Last Updated on November 28, 2023
The holiday season is a great opportunity to show our loved ones how much we appreciate them. If you’re lucky enough to have an executive chef in your close circle – especially if that precious someone is in charge of the Christmas dinner table – welcome the opportunity to get them the perfect culinary gift as a token of gratitude.
We all want to get thoughtful gifts, but it can be tricky to come up with the perfect gift sometimes. If you don’t know where to start, we’ve created this list of Christmas gift ideas for your favorite chef to help you out. Read on!
1. Silicone Baking Mats
What better way to impress Santa than baking some gingerbread cookies that fill the house with the most wonderful wintery smell?
A set of silicone baking mats, like Silpat, can be a great gift for the baking enthusiast in your life. They can be used as a replacement for parchment paper or as a mat when kneading the dough on the kitchen counter. They stick and release very well, floured or not, and are great for spreading a little cookie magic.
2. Infrared Thermometer
When the red and white striped canes start to pop up around you, you know it’s that time of the year. And who doesn’t like candy, especially if it’s homemade?
Making homemade candy seems complicated at first but the trick is to combine the right ingredients at the right temperatures. This level of accuracy might not be of grave importance when making soups and stews, but if you ask any confectioner, they’ll tell you that preciseness is the key. Once you know exactly the temperature of your ingredients, there’s little room for error.
An infrared thermometer, like the ThermoWorks Industrial IR Gun, can be the best tool to measure any temperature in the kitchen – even the candy canes in the oven – without opening the door.
3. A Set of Mortar and Pestle
A mortar and pestle is a great gift for both pro and home chefs. From mixing pastes and sauces to grinding spices and cracking hard nuts open, this ancient tool set has many purposes.
You might think that a mortar and pestle set is redundant when you compare them with food processors and immersion blenders. But a sturdy set of mortar and pestle, like beautifully crafted KROK, can make a great difference in the food preparation habits of your beloved chef.
This is thanks to the stone-to-stone action, which brings out the natural oils in the ingredients by bursting the cell walls open. So, help your beloved chef level up their paste and spice skills this Christmas, and the eggnog will never be short of zesty.
4. Set of Mixing Bowls
What are the most frequently used kitchen tools? A humble and sturdy set of mixing bowls probably follows the swaggy duo of a good knife and a chopping board on the list. The set is great for mixing sauces, tossing salads, washing fruits and vegetables, and even serving food.
This Christmas Eve, get your beloved chef a nice set of holiday-themed mixing bowls so they can show off their dishes on the table.
5. Reusable Chopsticks
Chopsticks are very versatile and fun cooking tools once you learn how to use them. Does the soup need a bit of stirring? Is the pasta al dente? Is it time to flip the bacon? The scrambled eggs won’t scramble on their own? You can grab a pair of chopsticks to do all those things and more!
6. Assorted Spices
Some cooks, especially self-made professional chefs, are very hard to find gifts for, as they have everything they need in their kitchen. To stay safe, your best bet is to get them some really nice consumables, like spices.
We’re talking Spanish/Hungarian paprika, really nice cayenne, anise, vanilla beans, kaffir lime leaves, fennel pollen, or even a little bit of saffron here. These special spices are sure to make the Christmas eve dinner — and every succeeding dinner — nothing less than spectacular.
It’s amazing how much of a difference a splash of citrus can make to a dish. These fruits have the power to transform an everyday recipe into an extraordinary one when done right. Pasta with lemon butter sauce or chicken soup with a zesty twist is always better than their plain versions.
Lemon juice also contains lots of vitamin C that protects you from the seasonal flu. So keep yourself safe from a sore throat and keep on singing Christmas carols with citrusy drinks this Christmas.
8. Chef’s Knife
A chef’s knife is an indispensable tool in any kitchen, enabling seamless chopping, slicing, and dicing. It’s also a source of pride and satisfaction, reflecting the chef’s skills and dedication to their craft. With a high-quality chef’s knife, food preparation becomes easier, faster, and more precise, freeing up time and creativity for the aspiring cook to focus on creating delicious dishes.
Show your support for your loved one’s culinary aspirations this Christmas and give them a symbol of their passion and commitment to the kitchen.
