Dig in! Here’s the only Best Gifts for Cooks guide you need.
Here are the absolute best gifts for cooks, food lovers, foodies, and bakers. If you’re looking for what gifts to get for home cooks in your life, we’ve got your covered.
The Best Gifts for Cooks and Foodies
It’s Unpeeled Journal’s annual holiday gifts for cooks, food lovers, and bakers guide! Each year, Unpeeled pulls together a list of holiday gifts for home cooks, pro cooks, and foodies that covers a variety of price points and interests. This year, you’ll see gifts from stocking stuffers to big-deal equipment, with lots in between. So this Christmas, you’ll know just what to gift a person who likes to cook, from chefs to home cooks.
So if there’s someone in your life who loves to cook, bake, or eat, then Unpeeled has some creative gift ideas for you. Read on.
(And if you don’t see anything of interest, check out some other best cooking lover gifts roundups and lists of best gifts for home cooks, including last year’s best culinary gifts list from Unpeeled Journal.
What to Get a Person Who Loves to Cook
Gifts for Home Cooks: $50 or Less
These holiday gifts for cooks cost less than $50. These culinary gifts include fun stocking stuffers and practical gifts alike.
Form meets function, as only the French can. This ingenious little spreader creates elegant little butter curls to put on top of hot toast, while also eliminating the problem of spreading a cold chunk of butter. Magnifique!
Home chefs and cooks appreciate good-quality ingredients. This one-pound earthenware crock of Pommery grain mustard (“moutarde”) from France elevates everything from sandwiches to marinades. It also looks great on the kitchen countertop, and makes a great vase or utensil older once it’s all been eaten.
Rock n’ roll cool kids of all ages will get behind this old-school tin lunchbox designed to look just like a Fender amp. Thermos for milk (remember the days?) not included, but c’mon. How cool is this?
Cookie cutters make a very cute gift for home bakers at the holidays, but a lovely set of copper cutters add a classier touch. I particularly like this snowflake set from Williams-Sonoma.
For anyone who loves their food with a side of hot, hot heat: This super tasty, well-seasoned chili oil from the mad geniuses at NYC-based (but now global brand) Momofuku is ready to add some spice to your life — and your stocking stuffer game.
Every chef, home or professional, should have a cooking thermometer. A good cooking thermometer is the most accurate way to tell how your meat is cooked, and makes an essential pastry tool as well. Think: caramel, cake, jams, and more. A home kitchen is not complete without one, and these come in tons of colors.
7. A Top Cookbook of the Year
A gift guide for cooking lovers would not be complete without a few good cookbooks. A nice cookbook also makes a wonderful host gift for the holidays. Some of 2023’s best cookbook releases include:
- Let’s Eat, Dan “Grossy” Pelosi’s ode to personal Italian-American cooking
- Acclaimed food writer Yolande Komolafe’s My Everyday Lagos, featuring West African home cooking
- Start Here, an easy-to-follow cookbook for new and new-ish cooks and food enthusiasts from Sohla El-Waylly
- More Than Cake, famed pastry chef Natasha Pickowicz’s absolutely lovely baking book, designed for happy home baking, often with creative flavor and technique ideas.
You’ll also love: The Unpeeled Guide to All-Time Essential Cookbooks
I saw this in a gift shop somewhere this summer and was completely smitten. This molded tallow taper manages to say “old-fashioned” and “totally modern” at the same time. No candle base necessary; it’s already built in. Perfect for a decorative nook or the dining room tabletop.
Is this the cutest thing? Just when you thought waffles couldn’t get any better, this mini waffle iron makes an adorable addition to any home cook’s toolbox. This nonstick waffle iron makes 4-inch waffles. It gets too hot for kids to use alone, but this could make a fun gift for a parent-child breakfast project. It comes in tons of colors.
10. Baggu Tote Bags
The best and most stylish grocery totes of them all! I’ve been a Baggu fan for years–I often use them as a purse, to be honest. These bags weigh nothing, fold up tiny into their own little pouches, hold a ton of groceries, last forever, and come in many cool prints. Goodbye, bulky canvas totes!
