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Gift Guide: 16 Great Gourmet Gifts for Home Chefs and Food Lovers

by on Nov 15, 2011

Somehow I managed to score this gift guide assignment again this year (see my post from 2010), even though Chris is clearly the more qualified person to do it (I mean, c’mon, he makes stuff all the time, like donuts and romesco sauce).

Nevertheless, I am nothing if not a shameless amateur, and I like to think of myself as food-literate. So, fueled by this decidedly non-gourmet turkey sandwich I whipped up for lunch and a string of INXS that somehow overtaken my Pandora station, here’s my guide to the best kitchen-oriented gifts for this winter. 

The rules of the game:

1. Everything under $75 (yup; it’s an arbitrary limit, but I liked it)
2. Everything must be something a normal person could conceivably use.
3. Nothing with WiFi in it (seriously, let’s keep Facebook out of one room of the house, at least)  Kitchen Gift Guide 2011 (items 1-4)

1. Designer cutting boards – who said cutting boards had to be boring?

2. A fresh herb saver (works for asparagus too!) – stop feeding the basil-industrial complex, make your fresh herbs last longer! 

3. Cheat-sheet apron (personalized!) – get your quarts and cups straight. 

4. A good digital scale – your chocolate chip cookies will taste better; I promise (if they don’t, I’ll eat the leftovers … you can’t lose!)

The Nescafe Dolce GustoThe Nescafe Dolce Gusto coffee machine by Krups is both practical and stylish in design, with a high performance 15 bar pump pressure and a unique capsule system for professional quality coffee at home.

Available for about $150 from Tesco Direct 


Curbly Gift Guide items 5-8

5. A stylish mezzaluna mincing bowl

6. Garlic roaster – your wildest dreams have finally come true; now you can have roasted garlic on french bread for every meal! (Sadly, I couldn’t find one of these that wasn’t butt-ugly; this was the least offensive of the bunch, or should I say, bulb?)

7. The OXO Corn Slitter – if you need another reason beyond the awesome, evil-sounding name, just think of all the money you’ll save on floss.

8. A nice insulated thermos – Guys. What is the point of making hot chocolate if you can’t take it with you when you go sledding? Get serious.

Curbly Kitchen Gift Guide 2011 items 9-12

9. A robot tea infuser – this one’s really just for Capree, who has a love of robots that borders on the pathological.

10. A DIY Cheese-Making Kit – 10-year-old-boys, withhold your jokes. Making cheese at home is really cool. 

11. A great set of mixing bowls – the person you’re giving these to doesn’t know they need them yet, but they’ll probably never stop thanking you. (Bonus points for the cherry…)
12. Pi Ice Cube Trays – now your math-professor brother-in-law can stop complaining about his ice cubes all the time. I suggest avoidance when these are in use.
Curbly Gift Guide: 2011 kitchen gifts items 13-16

13. iPad Wall Mount – it’s not breaking my no WiFi rule, ’cause it’s the iPad mount, and there’s no WiFi in that. Hah. Really though, how many more hot grease splatters can your iPad handle before it decides to go on strike from recipe duty?

14. A Pyrex Set – I hope none of my friends are reading this. This may be the dorkiest thing I’ve ever written, but a good set of Pyrex containers is invaluable. We have one, and it gets used every single day.

15. A Mandoline – I think this was in my guide last year, but I didn’t receive one, so I’m putting it in again. Evidently I need to be more straightforward: Alicia, please get me one of these!

16.  Electric water kettle – this one by Breville was given to us as a wedding gift (thanks Ben!), and it’s awesome. At $79 it’s slightly  too expensive for this list, but just skip a latte one morning and you’re good. For anyone who drinks tea; this is a must. 

You want cool, thoughtful gift ideas for everyone in your life? We’ve got ’em. Check out our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide series for unique ideas that’ll show anyone you’re thinking of them.

And if you wanna know what some of your favorite design bloggers want under their tree this year, be sure to sneak a peek at our Design Blogger Wish List series.

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