The 32 Best Gifts for the Gourmet Cook of 2023

Here's what to get for the cook who already has everything

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Best Gifts for the Gourmet Cook

The Spruce Eats / Lecia Landis

If you have a friend with a deep love of cooking, they've probably already got a great collection of kitchen must-haves. What do you get for the cook who already has everything? Surprise them with more advanced tools to help them tackle cake decorating or learning to create their own spice blends. This list includes even more esoteric endeavors like molecular gastronomy and cheesemaking, so they can venture into new culinary territory. From anti-microbial dish towels to an heirloom-quality pepper mill, this list will help you find the best gift for even the most gourmet chef in your life.

Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Lodge EC6D43 Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 6-Quart, Island Spice Red


As one of the most useful pans or pots one can own, a cast iron Dutch oven can be used in a multitude of ways, from baking to deep-frying. This 6-quart Dutch oven by Lodge features a durable porcelain enamel that provides a smooth surface resistant to stains and scratches, and it comes in a variety of colors to complement any kitchen decor.

Use this beauty to make generous batches of chile con carne or bake beautiful boules of artisanal bread. You can also take advantage of cast iron's heat retention properties to deep fry Southern hush puppies. Suitable for use on any cooktop as well as in the oven, gourmet cooks in your life will appreciate the versatility of this long-lasting piece of cookware—just ask our tester, who says it cooks as well as the Le Creuset Dutch oven, but at a fraction of the cost.

If you value functionality over aesthetics (Le Creuset is kitchen eye candy, but Lodge has equally amazing heat retention and distribution, and both are oven safe up to 500 degrees) and would rather wow your guests with delicious dishes, Lodge's Dutch oven is for you.

Price at time of publish: $80

lodge dutch oven

The Spruce Eats / Tierney McAfee

Capacity: 6 quarts | Material: Enameled cast iron | Dimensions: 13.25 x 11.6 x 6 inches | Weight: 14.88 pounds

What Our Testers Say

"I made Moroccan chicken tagine, which involved browning chicken thighs, dry cooking onions, garlic, and spices, and simmering the chicken in a mixture of broth and juices. I can honestly say that this was one of the easiest and tastiest dishes I’ve ever made—and my guests agreed on the latter point." Tierney McAfee, Product Tester

Breville PolyScience The Smoking Gun Pro



A quick blast of cold smoke can add a subtle layer of extra flavors that make your culinary creation that much better. The Smoking Gun Pro makes it easy to infuse different aromas into a food or beverage, so this makes a great gift for chefs who like to experiment, home bartenders, and gadget lovers looking for that “wow” factor in the kitchen. You can use it with everything from meats and cheeses to butter and ice cream. While it’s a bit pricey, this is a top-of-the-line tool by a trusted brand. It also comes with wood chip samples to help get the user started.

Price at time of publish: $150

Dimensions: 5.75 x 3.25 x 6.75 inches | Size: 0.5 ounces | Included: Food smoker, 2 sample wood chips

What Our Editors Say

“Smoked bourbon old-fashioneds are what got me hooked, but now I use this tool to smoke butter, deviled egg filling, and whipped cream for a hint of earthiness that only this smoke show can impart.”Kristin Stangl, Food Editor

ChefSofi Mortar and Pestle Set

ChefSofi Mortar and Pestle Set


Freshly ground spices have a more full-bodied aromatic and flavor profile than their pre-ground counterparts, so it makes sense to invest in a tool that allows you to grind ingredients right before you have to use them. This set from ChefSofi is made from unpolished granite, giving you natural friction for effortless grinding and crushing. Its heavy weight ensures it won't slip around on the counter during use, and its generous 2-cup capacity gives you room to prep more ingredients without having to refill it.

Use this to grind seeds, spices, herbs, and more for your own blends, or as a vessel to make homemade guacamole, sauces, and mustard. Before its first use, you'll want to rinse it to remove any granite particles, then season it (grinding white rice, cumin, salt, and pepper), give it another rinse, and let air dry.a

Price at time of publish: $37

chefsofi mortar and pestle set, empty

The Spruce Eats / Julie Laing

Dimensions: 6 x 4 inches | Capacity: 2 cups | Weight: 7 pounds

What Our Testers Say

"Whole spices didn’t jump around too much during grinding, thanks to this mortar’s tall side walls. I could turn a blend of hard whole spices like cinnamon, allspice, and peppercorns into a consistent powder in just a few minutes." — Julie Laing, Product Tester

Anova Culinary Precision Cooker with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker, WIFI 2nd Gen, 900 Watts
Courtesy of

Sous vide (French for "under vacuum") is a trending cooking technique embraced by chefs and food tech lovers around the world. Foods are placed into an airtight container and immersed in a temperature-controlled water bath, gently cooking meats, seafood, and vegetables to perfection. Chefs use this method in restaurants to ensure consistent cooking for proteins, and home cooks find it useful for batch-prepping for parties or weekly meals. This circulator by Anova has both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, so you can control and monitor it from your phone. Use it to cook anything from soft-yolked eggs to a juicy steak or to aid in curing homemade pastrami and pickles.

