For chefs, preparing food isn’t just a job, it’s their greatest passion in life. That’s why they love thoughtful gifts that are related to their profession. However, buying such a present is easier said than done, especially when you aren’t exactly a master of culinary arts yourself. But there’s no need to panic! Today we will cover ten great gift ideas that will be appreciated by any chef. Ready to find that perfect gift? Let’s dive in…
1. ”My Life in France” by Julia Child
Julia Child was an American cooking superstar who popularized French cuisine in the United States.
Bizarrely, her first foray into cooking was during World War 2, when she experimented with various concoctions until she created an effective sharp repellant which prevented sharks from setting off underwater explosives.
After the war, Julia and her husband Paul moved to France, where the very first lunch they had in that country (oysters, sole meunière, and fine wine) changed her life forever. She described it as “an opening up of the soul and spirit for me” to the New York Times.
This experience set her off on a culinary journey that included graduating from the world-renowned Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, studying privately with master chefs, and eventually publishing her famous “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”.
She then went on to become America’s most beloved cooking teacher with her popular TV shows and accessible cookbooks.
It was Julia Child who introduced French cuisine to the average American with housewives all over the country learning from her and serving fine meals to their families.
The chef in your life will no doubt be intrigued by her memoir “My Life in France” where she recounts her transformation from someone who barely knew her way around a kitchen to an internationally acclaimed French cuisine expert and cooking teacher.
2. ”Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volumes 1 & 2” by Julia Child, Simone Beck, Louisette Bertholle
Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” two-volume cookbook is a comprehensive overview of French cuisine.
When she was living in Paris, she had joined a women’s cooking club Le Cercle des Gourmettes where she met Simone Beck.
It turned out that Simone was writing a French cookbook for Americans with her friend Louisette Bertholle.
The three women hit it off immediately and started teaching French cooking to American women in Paris at Julia’s place.
Simone asked Julia to join their cookbook project and help them make the book more appealing to Americans.
They spent a decade researching and testing recipes which Julia then translated into English.
In 1961, they published the first volume of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”, a 726-page cookbook.
In 1971, Julia and Simone published the second volume of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”.
As you can see, this is not “just a cookbook”, it is a masterpiece that was groundbreaking at the time and that is still considered to be a seminal work today.
It’s something that any chef would be proud to have on their kitchen bookshelf.
3. Cangshan TS Series 17-Piece Knife Block Set
Cangshan is the name of a mountain located in Southwestern China as well as of a small city where the Cangshan Cutlery founder, Henry Liu, was born.
It was there that Henry started his kitchenware company that he then grew from a solo venture to a business with 800 employees.
Eventually, though, he grew restless and decided to pursue his dream of producing functional and beautiful kitchen knives.
He easily located suppliers for quality materials, but he struggled with finding someone who could manufacture the knives he envisioned, despite auditing over 80 factories.
Eventually, though, he did find a manufacturer in Yangjiang, a Chinese city that has a 1,500-year-old tradition of making cutlery.
When he realized that the factory owner there shared his vision for making innovative, functional, and beautiful knives, Henry came up with a joint-venture idea, which was how Cangshan Cutlery was born.
Their kitchen knives that combined top-quality materials, innovative design, and expert craftsmanship quickly gained recognition in the culinary world.
Today, some of the most famous chefs in the world use them, including the American chef Thomas Keller who has been awarded simultaneous three-star Michelin ratings for two different restaurants.
Cangshan TS series block knife set features 17 knives made of Swedish steel that are meant to be used by professional chefs.
Here are the knives included in this set:
- 8’’ chef’s
- 8’’ bread
- 7’’ santoku
- 6’’ boning
- 5’’ serrated utility
- 5’’ tomato
- 3.5’’ paring
- 2.75’’ peeling
- 6×5’’ steak
- 8’’ honing steel
- 9’’ shears
It’s also worth noting that the knife block is made of walnut and just like the knives is not only functional but also beautiful.
This knife set is an excellent gift for any chef, but especially for those who are just starting out and may not yet have a top-quality knife set of their own.
4. Dalstrong Knife Roll
Dalstrong aims to equip cooks worldwide with modern tools that help them enhance the culinary experiences they create.
The team has been coming up with innovative ideas and pushing boundaries ever since 2012 when the company was founded.
It’s no wonder that over 300,000 chefs around the world use their products which include knives, block sets, knife maintenance tools, aprons, and knife storage accessories.
This Dalstrong knife roll is handcrafted with 100% top and full-grain Brazilian leather that is durable, tear and puncture resistant, and extremely soft.
It has 10 knife pockets that can hold knives of up to 15’’ in length.
Additionally, there is a quick access pocket for small tools (labels, thermometers, etc.), a business card pocket, and an internal zip closure pocket for small things like keys.
Plus, there are three interior utility pockets for sharpies and pens.
