Foodie gift ideas for home cooks from pro chefs and restaurateurs include everything from handcrafted Japanese knives and good cutting boards to cookbooks, cooking classes and dinners, and products such as quality olive oils and mustards.
Every year, in the days leading up to Christmas, when some of you are scrambling to buy last minute Christmas presents for your food-loving friends and family, we seek out foodie gift ideas for home cooks from pro chefs and restaurateurs on our contact list, which includes many of the world’s best chefs, everywhere from Europe and the Americas to Australia and Asia.
Their suggestions are always terrific, because they’re often very practical, thoughtful, often obvious (yet why didn’t I think of that!) and are easy to buy, whether that means dashing out to your nearest kitchen shop or jumping on to Amazon to see if they can deliver on time – or buying a gift card if they can’t.
This year, we thought we’d compile the best foodie gift ideas for home cooks from pro chefs that we have published over the years, as we thought it might be fascinating to compare chefs’ recommendations from year to year.
It’s interesting to see how many chefs suggest you buy the home cooks in your life a knife – handcrafted Japanese knife, Laguiole wine knife, and a knife sharpener.
We also love to see chefs recommending cookbooks or, as Virgilio Martinez did with such gusto, any books. “Let’s save the books!” he said, and we couldn’t agree more.
Here are some foodie gift ideas for home cooks from pro chefs and restaurateurs from around the world.
Foodie Gift Ideas for Home Cooks from Pro Chefs and Restaurateurs
Cookbooks, Cooking Classes and Culinary Experiences
Virgilio Martinez, Central, Lima, Peru
Books, let’s save the books! (Ed: we wholeheartedly agree! See Terence’s classic cookbooks for serious cooks for ideas.)
Raymond Lim, Les Amis, Singapore
The book entitled Where Chefs Eat published by Phaidon.
Give away a dining experience at a restaurant.
The Quay cookbook is always a lovely gift.
Ian Kittichai, Issaya Siamese Club, Namsaah Bottling Trust, Issaya Cooking Studio, Bangkok, Thailand
A cooking class voucher for two, as it’s always fun for your foodie friend to cook with a partner.
Richard Ptacnik, Otto Ristorante, Sydney, Australia
Cooking classes, knives and cookbooks* always keep them interested. (Ed: take a look at my wish list of cookbooks for culinary travellers for more ideas.)
Teage Ezard, BLACK, Ezard, Ginger Boy, Melbourne, Australia
My Gingerboy cookbook, which is all about South-East Asian hawker-style food, designed to share. Perfect for the festive season.
Kitchenware and Cooking Appliances
Martin Benn, Sepia, Sydney (soon Melbourne), Australia
My gift idea is always a handcrafted Japanese knife. What else could anyone need?
Dan Hunter, Brae, Birregurra, Australia
Handmade Laguiole wine knife. Unless some pinches it, they’ll have it forever.
Julien Royer, Odette, Singapore
A nice cutting board – bulky, solid and big. It’s never big enough.
Ross Lusted, The Bridge Room, Sydney, Australia
A Japanese charcoal grill and a box of Binchu-tan.
Dylan Jones, Bo.lan, Bangkok
A proper-sized mortar and pestle. They are the ultimate in kitchen tools!
Ryan Clift, Tippling Club, Singapore
Who doesn’t love a good chef’s knife? Preferably the Ryan Clift series by Blades of the Gods as they are the best on the market, lol!
Jarret Wrisley, Appia and Soul Food, Bangkok & Hong Kong
A big enamel pot for braising is something everyone should have at home. I have three.
Donovan Cook, Ryne, Melbourne, Australia
To really spoil the foodie who has everything, a thermo circulator! Or a voucher to their favourite restaurant. Or who can beat a really good bottle of olive oil?
Joannès Rivière, Cuisine Wat Damnak, Siem Reap, Cambodia
The thing you never ever find in any household, a proper large reinforced conical strainer. Good for stock, soups, bisque you can push through with a ladle, dry spices… you can do everything with it and it is worth putting the money in it because you can keep it forever.
Jacques Reymond, formerly of Jacques Reymond Restaurant, Melbourne, Australia
A good knife sharpener.
Gifts of Food and Wine
Wine. I’d snatch a decent bottle of wine from my collection – the more desperate and remiss in forgetting, the better the wine.
Josean Alija, Nerua, Bilbao, Spain
I would give a foodie a good ham, which is a product that travels very well, or a special wine. And to sweeten the day, a panetonne!
Neil Perry, Rockpool Bar & Grill, Spice Temple, Rosetta, Sydney, Australia
Nothing whatsoever! What did you think of those foodie gift ideas for home cooks from pro chefs and restaurateurs and what are you buying your foodie friends and the home cooks in your life? If you found these last minute Christmas gift ideas helpful, you might also like our Christmas tips from food writers and editors and Terence’s Christmas gift ideas for Asian home cooking. See our full Christmas Guide on the home page.