"I chose this particular (model) based on good reviews and the clear display," says Dr. Julia Skinner, food historian and founder of Atlanta-based Root Kitchens. "It's very easy to use. I primarily use it as part of a setup to cure higher-temperature ferments, and it maintains temperature well even over long periods."

As for our tester, she says that you must have a bit of patience waiting for the cooker to warm a pot of water, as it took about 20 minutes to heat a partially filled 8.5-quart stockpot to 130 degrees. Once successfully connected to Bluetooth (our tester had to play around with this a little to get it to connect properly) and the water was hot, the Anova did well, maintaining the temperature and cooking a steak to a perfect medium-rare. On another night, she had similar success cooking pork chops due to the 360-degree directional pump, which circulates 8 liters per minute, guaranteeing that consistent temperature is maintained.

Price at time of publish: $140

Anova Precision Cooker

The Spruce Eats / Hailey Eber

Dimensions: 14.8 x 2.8 x 2.8 inches | Power: 900 watts | Weight: 2.5 pounds

What Our Testers Say

"The Anova Precision Cooker is a classic, well-made sous vide machine that can be controlled manually and features a temperature display readout. If not having to always bother with an app and Bluetooth connection appeals to you, the Anova is your best bet." Hailey Eber, Product Tester

Kootek 42-Piece Cake Decorating Kit

Kostek Cake Decorating Set


Those who love to bake can explore their artistic side with this cake decorating kit by Kootek. This set includes 36 stainless steel icing tips, including a variety of petal and leaf tips to perfect making edible floral motifs. The two 12-inch reusable pastry bags are made from food-grade silicone, a great alternative to single-use plastic pastry bags. This set also includes two reusable plastic couplers, which will let you easily switch between icing tips, and two flower nails to create icing flowers. All supplies are corrosion-resistant, easy to clean, and dishwasher-friendly—it's everything you need to turn a plain cake or cupcake into a true work of art.

Our tester managed to make pretty flower-frosted cupcakes using the many long-lasting tips included, although she wished there were larger tips involved, as it would have made the decorating process much quicker. These are best suited for smaller designs. The silicone bags were the real star of the show: They're sturdy, soft, and cushy, and twisted easily. If our tester had seen these in a store, she would have bought them on their own, so getting them in this set was a bonus.

Price at time of publish: $14

kootek cake decorating kit with cupcakes and flower designs on the frosting

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Included: 36 pastry tips, 2 couplers, 2 flower nails, 2 pastry bags, storage case | Care: Dishwasher safe | Tip Material: Stainless steel

What Our Testers Say

"Made from silicone, the bags felt soft and cushy as I used them, and they twisted easily, allowing me to seal the top of the bag for easy piping. The couplers worked well with the pastry bags, as well, keeping the tips securely in place while I piped." Donna Currie, Product Tester

Bread Bosses Banneton Proofing Basket

(9 Inch) Banneton Proofing Basket + Bowl Scraper & Cloth Liner -Perfect Bread Loaf Shape Flour Round Rising Rattan Wicker Wood Handmade Large Oval Prooving Brotform Set Dough Box


Avid bakers with a penchant for bread making will love this classic proofing basket by Bread Bosses. Commonly used in traditional bakeries, these rattan forms (called "banneton)" allow air to pass through and create a skin on the surface of the dough, yielding beautiful crusts that artisan breads are known for.

This style is made from durable natural rattan cane that resists splintering and molding. The basket measures 9 inches in diameter (large enough to hold 1.5 pounds of dough) and features ridges that create a spiral ring pattern on the finished bread. This set also includes a bread lame to aid in slashing the dough before baking, a bench scraper, and a cloth liner—everything a bread baker needs to create a beautiful loaf.

Price at time of publish: $16

Dimensions: 9 x 9 x 3.35 inches | Material: Rattan and wicker | Capacity: 1.5 pounds

Zeroll 1020 Original Ice Cream Scoop

Zeroll 1020 Original Ice Cream Scoop


Not all ice cream scoops are created equal—this classic design has been patented since 1935 and is favored by American ice cream parlors for good reason. The heat-conductive liquid in the handle transfers the warmth from your hand to the bowl of the scoop, allowing for smooth scooping and easy release. The design of the bowl also eliminates compression, creating bigger looking portions that aren't also super dense.

