‘Tis the season of frenzied sales and shopping sprees, but don’t let the stress of gifting distract from the real point of the holidays: to gather with, and give thanks for, the ones you love. While we can’t tell you what to give your Nintendo-loving nephew, we’ve got gift ideas for every type of home cook and host: budding ‘Nistas, armchair mixologists, avid kitchen wizards who think they have it all. Everything on our list, from the stovetop espresso maker to our meal prep service, was carefully selected to make cooking and hosting more fun, creative, and delicious for years to come.
For the urban composter: Mill
If building a backyard compost system is beyond you, let Mill do the dirty work. This food-recycling service includes a bin to fill with food waste (weeks' worth of it), which then gets dried and churned into food grounds to get picked up to go back to where it came from: the farm. Or, bring it to your local compost drop-off. Reduce kitchen waste while recycling food? The ultimate gift that gives back.
For the coffee fanatic: Bialetti Moka
Italy may be known for its pasta and pizza, but its coffee is equally deserving of praise. This humble stovetop espresso maker restores every morning’s coffee to the sacred ritual that it should be, simmering cups of fragrant espresso. A midweek coffee that tastes like a slow Sunday? Who wouldn’t want that? Tell your coffee-loving friend to give the brew a little stir before pouring to even out the strength.
For the mom who has everything: The Culinistas’ Cooking Class
For the people in your life who seem to have it all figured out, experiences make for the best gifts. Choose from four Culinista cooking classes (Steak Night, Pizza Party, Paella Night, New Dessert Classics) all held in the home kitchen and designed to teach our Culinista keys. Your recipient is in for an evening of fun education—and you’ll be the one to reap the rewards of what’s learned.
For the grill-master dad in hibernation: Smithey Grill Pan
If your dad mourns the end of grill season, we hear you. Those coveted char marks are possible year-round with this cast iron grill pan, fit for indoor and outdoor use. Durable and sturdy, this powerhouse of a cooking vessel promises years of deliciously seared food. Set him up with a ribeye in the fridge and you may win Favorite Child of the Year.
For the suddenly-into-baking sister: Le Creuset Bread Oven
On every baker’s journey is a graveyard of failed bread attempts, but fewer mistakes are made when you have the right tools. Equip the future pastry chef in your life with this reliable and expertly designed bread oven. A cast iron build permits even heat distribution to yield a browned, crispy crust, while a domed lid promotes steam circulation for a soft, air pocket-filled interior. She’ll soon be crafting bakery-worthy loaves of sourdough, focaccia, and dinner rolls.
Looking for more recommendations? Join our weekly newsletter.
Our best hosting tips, recipe drops, and kitchen must-haves right to your inbox.
For the minimalist brother: Vermicular Oven Pot
Professional chefs swear by this cast iron pot, and soon the minimalist in your life will, too. Built to last, this heirloom piece is responsible for indulgent stews, fork-tender braises, and one-pot meals. We’re not saying it’s the only vessel a home cook needs, but it’s a contender for most essential. Watch it become a staple in his kitchen, and get ready for the meals to come.
For the aspirational mixologist: Fazeek Coupes
We’re convinced everything tastes better when sipped–or eaten–from a coupe, a.k.a. the glass that means it’s time to party. Your cocktail-loving friend probably has a few on her bar cart already, but here's why she needs this one: designed with a wide surface and a bowl shaped into playful ripples, it marries elegance and fun. Plus, they come in an array of colors, so you can add to the collection year after year.
For the friend who refuses to buy store-bought salad dressing: Olive Oil Jones & Tart Vinegar
We believe in making dressings by hand, and only making dressing by hand. Always glad to know others fall into our camp. With this duo, your dear salad connoisseur will have a head start on any delicious dressing. This olive oil is early-harvested and gets bottled to order, preserving the peppery bitterness lost in most olive oils. Its partner in crime is a small batch, raw vinegar, with a unique variety of flavors to choose from (truly, any). Together, they amplify each other’s virtues and nudge every salad from good to great. You may want to include our Essential Dressing Ratio on the card: Double Oil + Acid + Pinch of Spice.
Buy Now: Olive Oil Jones & Tart Vinegar
For the world traveler: La Boîte Spice Set
Speaking of spice: The heady spices in this twelve-jar set are potent and equipped to handle any and all seasoning needs. It includes every spice a home cook should have in their arsenal: peppercorn blends, salty salt, smoky paprika, sweet and tangy sumac, and more. Consider it a quick ticket to transportative cuisines.
For the friend who's constantly hosting: Goldie Home Placemats
A host’s tablescape is never complete, so layer on these linen placemats. Their vibrant, tie-dye pattern strikes the balance between fun and sophistication, while their gray hues stay in the background to let the food do the talking.
For your third-trimester BFF: The Culinistas’ Weekly Meal Prep
A full fridge is always a blessing, but once the baby comes, a stockpile of ready-to-eat meals will be a true saving grace. Anticipate exactly what your BFF needs for the fourth trimester by gifting a Culinista chef who’ll cook nourishing and delicious meals that your friend can eat throughout the week.