With Christmas approaching (at the time of writing), and being a huge fan of all things food and health myself, I've got all my fingers and toes crossed that my Secret Santa considers a 'foodie' gift for me.
Are you a cook who loves to get creative in the kitchen? Who takes pride in matching flavours that pair perfectly? Or a cook who loves to learn new kitchen skills? Me too! Or maybe that's not you but it sounds exactly like a good friend? Well, you're in the right place for gift ideas for yourself and them!
Below are 10 gift ideas for any keen cook, for varying budgets, ALL of which I have tried and loved myself. Here we go...
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Gifts For Cooks UK - No. 1
Moleskine Recipe Journal
I have this myself and it's one of the best gifts I've ever bought myself! I wish I had thought of this gift when my nan was around, her mince pies were one of a kind and if I had gifted this book to her, I'd have the long-lost recipe!
You or your giftee can note down successes and favourites in this beautiful journal. This journal could serve as a fun activity, a keepsake, or potentially a family heirloom all rolled into one!
The journal has an elastic closure and cardboard case to keep the book in great condition. There are sections to add appetisers, first courses, main courses, side dishes, and desserts. On each recipe page, you can note the recipe difficultly, prep time, cooking time, serving size, cooking gadgets required, and even add a wine pairing and star rating.
I love my Moleskine recipe journal. I add at least one recipe to it every month and plan to pass it down to my future children. Perhaps your friend or family member would enjoy this product as much as I do. At £25 and the length of use you'd get from it; I believe this journal to be well worth the money.
Gifts For Cooks UK - No. 2
Garlic Grater Plate
I recently brought one of these after a sales demo at a Christmas market. I use mine nearly every day, mostly to grate garlic, but also ginger, parmesan and even tomato on occasion.
I used to use a garlic press, but getting a knife inside the tool to clean out the bits of clove skin that are stuck, or trying to close the press's arm when you've got a big clove in the way made for a frustrating tool.
So I'm super happy with my garlic grater plate, no need to peel the skin, just rub directly onto the coarse plate and you've got minced garlic in seconds. You can get every last bit from the clove with this plate, no waste here. The juice obtained from grating ginger would be perfect in a smoothie too.
At around £10, the perfect secret Santa budget price, this handy grater makes for an ideal gift for any level of cook.
Gifts For Cooks UK - No. 3
Le Creuset Stoneware
High-quality stoneware makes for a visually pleasing and long-lasting gift, and who better than household name Le Creuset to provide the goods.
Over the last 5 years I have collected varying Le Creuset stoneware from different retail stores and gifts from family, most recently I received a set of 4 espresso cups from my father-in-law, thanks John!
My current collection includes espresso mugs, coffee mugs, a butter dish, soup pots, salt and pepper mills and a gravy jug, mostly in mustard yellow, although we're thinking of changing the colour scheme in the kitchen to dark green, oops!
If you want quality kitchenware then Le Creuset is your brand. They aren't the cheapest option, I'm sure you could find some stoneware in your local ASDA for much less, however, I have the motto that if something gets used often without the need for replacement in the short term, then it's worth the higher price tag.
Gifts For Cooks UK - No. 4
Glass Jars With Bamboo Lids
Who doesn't love an organised pantry? I recently invested in approx 40 glass jars of varying sizes by GoMaihe via Amazon. Look how pretty all my store cupboard staples look!
I was fed up with opened boxes, different sized packaging, ripped packets in food bags and other random storage containers laid out 'higgledy-piggledy' in my pantry, making it hard to find the ingredients I need for recipes quickly.
40 glass jars and labels later I am in my element every time I open the cupboard door. Do you know a keen cook who'd get the same satisfaction from these high-quality airtight jars?
You can get GoMaihe jar sets in particular sizes ideal for pasta, rice and spaghetti or smaller ones for nuts, seeds and spices. If you're unsure what your giftee needs, start them off with a mixed size jar set for around £26.
Gifts For Cooks UK - No. 5
Riverford Veg Box Gift Voucher
Give the gift of organic veg boxes this Christmas, containing produce fresh from the farm and free from added chemicals. Riverford Veg is grown for flavour and not commercial-scale demand. Plus, organic veg boxes help support local farmers, at Riverford 80% of their produce is grown here in UK farms.
