers gift guide has you covered in every price range.
Ed. Note: Each of these items is a personal, independent selection. No paid promotions, benefits, or profits.
2021 Holiday Gift Ideas for Cooking Enthusiasts + Food Lovers
Category 1: Holiday Food and Cooking Gifts Under $30
This will be on my holiday gift ideas list every year. The finishing salt of finishing salts, this large flakey sea salt has a lovely, not-too-salty flavor and adds that little special touch to everything from pastas to avocado toast. An essential for every chef ever.
2. A Beautiful Olive Wood Ladle
This homey ladle, crafted by high-quality butcher block makers Boos, would look fantastic in a countertop utensil crock, and makes sturdy work of any soup or stock project. At $29.95, the price is also very good for a ladle of this quality (compare: this $49.00 ladle from Sur La Table).
3. A Good Cookbook
Always a good call for cooks. There are always essential classics any home cook deserves to own, and this year had some fantastic new cookbooks to add to an existing collection.
My favorite cookbooks of 2021 include:
- Don Angie restaurant’s Italian-American: upscale Italian-American food from an N.Y.C. “it” restaurant
- Baking With Dorrie, by Dorrie Greenspan: accessible, French-leaning desserts from the beloved cook and baker
- Once Upon a Chef: Weeknight/Weekend is Jenn Segal’s second cookbook, once again featuring a collection of trusted recipes you’ll want to make, from easy weeknight dinners to special-occasion feasts
- To Asia With Love, by Hetty McKinnon: I’m cooking my way through this entire collection of wholesome, delicious Asian home-cooking recipes (all of which happen to be vegetarian). You should, too.
- Cook This Book, by Molly Baz: Any cooking Millennial in your life would love to get this collection of fun, modern, can-do recipes.
- The Arabesque Table, by Reem Kassis: Reem’s collection of 130 Arabic home cooking recipes (organized by main ingredient) will certainly enliven your home-cooking repertoire — and offer fascinating look at history and culture, too.
Not everyone would be excited about receiving a jar of salted little fish. But a gourmet cook definitely would be. Salt-packed anchovies are heads and fish tails above the plain, canned supermarket variety, and make a briny and melt-in-your-mouth addition to everything from Caesar salad to pastas.
5. Deluxe Pasta
If you love cooking Italian food, it’s time you discovered Gustiamo, the source for all things Italian gourmet. I would personally love a package or two of gourmet pasta stuffed in my stocking. Martelli’s is a particular favorite.
6. A Banneton
For those into making artisanal loaves at home, this bread proofing basket is essential. It also makes an attractive serving bowl for sliced bread.
7. A Food Christmas Tree Ornament
Many shops and online retailers offer food Christmas tree ornaments, but the best and largest ornament selection I’ve found online is at Old World Christmas. It’s hard not to buy too many; the food ornament selection is so large, it’s organized by category!
John Derian is the king of kitchy-but-classy faux food candles. This year’s collection is guaranteed to bring smiles. These add a fun, whimsical boost to any food-lover’s holiday spirit.
9. A Trivia Game
Foodie Fight is one of my favorite food trivia games. Attempt to stump even the most accomplished home cook and baker with questions about ingredients, food science, food history, famous chefs, and more.
10. A Blow Torch
Think mile-high meringue, crême brulée, and under-broiled roasts. Julia Child is (falsely) attributed as saying, “Every woman should own a blowtorch.” She may not have actually said it, but I completely agree. This blow torch from the Web Restaurant Store is a best buy. Amazon has some good options, too.
Gift Ideas for Cooking Enthusiasts + Food Lovers: $31 to $100
1. A Champagne Saber
Nothing says “party!” like popping a cork in ultimate style.
A French champagne saber is surprisingly easy to master (don’t tell your guests) but makes a celebratory and fun occasion even more memorable. This is one of the best-quality-for-the-price options I’ve found. Great for wine enthusiasts, people who love hosting, and cooks who have everything.
Whether you’re diving into takeout or serving up homemade Asian food, elevate your chopsticks game with these colorful, modern chopsticks from Hay, a go-to spot for trendy and fun Danish design.
Hedley & Bennett is the woman-owned apron company making huge inroads in professional and home kitchens alike. They are beautifully made in the U.S.A., and come in a variety of sizes and designs.
H&B has multiple styles and prints, but their Essential collection is a no-fail way to go. The company also carries canvas totes and other accessories.
If you’re not decanting your wine, it’s time to start. Anyone can aerate their holiday wine in style with this modern decanter.
6. A Gorgeous Bundt Pan
Anyone who loves to bake cakes deserves to have something beautiful to bake them in. Nordic Ware makes a large variety of beautiful, sturdy bundt cake molds, many of which are currently on sale. This year, I’m partial to this Brilliance bundt pan.
7. A Lovely Serving Tray
This Anthropologie serving platter would make a beautiful addition to any tablescape. So pretty it’s almost a shame to cover it with food.
Gift Ideas for Cooking Enthusiasts + Food Lovers: $100 and Up
The Dualit toaster will deliver even, reliable toast with a side of sleek, classic design for your countertop. It’s uncomplicated (just an up/down lever and dial) and will last a lifetime. I like the full chrome, but it’s available in lots of colors. There’s also a 4-slice option.
Who wouldn’t love a set of high-quality grill tools that come in their own case? These grill tools are a Williams-Sonoma bestseller for good reason.
For the serious coffee enthusiast in your life, a Technivorm Mocca Master coffee maker brews smooth, pour-over coffee that rivals any coffee house.
4. Bedhead Pajamas in a Fun Food Prints
My favorite brand of high-quality pajamas is Los Angeles-based Bedhead. The company offers several food-themed prints each year. This year, gift the food lover in your life a pajama set like margaritas, brunch, macarons, milk and cookies, or (my favorite) tacos, below.
5. A “You’ll Have It Forever” Cutting Board from Boos
A John Boos cutting block is the thick, high-quality cutting board preferred by many chefs and talented home cooks. The shop offers multiple sizes and woods, but I love this rather large, solid workhorse in maple.