9. Fancy Sauté Pan
Whether the recipient is an experienced chef or an aspiring home cook, a really nice sauté pan is hard to beat. This 4.5 quart one from Caraway is a great option for any kitchen. It comes in numerous colors, has a non-toxic, non-stick coating, works on any type of stove top, and can be put into the oven. Not only will this Caraway add a pop to their kitchen, but it will make their cooking and cleaning much easier!
10. Cutting Board
A beautifully crafted wooden cutting board is a practical and stylish Christmas gift that will bring joy to any home chef. Whether they already have a cutting board or not, a beautifully designed board with an authentic shape will elevate the look of any kitchen.
Not only is it an essential tool for cutting and preparing food, but it also doubles as a charming charcuterie or cheese board, perfect for entertaining guests. A gift that keeps on giving, a high-quality wooden cutting board can be a constant reminder of your thoughtfulness and care.
11. Knife Sharpener
When you first get a chef’s knife, it’s impressive how it effortlessly cuts through anything in its path. However, over time, the blade can become dull and affect the quality of cuts.
Give the home chef of your tribe a quality knife sharpener to save them from the dullness of dull kitchen knives and help them maintain their blades. This not only makes food preparation easier and more enjoyable, but it also extends the life of the knife, ensuring it remains a source of pride and satisfaction in the kitchen for the upcoming year and the ones that follow.
12. Sharpening Stone
Unlike a knife sharpener, which uses a guided mechanism to sharpen blades, a whetstone requires a bit more skill and technique but provides a more precise and customizable sharpening experience.
Let your loved one hone their skills and technique in the kitchen and make sharpening and caring for knives a new Christmas tradition in your loved one’s kitchen.
13. Knife Roll
By Will Ferraby
Any seasoned chef who loves to cook both in and outside of the kitchen will love this one. They may have all the necessary knives, like a chef’s knife, a paring knife, or even a santoku, as well as the tools to keep them in top condition. Still, a knife roll offers a simple solution for safely transporting their beloved blades on occasions such as camping trips, at barbecues, or in other people’s kitchens.
Spread joy and the spirit of the season this holiday season by making knife transportation easier and more stylish with a knife roll.
14. Oven Mitts
Cinnamon cookies and ginger pastries are almost synonymous with the Christmas spirit. A pair of oven mitts might not be what your favorite baker needs the most but why not make them embrace the cliche and bake some cinnamon buns or gingerbread cookies with a Christmas-themed pair of oven mitts to keep their hands safe.
15. Cookbook Holder
Any seasoned chef has their trusted recipe collection. A cookbook holder brings a touch of practicality to your favorite chef’s kitchen by providing a convenient way to hold their personal cookbook, favorite cooking magazine, or even their phone or tablet while they cook their favorite recipes.
This not only saves counter space but also keeps their recipes easily accessible and clean, free from spills and splatters. Whether they are whipping up a special Christmas dinner or trying out new holiday treats, a cookbook holder is a useful tool that will be appreciated for years to come.
16. Chef’s Press
Chef’s presses are weights designed for pressing down the meat on the pan to increase the surface area that’s in contact with the heat. The result is a perfectly cooked steak.
They also come in handy when you need maximum heat contact, like when you’re preparing the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich, searing a slice of meat, or glazing the fish filet. The direct contact of the food with the hot surface is where flavor-boosting chemical reactions take place.
This is possible to achieve with the beautifully designed Chef’s Press weights that will do the job optimally, without room for any error. You can stack the weights on top of each other and let the meats or vegetables cook until they reach the ultimate crispiness.
17. Smoking Gun and Aromatic Wood Chips
A smoking gun lets you infuse anything with a delicious, refreshing wood scent in only 5 minutes. You place the wood chips in the gun, turn on the power switch, and watch the smoke running down, carrying the charred wood flavors to the meat, fish, oil, butter, cheese, or even whiskey and old-fashioned cocktails.
If drinking hot buttered rum on Christmas eve is a tradition for you, you can punch it up easily with the help of a good smoking gun like Breville.
18. A Subscription to New York Times Cooking
New year’s resolutions usually end up under the rug after a couple of weeks, if not days. Obviously, making promises doesn’t make anyone get up and do the thing. The trick is to motivate yourself until it turns into a habit.