There are travel mugs, and there are Travel Mugs. This is the latter. The Zojirushi is a serious status travel tumbler with all kinds of cred. It keeps beverages hot seemingly forever, and won’t spill. The 20-ounce is my favorite; it holds a nice amount of liquid, but maintains a sleek shape, but the company also makes 12-ounce and 16-ounce options.
The ultimate finishing salt, this large flaky sea salt has a lovely, not-too-salty flavor and adds that little special touch to everything from pastas to roasts to avocado toast and more. An essential for every chef ever. This should last for the year. I put this on the list every year, and always will.
Big (really big, actually), beautiful, and as fun to look through as it is thorough, Let’s Eat Italy! is one of those books you can get lost in for hours on the couch. Once your cook or food lover gets this holiday kitchen gift, they may be more inspired than ever to become immersed in Italian food. This series is also a gift that keeps on giving: Let’s Eat France! is just as good.
14. Serving Spoons
I don’t know anyone who can’t use another set of nice serving utensils. A set of serving spoons or forks makes a particularly good holiday gift for cooking lovers and hosts, with all those big family-style gatherings.
Crate + Barrel always has a good selection. But this year, I really love the options at Williams-Sonoma, with numerous styles in a good price range. This Sicilian-style pair is my particular favorite.
The Best Gifts for Cooks: $50 to $125
These gifts cost a little more money, but make special holiday gifts for cooks, chefs, and food lovers this season. Choices range from the purely whimsical to very beautiful.
Bring a little Paris to your favorite home cook’s kitchen with this authentic, well-made crêpe pan from De Buyer. It’s ergonomic, just the right size, and made of heavy carbon steel for a lifetime of use and beyond. Bonus: The spreader and spatula tools are included.
2. Bread Lamp
Yes, it’s real! And it’s spectacular. Japanese artist Yukiko Morita takes real bread and pastries and turns them into little lamps or “pamp shades.” A cute conversation piece of food-as-art that would make any baker or bread lover smile, you can also choose from kaiser rolls, full baguettes, and more.
A KitchenAid mixer is a gift that keeps on giving. Not everyone knows that KitchenAid mixers can be outfitted with front attachments, like this pasta extruder for fresh ziti, spaghetti, bucatini, rigatoni, and fusilli. Currently offered at a nice discount.
If you like food and have been to Paris, there is a high probability that your wanderings took you into famed bakery Poilâne, a jewel box artisan bakery still using their ancient oven, which arguably turns out the best crusty bread in France.
An in-the-know Francophile food lover will flip for a loaf of their big sourdough miche loaf with its signature swirl “P.” And while you’re at it, throw in a bag of their “punition” butter cookies for yourself.
5. Panini Press
With almost 50 thousand excellent reviews and counting, a nice panini press makes any same-old sandwich into something truly exciting — especially when the cheese starts too ooze out. It doubles as a grill and griddle.
I usually recommend an apron in my holiday gift guides for cooks. Hedley & Bennett is my perennial go-to option. Hedley & Bennett aprons are well made, well-sized, and come in a variety of styles and colors, from Star Wars™-inspired to florals to color block. The company also has adorable kid-sized aprons — a perfect gift idea for the littlest home chefs.
No one does colorful, touch-of-something-different home styling like Scandinavian design company Hay. These lovely tapers and candleholders will make any dining table pop.
8. A Fancy Advent Calendar
You’ll have to snag this well before that first door opens on December 1, the start of Advent. Advent calendars are definitely popular, for good reason. Exhibit A: What about a chocolate truffle per day from internationally-acclaimed La Maison du Chocolat ($95)?
Other best food Advent calendars I’ve seen, in varying price ranges, include:
- Macarons and other gourmet sweet treats from famed French macaron house Ladurée ($149)
- A lovely Bonne Maman jams and preserves Advent calendar ($65)
- The Williams-Sonoma 24 Days of Cookie Baking Advent Calendar ($69.95)
This candle is so much fun, and also gets the award for most realistic food candle around. Made in a family-run factory in Italy, Gohar’s food candle collection is the best, and has everything from profiteroles to cauliflower. This will bring a smile to any cook’s face. The only problem with this kitchen gift is that it may be too pretty to burn.
