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Gift for a Chef

Have a great idea for what to give a Chef for the holidays? Last birthday, I gave him white truffles... Looking for a cool suggestion. BTW, he already has great knives. Cheers.

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  1. Any good chef probably already owns all the kitchen toys he can use. Anything else he covets is probably extremely expensive. Have you ever considered getting him something that has nothing to do with food?

    1. Anything delicious-like a foie gras pate, a small jar of beluga caviar,several packages of smoked salmon; some delicious chocolates; a very good bottle of wine (scotch, gin, vodka=whatever he/she drinks); some delcious high quality nuts- marconi almonds from Napa Style; Bazini mixed nuts; California Pistachios;

      1. Just because he's a chef doesn't mean it has to be a food-related gift, does it? That's so limiting.

        If you're close to him personally, you know his tastes.

        If this is a professional relationship, why not something a bit more removed from his work? I mean, a food-related gift smacks of coals to Newcastle, doesn't it?

        Buy him a really nice fountain pen, or something like that. Make sure you have a gift receipt for it, though, just in case ..............

        1. I would go with a big, case of many dozens of those white, tall, paper, chef hats (toques). I always seem to run out of those dog gone things.

          1. My bf is a chef and he loves to get wine as a gift--especially when I try to find something rare and fun that I think he'll like. He likes the thought that goes into picking out wine for a gift.

            And fun food related gifts. Last year for his bday I bought him a case of his favorite italian imported stewed tomatoes. Sometime I want to get him a little olive tree. You can order them in pots online.

            I also really love the French Laundry cookbook. It's really a beautiful book--it's fun just to flip through just to look at the pictures.

            Or if it's a close friend, chefs love to be cooked for. My cooking teacher in college told us that she is always so flattered to have someone cook for her even if it's just hot dogs because usually people are to intimidated to make her dinner. So people hardly ever cooked for her. It was always such a treat to have someone make her dinner for a change.

            1. Something I'd like is a collection of varietal chocolates

              1. Thanks everyone. Some really good ideas here. Someone else suggested a bottle of aged balsamico, too. I think I'll do a combo gift of lots of little, special flavors....

                Cheers

                1 Reply
                1. re: rgs123

                  Oh, that's it!!! Perfecto, that would totally be on the top of my list for my parents if I weren't just a little embarassed by that.

                2. All of these are great ideas, and made me think: the common vein is that these gifts are all nice things that are used up relatively quickly.

                  As someone who likes to cook a lot, these are the gifts I'd like to get too. I don't need someone to buy me a tool because if I need it I probably went out and bought it already. But a pack of expensive chocolates or a bottle of good wine are things I use up again and again and constantly need to spend money on. Hence, a great gift!

                  1. a gift certificate for a cookbook store, or just get him the ultimate...the El Bulli cookbook and related paraphernalia

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: formerlyfingers

                      ....or Alain Ducasse Grand Livre de Cuisine

                    2. If the relationship is personal - how about a spa day where the chef gets pampered?

                      If professional - a rare aged balsamic (the ones I get from Firenze are US$50 for 6oz, and worth every drop); a VSOP or XO Cognac (cook or drink!), if he drinks; a nice, compact digital camera for recording the incredible dishes (I know chefs who like to carry one to capture the one-off creations).

                      1. It doesn't have to be grand, if it has the right whimsy. I once went to the local farmer's market and bought all the different varieties of avocados I could find and chatted up the growers for opinions. I then had friends over for an avocado "taste off".

                        So, for your friend it could be a simple as the chance to side by side test 4 or 5 different types of caviar or smoked salmon or bacon or whatever.

                        1. I am a personal chef, and truthfully, I wish people would get away from giving me anything food related. Do people who are stockbrokers get stocks and bonds for Christmas?

                          1. He's got to have hobbies, right? Get him something hobby related rather than work related.

                            1. I have said a Maglite makes one of the best presents when it comes to something highly universal. (No relationship with the company, I promise!)

                              By accident I let that one slip and the person ended up with 3 Maglites. At first it didn't quit hit and was he was about ready to ask for exchanges- till he discovered he could use 2 more!

                              1. I agree that you could go with something not food-related.

                                But if you want to stick with the theme, you should get him something completely non essential (but fun) - an unusual regional product, a gift certificate to a good restaurant, a pair of Batali clogs (only if he's got a sense of humour).

                                You could also go with a book - not a cookbook, but a food history/narrative book like that new one where all the chefs say how hey learned to cook.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: piccola

                                  Addendum: a good example from the movie Stranger Than Fiction - when Will Ferrell's character buys his baker girlfriend a "bunch of flours".

                                  1. re: piccola

                                    I just want to mention that I used that for a date way before stranger than fiction... of course I'm single now...

                                2. I'm getting the chef on my list an Alaskan Ulu for Christmas:

                                  http://www.theulufactory.com/

                                  Was in Anchorage recently for a conference, and visited the factory. They're handmade, and kind of unique. This is a young chef, though, and so doesn't have every tool and gadget known to mankind. I tend to agree with those post-ers who've said to look outside the food realm for gift ideas.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: spyturtle008

                                    I don't know any chefs, but I wandered into a gift shop in Little Tokyo here in Los Angeles and found lots of interesting items. They sets of nicely decorated plates, tea sets, etc. I think a chef might like something that would help with the presentation of their food. Prices ranged from inexpensive to "up there." They had some pretty wild looking Japanese knives for food work. I recently gave something from the store to a friend and she seemed to love it.

                                  2. I'm a chef and love it when someone treats me to dinner at a good restaurant..I'm even happy with in and out burger or pizza..

                                    1. The large bottle of Minus 8 vinegar, so rare and precious.