If your beloved chef wants to try new recipes or simply dip into the world of cooking even more in the following year, a great way to motivate them is to buy them a subscription to a cutting-edge cooking publication like New York Times Cooking. As the issues pile up on their shelf, your beloved chef will be equipped with lots of tips and tricks on the art of cooking.
19. Cast Iron Skillet
Cooking with a cast iron skillet unlocks a different level of tastiness. Because cast iron skillets hold the heat like no other kitchenware, harnessing the power of one introduces you to superior glazes and even heartier simmers.
A cast iron skillet can develop a nonstick coating when seasoned properly and gets even better after years of heavy use. A cast iron pan can be a long-lasting memoir to your chef de cuisine, that’ll only get better as the years pass by.
20. Instant Pot
By HS You
If you’re shopping for someone who loves food but has little time to prepare it, the perfect kitchen appliance to give them this Christmas is an instant pot. This versatile multicooker, made by the popular brand, serves as a slow cooker, steamer, pressure cooker, and even a yogurt maker without taking up too much space.
These features make all the difference in meal preparation, whether it’s busy weeknight dinners, holiday entertaining, or anything in between. Give them the gift of convenience this holiday season and watch as they are amazed by Santa’s generosity.
21. Air Fryer
An air fryer uses hot air to fry food, producing crispy and delicious results with less oil. It’s a fabulous gift for those who love the taste of fried food but want to make healthier choices in the upcoming year.
Especially great if you’re shopping for someone who loves to cook and is always experimenting with new recipes. Not only is it versatile, allowing for a wide range of cooking options, from delicate fish to cakes. It’s also convenient, saving time and reducing mess.
22. Food Dehydrator
Food dehydrators are essential for anyone who loves to make healthy snacks, preserve fruits and vegetables, or make their own dried herbs and spices. It circulates hot air to remove the moisture from the food while preserving its flavor and nutrition.
Let your favorite foodie get creative with their healthy snacks, dried fruits, and herbs. Dried cranberries add the perfect touch to the Christmas turkey!
23. Bakeware Set
Whether your recipient is a seasoned baker or a newbie, a high-quality set of baking pans is just what they need to bring their baking creations to life. From savory dishes to sweet desserts, a bakeware set will allow them to get creative in the kitchen and make memories with family and friends around the holiday table. Add a set of festive cookie cutters in there and bring a touch of holiday cheer to their kitchen.
24. Pie Dish
A pie dish is a staple kitchen item, especially during the holidays when it brings a cozy and inviting feel to the meal. Give the gift of a high-quality pie dish this Christmas and delight your loved ones with a beautifully baked pie on the big day, whether it’s for a traditional dessert or a savory treat.
25. Waffle Maker
A kitchen appliance that can make delicious and fluffy waffles at home. A perfect gift for someone who loves breakfast or wants to have a fun and easy brunch at home.
A waffle maker allows you to enjoy crispy, fluffy waffles for breakfast and makes a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy together. Surprising loved ones with warm, homemade waffles on a winter morning is sure to bring some extra festive spirit to your breakfast table.
26. Pasta Maker
Everyone loves pasta, but some are truly passionate about it and aren’t satisfied with any kind but their own.
Making your own pasta is a fun activity that can be enjoyed with family and friends — it’s edible playdough with an Italian attitude! With a pasta maker, your professional chef de pasta can experiment with different flavors and textures. Bring an Italian twist to the Christmas dinner with this kitchen gadget.
27. Vegetable Chopper
By Jasson Roy
The most thoughtful chef gifts are sometimes kitchen gadgets they didn’t know they needed. A vegetable chopper can elevate your favorite foodie’s culinary prowess.
The stainless steel blades chop any vegetable in perfect uniformity with ease and help your loved one create tasty and healthy meals in no time. This holiday season, surprise the chef in your life with a vegetable chopper, and watch as they step up their kitchen game with each chop!
A powerful kitchen appliance that can be used for blending, pureeing, and even crushing ice. A perfect gift for someone who could use the convenience and versatility it brings to the kitchen. Whether they are preparing a festive holiday cocktail or a warming winter soup, a blender will be their trusted friend.