Carve out perfectly round scoops from your favorite gelato, sorbet, or ice creams without worrying about any mechanism failure—its single-piece aluminum construction makes it extra durable. This style is also great for right- or left-handed users and features a color-coded end cap to indicate size (this model portions out 2-ounce scoops).

Price at time of publish: $25

Material: Aluminum alloy | Size: 7 inches | Yield: 40 scoops per gallon of ice cream

Standing Stone Farms Basic Beginner Cheese Making Kit

Standing Stone Farms Basic Beginner Cheese Making Kit - Mozzarella, Burrata, Burricota, Chevre, Ricotta, Marscapone & Butter!
Courtesy of

Making cheese is a time-honored and respected craft that can be intimidating to those who have never done it. This kit from Standing Stone Farms is a great introduction to the process and will help you tackle some basic cheesemaking projects right in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Make your own mozzarella, cream cheese, ricotta, chèvre (and more) with the included components: liquid rennet, soft curd drain bag, cheese salt, calcium chloride, citric acid, and disposable gloves. You'll need to supply your own fresh milk and a few other key pieces of equipment (a thermometer, slotted spoon, and stainless steel pot), but you'll be able to create delicious fresh cheese in as little as 20 minutes.

Price at time of publish: $30

Included: Liquid microbial rennet, calcium chloride, cheese salt, citric acid, soft curd drain bag, disposable gloves | Cheeses to Make: Mozzarella, goat, queso blanco, mascarpone, ricotta

Ohio Stoneware Fermentation Crock

Ohio Stoneware Fermentation Crock

Courtesy of Amazon

For advanced cooks, experimenting with fermentation can be a fun project, turning produce into pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, and other preserved goods. Skinner, who is an expert in fermentation, relies on Ohio stoneware crocks for her own ferments. "They're sturdy and well-made, and you can buy fermentation weights to go with them that are just the right size for your crock," she notes.

Made of a clay mixture fired at 2,200 degrees and finished with a proprietary glaze, these heirloom-quality crocks are built to last for generations. They are available in various sizes, but the 3-gallon size is perfect for small to medium batches and also attractive enough to sit on the counter.

Price at time of publish: $45

Dimensions: 7.75 x 7.75 x 8 inches | Material: Stoneware | Capacity: 1 gallon

Coravin Model 3 SmartClamp Wine Preservation System

Coravin Model 3 Wine Preservation System

Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

This gadget is a must-have for oenophiles, especially those who have taken an interest in higher-end, age-worthy wines. The Coravin is designed to let you drink any still wine in any amount without pulling out the cork—a thin needle pierces the cork and draws out the wine while argon gas is pushed in (preventing oxidation). The cork will reseal itself naturally, and the bottle can remain in your possession for weeks, months, and sometimes years as if it had never been opened.

Wine bars and restaurants have adopted the Coravin to be able to pour single glasses of wine without the rest of the bottle oxidizing. Wine collectors will be able to use it to check whether a wine is ready to drink. For home use, it's perfect for hosting dinners with multiple wine pairings or for any instance where you won't be finishing a bottle in one sitting.

Dimensions: 3.86 x 1.94 x 8.46 inches | Included: Bottle opener, needle pourer, 2 argon gas capsules, Coravin screw cap | Materials: Stainless steel, zinc, plastic, mixed polycarbonate fiberglass, reinforced nylon with chrome accents

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale


Measuring cups are handy in the kitchen for scooping up general amounts of ingredients, but many seasoned cooks often eschew these traditional tools in favor of a kitchen scale. Kitchen scales provide unmatched accuracy when it comes to measuring out ingredients—particularly important when it comes to baking (for example, a cup of flour can carry different weight depending on how it's been measured).

This scale from Oxo can weigh up to 11 pounds of ingredients, and it can also switch between metric and imperial (handy when exploring recipes from other parts of the world). The large, backlit screen is easy to read, and the display pulls out so it doesn't get hidden by the edge of a large bowl or plate. The stainless steel platform is removable for easy cleaning, and the slim design makes it easy to store when it's not in use.

Price at time of publish: $56

Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.13 x 1.25 inches | Weight limit: 11 pounds | Material: Stainless steel

Jacobsen Salt Co. Infused Salt Set With Stand

Jacobsen Salt Co. 6 Vial Infused Salt Set

Williams Sonoma

"I love salt blends," says Pace Webb, Executive Chef and Owner of L.A.-based Taste of Pace, who named this as one of her favorite items to gift and receive. "I have one of the small pocket-sized plain Jacobsen Salt Co containers in my purse for any unsalty moments!"

