Let’s be realistic here. Everyone thinks buying gifts for cooks and foodies is easy. My sister is a huge foodie who makes her family dinner from scratch at least 3 – 5 times a week. And if you are buying for someone that has an induction range, it is very possible they already have a huge amount of equipment already. So I wracked my brain to figure out what gifts would be great for the foodie in your life.
If you have watched any cooking shows you always see the top chefs in the world using fancy, super long tweezers to place delicate pieced of food on a plate. There is nothing to say that a home chef can not use these similar pieces of equipment. Many times the precision they offer is something useful to the home chef. Often, you will find that once they start using food tweezers, they stop using normal tongs.
The above pair at this writing was less than $20.
Prepping food can be long and tedious. While I have a food processor, to often I prefer to use a knife to give me not only the precision but the food processor tends to heat up. But having a mandoline can be a nice time saver, it fits in between typical knife skills and a food processor.
Kyocera is a company that makes ceramics. In fact, you might very well have Kyocera ceramic parts in your smart phone. Their blades are known to be very sharp.
Carbon Steel Skillet
If you ever watch a professional chef like Gordon Ramsey on Youtube, you will notice, they are seldom using a big cast iron skillet. Instead they use a Carbon Steel skillet. Because they are carbon steel they work just fine on an induction cooktop. And because they have to be seasoned, they don’t use things like non-stick surfaces. And because it is not cast iron, you don’t need to be a body builder to move the pan around.
If you go into a high end restaurant in Paris they are usually using these kinds of pans that are made in France. If you want to save some money, you can go with other brands but I love the idea of buying something made in France.
Ok this next one is something I would love to get, but I would not recommend it as a gift in an asian home. I was told by my asian wife that giving a gift of a knife is taken like cutting ties which we never want to do. But a high qualify carbon steel knife for food prep is fantastic. A deba knife is designed for preparing fish. It is shorter and thicker than a sashimi style knife and will most likely be more useful.
The knife I have chosen here is a double bevel knife. Many japanese knives are single bevel. This causes issues in several ways. First, depending on the bevel, most knives are considered to be right or left handed. A double bevel can be used regardless of your dominant hand. Also, in the USA at least, we are used to sharpening and honing on both sides.
One thing that surprised me is the number of chefs that have a kitchen full of equipment and then use cheap cutting boards. I spent the money and bought a Boos Block several years ago and I have a hard time going back.
The great thing is they come in all sizes and prices. I think the 18×12 is the ideal size for moving things around the kitchen.
Everyone knows a dutch oven is a must have. But if you want to step it up a notch, then look at getting your loved one a French Made Cocotte. While everyone knows Le Creuset a close competitor to them is Staub. I like the Staub ceramics and this 5 QT cocotte is made in France not china and would be a great gift for the chef in your life. Because it is cast iron, it will work on your induction cooktop, but is also oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
I was lucky enough to live in Hawaii for some time and there is a huge Japanese influence in the islands. And for the first time I came to appreciate sake. What I love about a sake set is, it gives that foodie a reason to try something new, but the ceramics are very pretty to look at as well.
I bet now that you think of it, figuring out what to buy that food lover actually is very difficult. But hopefully the ideas above help you come up with some unique ideas that will set you apart from everyone in your family. Let us know what you think, what would you add?