This knife roll is well-suited for travelling. The soft Brazilian top grain leather handle makes it easy to hold. Meanwhile, the extra 12oz waxed canvas sleeve protects the knives from the elements.
It’s a great gift for a chef who is juggling several part-time jobs or has a full-time job but takes on various side gigs.
This knife roll will allow them to carry their knives with them wherever they go.
5. “The Apprentice” by Jacques Pépin
Jacques Pépin is one of the most famous chefs in the world who was once called “the best chef in America” by Julia Child.
He was born into a restauranteur family and started working in his parents’ restaurant as a child where he quickly became known for his passion for food.
When he was 13, he started his apprenticeship at Le Grand Hôtel de l’Europe in Bourg-en-Bresse, then went on to work in Paris at the prestigious Plaza Athénée only three years later.
He eventually became the personal chef of France’s president Charles de Gaulle.
However, Jacques truly became a celebrity once he moved to the United States.
Joseph Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis even asked him to serve as a chef at the White House (he declined).
Now he is best known for his TV shows, especially his collaboration with Julia Child that won them a Daytime Emmy award.
He has also published numerous books including three with his daughter and one with his granddaughter.
“The Apprentice” is his autobiography where he recounts his journey from being a lowly apprentice to becoming a world-famous master chef.
Any chef will enjoy reading this book which may even inspire them to reach new heights in their career.
6. Dalstrong Professional Chef’s Kitchen Apron
An apron is an extremely important piece of clothing for chefs because it protects them from accidents involving water, oil, sauces, etc.
This Dalstrong apron is a great option for them because it was designed specifically with culinary professionals in mind.
It is made of extra strength waxed canvas that is waterproof, dirt-resistant, and durable.
It comes with a fully adjustable genuine-leather cross-back harness. It is built to evenly distribute the weight of the apron across the shoulders to prevent neck strain. This will make those long shifts easier to endure.
Extra thick clasps for attaching the harness are also included.
This apron has two chest pockets, three front pockets, two towel loops, and a hidden interior stash pocket that is ideal for storing small personal belongings such as keys, wallet, cell phone, etc.
Any chef will appreciate this thoughtful gift that will improve their day-to-day kitchen experience.
7. ”Blood, Bones & Butter” by Gabrielle Hamilton
Anthony Bourdain has called this book “the best chef memoir ever”.
And he wasn’t the only one who loved it. “Blood, Bones & Butter” was named one of the best books of the year by The Huffington Post, GQ, Financial Times, and several other publications.
Gabrielle Hamilton never wanted to be a chef, she wanted to be a writer, so the fact that her memoir about being a chef was what got her literary acclaim is quite amusing.
Her reluctance to dedicate herself to this career path and her “it’s complicated” relationship with the hospitality industry is what makes her story so interesting.
When she was 12 years old, she got a job in a kitchen as a dishwasher, then the next thing she knew she was 35 and had spent over 20 years in an industry that she wasn’t that excited about.
Afraid of living a life that she never intended to, she went to graduate school and received an MFA degree in creative writing… Only to open her own restaurant pretty much immediately after coming back!
That restaurant, Prune, quickly garnered acclaim from foodies, critics, and fellow chefs alike, despite the fact that Gabrielle never attended culinary school.
The chef in your life might enjoy reading this unusual story of a woman who stumbled into this profession, but then found meaning in her work when she opened her own restaurant.
8. Compression Socks
Chefs are on their feet all day. There’s no time to sit around in a busy kitchen!
Compression socks may not seem like the most inspiring gift, but they are extremely practical and will definitely be appreciated.
9. Four Sigmatic Mushroom Cacao Mix
The founder of Four Sigmatic grew up on a 13-generation old farm in Finland. That’s where he learned to forage mushrooms as a child.
He went on to create a company that sells drinks with mushrooms in 65+ countries.
Four Sigmatic relaxing Mushroom Cacao Mix that consists of organic reishi mushrooms, organic cacao, and organic spices and sweeteners can help the chef in your life wind down after an intense day in the kitchen.
Additionally, they will certainly enjoy trying such an unusual drink that combines the chocolatey taste of cacao with the earthy taste of mushrooms.
10. “Best. Chef. Ever.” Mug
Let’s keep it real, chefs are known to be arrogant, to the point where it has become a meme (Gordon Ramsay probably being the person who contributed the most to it).
But then, they would probably say that it ain’t bragging if it’s true… And where’s the lie?
This “Best. Chef. Ever.” mug is both a playful nod to that stereotype and a daily reminder of the ultimate goal of any serious chef.
Because why even start if you don’t want to become the best?
There’s no doubt that picking a gift for a chef can be challenging.
However, it’s probably safe to say that you can’t go wrong with:
- Autobiographies of famous chefs.
- Iconic cookbooks.
- High-quality knives.
- High-quality kitchen accessories.
- Practical things that make the daily grind easier.
Good luck with finding that perfect gift!