The culinary arts world is vast, expansive and at times, an overwhelming place for outsiders. Some people love being in the kitchen with a Microplane in their hands and an apron around their waist. Some people are wondering what a Microplane is. This list is a compilation of gift ideas for the person you love, that loves the culinary world. The products mentioned in this post offer the culinary student to pursue their talents further, fine-tune their skills, and maybe reward their gifter with a tasty treat. The list includes ideas from all price points to guarantee there is a gift for every budget. Dig in.
By Paul Freedman and Danny Meyer
This book is perfect for the culinary student who is looking to make a difference in the world with their own restaurant. Ten Restaurants that Changed America illustrates the impact of specific restaurants that challenged or altered the landscape. This is the perfect gift for the foodie that also enjoys history. The book highlights food trends throughout time and the restaurants that introduced new cuisines.
The masses have spoken when it comes to Kitchen Aid Mixers. The reviews for the earlier models echo the words; “amazing”, “fantastic”, “worth every penny”. The chef in your life needs a nice mixer because they aren’t just for baking anymore. Of course, you can mix cake batters or whip mousse fillings, but you may also use the dough hook and knead bread doughs to perfection. The mixer comes with a 6-QT mixing bowl, a whisk, a dough hook, and a flat beater attachment. These accessories handle the basic baking essentials. This mixer is a brand new model that features most notably the lifted bowl feature. The lifted bowl design ensures that the bowl is secured in place and the beater can touch all 67 points. The new model maintains many features of the older model such as the tilt hub hinge and ten different mixing speeds. Whether the chef in mind needs an upgrade or is just starting their culinary journey make sure they have the right tools.
Baking is a part of everyday life for many culinary arts professionals. Some of the products they use most commonly such as cupcake wraps, muffin wraps, and cake tins, are disposed of after one use. This product offers a longer life span to those products that are typically thrown out all the time. This product includes 36 different colorful molds to bake muffins, cupcakes, bread loaves and more. They are easy to clean, dishwasher and microwave safe. Yes, they can go in the oven, and they release the baked goods with a gentle release instead of ruining the crisp edges a baker desires. This is a fun alternative for a novice baker or professional.
This may seem like a glorified soup or stock pot, and you would be wrong. The Dutch oven is a prized piece in any kitchen because of its ability to braise meat, and slow cook dinners the way people did generations ago. Technology has a time and place, and sometimes it’s more important to take things back to the basics. This Dutch oven is huge, perfect for braising large cuts of meat. Some Dutch ovens are made from ceramic, cheaper versions use non-stick material like Teflon, however, this dutch oven is manufactured with cast iron that’s preseasoned to ensure that the meal they cook tastes great. Cast iron pans are naturally non-stick and easy to clean. Similar to wine, a cast iron pan only gets better with age. The sure mark of a serious chef is cast iron cookware.
If you aren’t sold on the idea of buying a dutch oven, maybe you’ll consider a grill pan. Students studying at a University may not have access to an outdoor grill even if they are studying food. A nice grill pan is a great alternative to delivering grilled dishes without having to brave blizzards. Practice those perfect grill marks on steak, chicken, or fish. Now there ’s freedom to create unique dishes with the wonderful taste that comes from cooking on a grill. As mentioned before cast iron is a wonderful material to cook with as opposed to a synthetic material like Teflon. This pan is easy to cook with, goes straight from the stove to the oven, easy to clean and only gets better the more you use it. This product is a less expensive item compared to the dutch oven but with equal quality.
These reusable food wraps are perfect to use when storing leftovers, scraps, or the pesky containers that have lost their lid. Plastic is a material that’s losing popularity, and for obvious environmental reasons. The wraps provide the same advantage a plastic food storage bag allows but without the nasty footprint on the environment. The wraps are made from organic cotton from a company called Etee. The wrap allows the food to breathe which keeps it fresher longer. The material is biodegradable and non-toxic. This is the perfect gift for the environmentally conscious chef looking to create without destroying the environment while doing it.
A book for the foodie craving a culinary adventure. This book explores the cuisine of Thailand along with the author’s own personal experiences. The student in your life might be too broke to travel, but this gift can illuminate some of the fiery flavors from Thailand. The book includes classic recipes as well as colorful and creative takes using the ingredients available and experimenting with the senses.
Students studying law and culinary arts alike need an agenda to help keep them organized. This planner will keep your student on top of their studies and their schedule. The calendar is stylish,and designed with a baker in mind. The cover is glossy so when things get messy in the kitchen space the planner and the plans won’t be destroyed. Your student can jot down weekly goals or upcoming projects as well as review the week at a glance. Keeping their eggs scrambled not their minds.
This specific pasta maker set from Cucino Pro includes 5 different attachments to create 5 authentic types of pasta. With this gadget taking a tour of Italy can be a reality with one appliance. Fresh pasta is a skill alone, which is why selections at the store are typically dried varieties. A chef learning the trade will want their very own tool to practice and create their own pasta fresh. The deluxe set allows you to create; spaghetti, angel hair, fettuccine, ravioli, and lasagnette.
Food waste is a huge concern across the world. Unfortunately, tons of food is wasted, or thrown out, food that could have been salvaged if stored properly. This is a time for technology in the kitchen. This gadget was engineered to get the most out of leftovers or scraps for later use. The vacuum sealer uses a vacuum to suck the air out of storage bags and lock in freshness up to 5 times longer than traditional plastic storage bags. The starter kit comes complete with two sizes of reusable bags and a wine cork stopper. If you are serious about food waste this is the gift for the chef on your list.
What is the spice of life? Is it citrusy? Is it smokey, well rounded or spicy? Maybe the spice of life is having it all in your own kitchen. This gift box delivers 5 different spices to begin a collection of flavors to the chef you love. Spices are essential for creating lovely aromatic and delicious meals. The set includes infused sea salts and well-balanced grill seasonings, along with smokey spicy seasoning blends. Get the creative juices flowing with this fun spice pack.
