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I need a gift suggestion for a young cook

What would be a good gift suggestion for a young woman who likes to cook?She has plenty of cookbooks, so I would like to get her something utilitarian for her kitchen. What would be a good tool, gizmo, etc? The only thing I can think of is a food processor...but I'm not a cook. Is there anything else that might be appreciated more? Thanks for your suggestions!

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  1. A very good quality knife is something she will cherish and use forever.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Motosport

      Knives...of course! Great suggestion!

      1. re: thornburg913

        Along with a new cutting board and a knife sharpener.

      2. re: Motosport

        The problem with knives -- which is an otherwise great idea -- is that the selection is sorta personal. What feels good in someone's hand is too heavy or balanced wrong for someone else.

        I'm short and have small hands and there are a lot of great knives that just don't work for me.

        1. re: rainey

          Agreed, knives are an extremely, extremely personal choice.

          1. re: TeRReT

            I agree and disagree. I agree that knives are very personal. I would hate someone to get me knives because they will most likely get something I don't like. I know. It sounds horrible, but that is the truth. It is like someone trying to introduce a girlfriend to me, you know? :) The odd is that they will get it wrong.

            However, I think a young/starting cook may not be all that picky. I wasn't. So maybe she is at the stage that a Dexter or Victorinox knife can turn her upside down (in a good way).

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              You don't believe in matchmaking??? I have 2 couples to my credit (each married 10+ years)!

              1. re: tcamp

                <You don't believe in matchmaking??? I have 2 couples to my credit (each married 10+ years)!>

                Yeah, but how many of your matchmaking work vs how many of them do not work?

                I am sure if you buy knives for 10 different people. Few will love your choice, but many may not.

            2. re: TeRReT

              A knife bought at a local store such as Sur La Table with a gift receipt can be easily exchanged.

            3. re: rainey

              While I agree with that sentiment when it comes to a chef's knife, I think it's less true for paring or other utility knives. These are the knives that people new to cooking will rarely buy for themselves but can be a real boon to the cooking process. I was gifted with a Wusthof utility knife from my sister. I love it and think of my sister when I use it (no matter how I write this sentence at 3:19 am it comes out sounding weird (either dirty or vengeful) - sorry!).
              Of course a gift receipt is also a good idea.

          2. You can never have too many tongs or wooden sppons. Tea towels are always appreciated as well.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mike0989

              You're right! Thanks for reminding me!

            2. An immersion blender, silpats if she likes to bake.

              5 Replies
              1. re: babette feasts

                Thanks for reminding me about the blender!

                1. re: thornburg913

                  I have an excellent one from Cuisinart that i found at a great price on amazon, it has become my favorite most used appliance

                2. re: babette feasts

                  Immersion blenders are also wonderful if she like to make soups.

                  1. re: gaffk

                    i have had an immersion blender since they first came out and love it for soups. that being said, it's really the only thing i use it for regularly. In other words, i'm not sure an immersion blender is "tops" on a list of desires for a young cook - i can think of other tools i wanted before that.

                    I vote for a good blender - not necessarily a vitamix if that's too pricey. i've seen some blender videos that have recommended much cheaper brands for occasional usage (of course, i am blanking on the names…sorry)

                    1. re: gaffk

                      My immersion blender has a mini-FP attachment as well as a whisk. I probably use the little FP more than the blender but I highly recommend it as a gift, esp. for a new cook who may not have everything.

                  2. The best quality chef's knife/knives you can afford......but along with it/them a really excellent sharping system like this one:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0018RSEMU/r...
                    Frankly without a sharpening system even the very best chef's knives are no better than cheap ones if they aren't kept razor sharp. To my disappointment I seen chef's using excellent quality knives that couldn't slice a tomato. Too may believe using a 'steel' is adequate. That's assuming they even know how to use it properly. You can ruin the edge using a steel as fast as sawing the knife on a tire rim.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Puffin3

                      Thanks! Those are really good suggestions...and I could use that knife sharpening system myself! Thanks again!

                      1. re: Monica

                        to be honest, If i were a young cook starting to collect kitchenwares, I'd love to get gift certificates from Amazon.com. Forget william sonoma.

                        1. re: Monica

                          Amen!!! W-S was once a resource for cooks (40 years ago). Now it's a temple for yuppies into conspicuous consumption.