Over twelve thousand people on Trustpilot agree, like me, that Riverford veg box deliveries are AMAZING. At this time of writing, their Trustpilot rating is a whopping 4.9 out of 5 stars overall and they are number 1 on Trustpilot for organic veg boxes.
I have a regular weekly veg box delivery (familiar favourites - medium size), and I plan my meals around what's in the box, however, if I have something in particular I want to cook, I'll pause the regular box that week and make up my own delivery of individual items. Easy!
You can set your recipient up with a regular subscription for as little as £12 per box, and here's my referral link to get yourself £15 credit if you do, nice one! I'll receive £15 credit too and Riverford will even plant a native tree on their farmland to say thanks!
Gifts For Cooks UK - No. 6
Morphy Richards Homebake Breadmaker
My wife got me one of these bad boys for my birthday back in September as I was fed up with not knowing what was in my bread, especially as I'm trying to avoid refined grains and refined sugar in my food.
I now, really enjoy making my own wholemeal loaf, knowing exactly what's inside. The bread is delicious when it's still warm, a few minutes out of the breadmaker.
I know I know, this isn't 'true' breadmaking as the machine does the heavy lifting, but if your recipient, like me, works too many hours and hasn't the time to do things by hand, then this breadmaker is a winner!
For £80 the Morphy Richards Homebake Breadmaker I personally think is good value for money for a large kitchen tool. There are 14 pre-set programmes for different loaves of bread, cakes and even jams, or use the manual mode to create your own bread recipes.
Gifts For Cooks UK - No. 7
Oil/Vinegar Bottle Set
Just like the satisfaction of organisation with my pantry jars, my collection of oils and vinegar are looking swish on the kitchen workshop in their matching bottles. Plus they’re always on hand ready to splash in my dishes.
Sleek metal caddies encase the 270ml glass bottles and are topped with easy-to-drizzle nozzles; no one likes sticking their thumb over the bottle to save their salad from being soaked in too much oil, only to be left with an oily thumb tip!
For around £15 an oil/vinegar dispenser set is a great gift for a cooking-loving colleague for secret Santa.
Gifts For Cooks UK - No. 8
Wooden Egg Storage Cabinet
My egg cabinet has taken a battering over the 5 years I've had it, but it's still going strong! This egg cupboard is a great addition to the kitchen side or the pantry, displaying your eggs neatly rather than wondering what you have left inside the ugly cardboard container you get from the supermarket.
With 2 tiers housing up to 12 eggs, this egg storage cabinet, complete with vintage design, is a bargain at under £15.
Gifts For Cooks UK - No. 9
Mini Shopping Baskets
A super-cute addition to any cook's kitchen, available in varying colours, I use my mini supermarket baskets to display and store bananas, avocadoes, or any fruit and veg that's not kept in the fridge.
Approximately 25 centimetres in length these baskets can hold 3-4 avocados, a small bunch of bananas or around 5 apples. Or failing that if your recipient has children why not use for shopping play time!
Each basket is around £8, maybe a little pricey for the size, I believe you can get them for £5 in Flying Tiger? But again if it gets used a lot then I don't mind paying that little bit extra if I'll use an item again and again.
Gifts For Cooks UK - No. 10
Recipe Books For Gut Health
The last 8 months have been transformative for me, I have dropped over 4 and a half stone in excess weight, and I'm generally fitter in mind and body. That's all thanks to hard work of course, BUT eating mainly a variety of whole foods, less-to-no refined grains or sugar, and exercising more. My food journey includes learning about the mind-gut connection and recipes that promote a healthy gut, these 2 books had a big part to play:
Any cook serious about cooking delicious food and eating for a healthier mind and body will LOVE these books. They both contain a satisfying mix of science and facts about individual foods and food holistically, as well as plenty of deliciously healthy recipes.
These are not 'diet' books, they both simply promote using a variety of colourful whole foods and tell you exactly why.
These books are the perfect gift for the health-conscious cook.
In conclusion to the gifts for cooks (UK) list
2020 and 2021 has seen so many of us feel the pinch financially, so finding a special gift at a price we can afford is essential. I hope you agree that there are plenty of unique gifts or sources of inspiration in this post to tick your in-budget box.
My personal favourite in this list is the Moleskine Recipe Journal, I enjoy its use again and again, and I know it will stand the test of time being passed down in the family, it's my number 1.
Jen - Author, Tried and Loved