12. Ninja Air Fryer
This is the perfect gift for the foodie that follows all the trends. The air fryer is capable of frying food with less oil than traditional frying methods require. Finally, we can deep fry twinkies without the guilt. This is not only an air fryer that helps you create crispy french fries or fried chicken, but there is also a dehydrator function. Take fresh apples and dehydrate into apple chips, or fresh bananas into banana chips for a quick healthy snack option. The culinary arts are, in fact, vast and overwhelming. This tool is new to the field but has been outrageously popular this year. If the culinary chef in your life hasn’t splurged on this product yet, you can bet they are curious to try it out.
Students hoping to take their cakes to the next level will appreciate this gift of gel-based food colors. Wilton is a popular brand in the baking arena, and for good reason. The quality is consistently impressive. The gel based colors allow you to add rich hues to buttercream, batter, macaroons and more without altering the consistency of the product. This set includes primary hues as well as additional shades like copper and teal. Creative bakers can mix primary shades together to create hundreds of other hues to capture the eye and delight the taste buds.
Another tool a future chef or established chef cannot be without is a digital scale. It doesn’t really need to be digital but it is the 21st century, so give yourself a break. A scale is essential in getting proportions just right. This model is sleek in design, easy to store, lightweight to carry or move, and has anti-fingerprint technology so it always looks good while it weighs the ingredients. A scale guarantees a consistent product each time, with its convenient tare function you can take the math out of the equation. This scale is affordable, and when properly taken care of, will last years. The perfect gift for chefs that take their craft seriously.
15. Pizza Stone
If there is one food that all college students can agree on, it may be pizza. The ultimate junk food, comfort food, that’s also portable. Pizza is a glorious creation passed down from generations. Good pizza is hard to find, and as the saying goes, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” This pizza stone makes all your pizza dreams come true without ordering delivery. The stone is 16” around and can be used in the oven or on a grill. This brand features a patented no-spill edge to keep the pie from sliding off the stone when transferring to and from the oven. The stone itself is designed to extract moisture from the pizza while cooking to bake a perfectly crispy crust and an even bake throughout. This stone is sure to wow any recipient. Each purchase includes a free E-book with over 100 recipes.
This is an exceptional gift for anyone who loves being fancy. Vinegar is a great ingredient in salads, soups, pizza, and brines. This is a set of four infused balsamic vinegar flavors. The chef will be able to experiment with flavors in a whole new way. The set includes; peach, grapefruit, fig, and pomegranate. Fruity flavors built to accentuate salads, brighten up the flavor of soups, and enhance the taste of chicken, or pork, turkey, or duck. This is a wonderful addition to any kitchen space that is sure to impress palates.
Carpenters need their tools and so do chefs. This nifty 4 piece tool set will have the chef in your life peeling, pitting, and deboning like a professional. The fun bright green color is playful and exciting. The set includes an avocado tool for cutting and pitting, a produce tool for peeling, a chicken tool for deboning, and a butter tool to measure and cut precisely. Keep the culinary student growing in the kitchen by giving them the tools they need.
If the person you’re shopping for is just learning the basics or is a seasoned chef, the tools are essential. Some tools are cheaply made and last a year if taken care of. This set is affordable and made with stainless steel. This gift won’t have any problems like melting or bending from regular use. These tools are built to last without breaking the bank. Most high-quality sets can cost hundreds of dollars, while this set is highly reviewed and significantly lower priced. This is a 29 piece set complete with all the tools needed common dishes, as well as pieces that are strictly professional. This product includes the elusive Microplane grater, cheese knife, and garlic crusher. A gift that is sure to surprise and delight anyone who loves spending time in the kitchen.
There’s a popular saying that goes, “ A chef is only as sharp as his knives.” This knife is professional grade Japanese and made of Damascus Super Steel. It’s sharp! Designed elegantly, engineered exquisitely, this is a gift for a special person. With this knife, a culinary student can mince, dice, and slice with speed and ease. If you want to buy a gift someone will use, and appreciate, this is a wonderful option for a chef who needs sharper skills.
Is the person in mind passionate about cakes or dreams of owning a bakery? You can get them started on the right path with a SpringForm cake pan set. These pans are high quality, non-stick with detachable bottoms. One of the greatest disasters bakers face is a cake stuck to the sides of their pan, or anxiously scraping the cake from the sides only to cover the mistake with icing. These pans are excellent for cake baking. The clip fastens to the bottom plate while baking and once ready to cool or decorate, easily release the clip and the sides slip off of the cake without destroying its beautiful shape. This is a set of three which is perfect for designing tiered cakes for special occasions. Also includes an icing spatula and icing smoother for creating decorative borders or smooth and sleek designs.
Silicone products are popular these days because of their non-stick material and non- toxic properties. The mats are made to go on top of a regular baking sheet, without the use of non-stick grease sprays, or shortening. They are flexible but not tearable and absolutely durable. The mats are safe to use in the dishwasher and microwavable, safe to freeze and easy to clean, make these a staple in your loved one’s kitchen space.
Last on the list, but one of the most commonly used tools in baking is a spatula set. These are made with silicone that offers some of the most convenient advantages. Just like with all silicone products they are non-toxic, non- stick, easy to clean, freezable, microwavable, dishwasher safe and durable. When using icing, mousse, or a simple buttercream these are perfect to scrape every last bit of that sweet sugar onto the cake. With four different shapes, the spatulas can fit the shape of any mixing bowl, minimizing waste. These come with a lifetime warranty if you or the person receiving aren’t completely satisfied just return it for a full refund. This spatula set is just what the baker in mind is hoping for.