10. An Avocado Vase
Don’t trash your avocado pit; turn it into an elegant plant for your windowsill. You’ll have fun — and get a great-looking little plant — watching the pit become a leafy branch and root system right in your kitchen thanks to this sleek best seller from the MoMA Design Store.
Holiday Gifts for Cooks and Bakers: $125 and up
A few thoughtful, pricier gift ideas for the cooking lover in your life. This category of gifts for cooks and chefs are designed to impress and indulge your loved one.
Practical? Perhaps not. Fabulous? Absolutely. Imagine hosting a dinner party where you to toss that Caesar salad tableside, or bring it along as part of the most elegant picnic ever. The company also recommends it for Halloween candy. Sold.
Dinner party guests, picnic lovers, and restaurant BYOB goers alike can travel to the meal in serious style with this leather two-bottle wine tote from Mark & Graham. (Note the separate pouch for the bottle opener.) This is a fabulous gift for serious wine lovers. Monograming available.
Have you heard? Dinner parties are back, and so are real linens to serve the meal on. A tablecloth adds something special to any gathering. This Hay table covering from artist Laila Gohar stays minimalist, but also features witty embroidery and appliqués inspired by dining together. Linen Tales also features a good selection of tablecloths.
For the home cook or coffee nerd who is ready to level up their morning beverage, a high-quality countertop espresso machine may be just the thing. This one gets great reviews, and looks so sleek.
Sleek, elegant, timeless — Georg Jensen always delivers. This pitcher will enhance any dining table, and would also make an extraordinary vase for greens or flowers.
These Mosser glass cake pedestals elevate any cake — literally and figuratively. They are also timeless and cheerful. In a range of beautiful colors, it’s hard to pick only one. The 10-inch cake pedestal would be my pick, since it works for both 8- and 9-inch cakes, and would also look beautiful holiding bundts, cookie stacks, and more.
I love a beautiful piece of pottery. Vermont-based Farmhouse Pottery is a longtime favorite of mine for hand-thrown mugs, serving pieces, and more. This sturdy deep-dish pie plate says homey and baked with love. It’s a special heirloom piece the baker in your life deserves.
Italian company Vietri takes pride in their longstanding tradition of hand-painted pasta bowls, serving platters, and more. For a food lover and home cook who appreciates the art of a good family-style pasta meal, a sturdy, rustically charming pasta serving bowl makes a special gift.
The one and only. This cast iron, enamel-coated Dutch oven from Le Creuset is a not only a beautiful kitchen gift, it’s also a workhorse and future heirloom. These sturdy pots come in a variety of sizes and colors, so you’ll find exactly what they (or you) need on top of the stove for soups, stews, and beyond.
10. Great PJs
A hardworking home cook deserves a beautiful night’s rest. Bedhead can always be relied on for chic but fun, high-quality pajamas in a variety of styles. These champagne celebration pajamas will look great for the entire holiday season and beyond. In addition to their women’s collection, this men’s burgers and fries pattern is half price as of this writing, and how cute is the burger baby version?
11. Ooni Pizza Oven
Want to splurge on something that will turn your backyard into an authentic Italian pizza kitchen in no time? The Ooni pizza oven. Ooni has options for electric, wood, gas, and multi-fuel ovens that can heat to a whopping 950 degrees F in about 15 minutes. The electric one can even be used indoors, perfect for satisfying any winter pizzaiola.
Cooking Up the Best Gifts Ideas for Cooks and Food Lovers
This year’s roundup guide includes some of the year’s best gifts for cooking lovers, foodies, home cooks, bakers, and general kitchen enthusiasts alike. Need more foodie gift ideas? Check out previous years’ holiday gift guides for cooks, the Mother’s Day gift guide, or just ask in the comments, below.