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Dec 8, 2008 01:48 PM

Cookbook gift recommendation for 11 year old?

I would love to buy a knife for my nephew the aspiring chef. A cookbook would probably be more age appropriate. Suggestions?

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  1. Buy the knife. Good tools are important, and 11 is plenty old enough to learn basic knife skills. Lord knows every kid in my family was doing routine prep work by age 11. But if overprotective parents won't let him near a knife, make sure the cookbook is colorful, with photos of the food. A baking book might be a good choice, as little knifework is involved...breadbaking isn't complex, and it is a very satisfying skill to master, at any age.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Hungry Celeste

      There's a book by Mark Bittman called "How to Cook Everything". The subtitle is "Simple Recipes for Great Food". This might be a nice gift that could carry him well into adulthood. I wouldn't buy a book geared toward kids, necessarily. If he's interested in good food and cooking, he'll get more and more out of a book like this as he matures, but he'll still enjoy it at age 11.

      1. re: 1sweetpea

        Good tome, I've looked at it at the bookstore. Joy of Cooking crossed my mind.

        1. re: Romanmk

          I second the "Joy of Cooking". If he is an 11 year old aspiring chef, he will be able to read and follow the simple directions "Joy" is a very good user-friendly book...lots of info on ingredients, etc.

          1. re: jarona

            The Joy of Cooking is a great recommendation. When I was 8 and up I would pour through that book every week. I could imagine myself having a similar experience with the Mark Bittman book.


      2. re: Hungry Celeste

        Thanks! I think I will wait for 13 for the knife. Maybe my sister will be OK with it then. Bread is a good idea. The tools are simple.

      3. Saw a commercial on TV for a cookbook/recipe program for kids for the Wii system. Phoebe from Friends does the spot.

        Really don't know much 'bout the product (age appropriate, worthwhile, etc) but just thought I'd mention it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: porker

          its called "Personal Trainer: Cooking" and its for the nintendo ds. It looks pretty neat. I think I might get it for my ds :)

          My favorite cookbook when I was a kid was a little cookbook called "Sip, Nibble and Snack" but I dont know if they still make it anymore :)

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. The Family Cookbook put out under either the America's Test Kitchen or Cooks Illustrated line - I can't recall which and they are the same folks. Lots of basic cooking principles.

            1 Reply
            1. re: greygarious

              I second this cookbook for many reasons: my teenager likes the color photos, which gives her some ideas of how stuff looks; the book lies flat, unlike the unwieldy spines of Joy of Cooking, etc.; it's not a kid's cookbook, but a motivated kid with some advice can easily handle all of the recipes.

              I bought my daughter a small 5" Global when she was 10 yrs old and gave her lessons on safety and use, and she graduated to a 6" chef's as soon as her hands got bigger and she got more confidence.


            2. My sons use these two.

              Everybody Loves Ramen
              Chow-snobs may scoff, but he makes a darn good stroganoff from this adding in a few meatballs from the freezer.

              101 Things to do with a Cake Mix

              1 Reply
              1. re: AreBe

                To, AreBe
                No snob or scoff here! (smile) Just joined last week
                I will buy this and I am
                I have 2 boxes of the Ramen noodles and so tired of eating them the same way. either soup or I just drain them and put 1/2 the season pack and butter.
                So Stroganoff is sounding pretty good right now
                So Thank you very much...