29. Dutch Oven
A heavy and versatile cooking pot that can be used for making stews and roasting meats and soups. A perfect gift for someone who loves to cook hearty and comforting dishes and likes a long-lasting investment in the form of a kitchen staple. It’s a timeless piece that will be a staple in their cooking for many Christmases to come.
30. Coffee Maker
A must-have kitchen appliance for coffee lovers. A perfect gift for someone who wants to start their day with a delicious cup of coffee. And what better time to upgrade their brewing game than the holiday season?
Whether it’s for the daily grind or holiday entertaining, a high-quality coffee maker can brew the perfect cup, providing comfort and warmth during the colder months. Gift a coffee maker to your loved ones this Christmas and start a new tradition of cozy mornings with a warm, delicious cup of coffee.
31. Wine Glasses
A great gift is something that simply elevates the cooking and mealtime experience. A set of nice wine glasses is essential for enjoying a glass of vino and making every dining experience feel like a special occasion. Plus, when you sip wine from a proper glass, the aromas and flavors are perfectly infused into every bite.
A steamer simply makes cooking healthy, quick, and convenient. Whether it’s for steaming veggies, cooking delicate fish, or reheating leftovers, a steamer can make mealtime effortless and delicious and is sure to bring warmth and comfort to the dinner table during Christmas and beyond.
If you like giving authentic gifts, you can get them a bamboo steamer that East Asian cooks hold dear to their hearts. Alternatively, you can get them an electric food steamer with more functions and dishwasher-safe containers.
33. Sous Vide Equipments
Sous vide is a French term that literally translates to “under vacuum.” The cooking technique is to vacuum seal food in a bag and then cook it under a temperature-controlled water bath. Because of the airtight sealing, this technique preserves most of the flavor, even more than steam cooking.
The anova precision cooker is rated top for beginners and yields perfect results every time. This is especially useful for preparing dishes that cook pretty fast, like shrimp, lobsters, chicken breasts, and steaks.
It’s a different technique from any other method a regular chef might have tried. But if your chef is an adventurous spirit — and has made it to Santa’s nice list — sous vide equipment can bring a breath of fresh air into their kitchen.
34. Outdoor Pizza Oven
While traditional home ovens can still get the job done, they can’t always achieve that perfect, crisp crust that makes a pizza stand out. For the ultimate pizza experience, a proper pizza oven is a must.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to build an outdoor oven to make your beloved pizza lovers happy. There are outdoor pizza ovens such as this one from Cuisinart, which not only bakes delicious pizza but it also opens up new opportunities to cook other foods like pide, bread, and other crusty pastries.
35. Ice Cream Maker
Looking for a fun and thoughtful gift? Imagine being able to make ice cream at home, at will. Forget about the store-bought ice cream and make one from the comfort of your own house, with any flavor you like. You can even experiment with flavors like matcha tea, hibiscus, and vanilla beans that’ll fit the color scheme of the Christmas tree.
36. Aprons for the Whole Family
Christmas is all about cherishing the things we are blessed with and sharing the love. And what’s a better blessing than family? Matching Christmas jammies are fun, but you can stir things up a bit by getting matching aprons for the whole family and passing down some family recipes to the next generations.
37. Assorted Fancy Condiments
The best gifts for chefs aren’t always additions to their culinary arsenal. Unique gifts can be in the form of edibles too.
You can make the sophisticated gourmand in your life smile by giving them gourmet condiments that they wouldn’t get for themselves on a regular occasion, such as truffle oil, blueberry chutney, sweet chili sauces around the world, artisan nut butter, or balsamic vinegar from Modena. These are sure to help them create delicious meals and add some excitement to their culinary routines.
Make Your Home Cook Smile!
Buying gifts can be stressful, especially if you’re a procrastinator. But it’s not that hard, as the only thing you need to do is to think about what your friends and family members are passionate about — like cooking! The holiday season is an opportunity to show how much we appreciate the aspiring home cooks or the self-made professional chefs of our tribes.
We hope this list of chef Christmas gifts helps you find the perfect gift. If you still need some inspiration, check out our posts on top housewarming gifts, best gifts for bakers, and best gifts for those who love outdoor cooking.