This set of Oregon sea salt blends from Jacobsen Salt Co. is a perfect gift for cooks who like to experiment with flavor. The salt is made from hand-gathered water from Netarts Bay, gently evaporated to form delicate crystals, and blended with an array of herbs and spices. The six flavors (rosemary, habanero, pinot noir, black garlic, black pepper, and pure flake finishing salt) are artfully displayed in a branded wooden rack that will look beautiful on the counter.

Price at time of publish: $56

Included: 6 vials | Holder dimensions: 7 x 7 inches

Molecular Gastronomy Starter Kit

Molecule-R Molecular Gastronomy Starter Kit

Courtesy of MMTUM Shop

If you're looking for a gift for someone with fairly advanced cooking technique, encourage his or her sense of culinary adventure with this introduction to molecular gastronomy. Pioneered by Spanish chef Ferran Adrià and his restaurant, El Bulli, this method of cooking combines science and cuisine to create visually delightful edibles (think lemon-flavored foam or olive oil "caviar"). This technique has also made its way behind the bar (molecular mixology), resulting in some pretty stunning riffs on classic cocktails.

This kit by Molecule-R includes sachets of various additives, pipettes, a silicone mold, and a few other helpful tools that will enable you to make things like balsamic vinegar "pearls" or chocolate "spaghetti." The kitchen will be transformed into a fun food lab where playing with your food is totally allowed.

Included: 20 sachets, book, 3 pipettes, 1 slotted spoon, 1 measuring spoon, 1 silicone mold, 1 food-grade syringe, 2 silicone tubes | Number of Recipes: 158

Iwatani PRO2 Culinary Professional Butane Torch



Create Instagram-worthy crème brûlée with this handheld kitchen torch from Iwatani, a favorite of professional and home cooks. While some chefs turn to full-size blowtorches to add that flame-touched quality to their dishes, this torch's smaller size makes it easier to handle and less tiring to hold if you're working with larger batches.

This butane-powered torch lets you adjust flame size and shape to concentrate heat where you need it. Use it to quickly roast and char vegetables, glaze a ham, melt cheese on top of lasagna or other casseroles, and of course, to caramelize the top of a crème brûlée or meringue.

Price at time of publish: $50

Dimensions: 17.78 x 7.62 x 3.81 inches | Heat Output: 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit | Material: Stainless steel

Global 7-inch Hollow Ground Santoku Knife G 80

Global 7-inch Hollow Ground Santoku Knife G 80

Courtesy of Crate&Barrel

An experienced cook will likely already have a trusty chef's knife, but the Global Santoku knife will add some versatility to any knife collection. A santoku knife can be used for chopping, slicing, and dicing meat and vegetables—virtually anything that a chef's knife can handle. The blade measures 7 inches long—shorter than most chef's knives—offering more maneuverability, especially in tighter spaces. The indentations on the blade reduce drag and help to minimize sticking.

This Japanese-made knife is forged from stainless steel from handle to tip, ensuring there are no separate pieces or corners where food particles can accumulate. It is also extremely lightweight with a slip-resistant, ergonomic handle, making it ideal for longer bouts of food preparation. Designed to maintain its sharpness longer than traditional European-style models, this knife will be in regular rotation in your kitchen for life.

Price at time of publish: $130

Blade Length: 7 inches | Material: Cromova 18 (chromium, molybdenum and vanadium) | Stamped or Forged: Stamped

Swissmar Stelvio 8-Person Stainless Steel Raclette Grill with Granite Top

Swissmar 8-Person Stainless Steel Raclette Grill with Granite Top

Williams Sonoma

Colder evenings call for comfort food, and melted cheese ranks high on our list of favorites. While fondue is a popular choice for a crowd, you can also impress your guests with a raclette party with this grill from Swissmar. Raclette comes from the French word that means “to scrape” and refers to both the type of cheese and traditional meal hailing from the Swiss Alps and the French region of Savoie—an assortment of charcuterie, vegetables, pickles, and bread with melted cheese and served with plenty of wine and spirits.

This tabletop grill lets you melt eight servings of cheese in individual pans under a broiler while using the granite top to grill vegetables, warm bread, or cook up sausage. When the cheese is melted, pour it over the top of boiled potatoes or bread and eat with the accompanying sides. Cleanup is easy thanks to the individual nonstick pans and scrapers; the removable granite top just requires hand-washing to remove any bits of food and the broiler unit can be wiped down with a damp cloth.

Price at time of publish: $155

Dimensions: 16.5 x 19.5 x 5 inches | Power: 1,200 watts | Material: Granite and stainless steel

Nawrap Binchotan Charcoal Dishcloth

Nawrap Binchotan Charcoal Dishcloth

Courtesy of Amazon

These dish towels by Japanese brand Nawrap are made from fibers infused with binchotan charcoal (made from charred Japanese oak), a substance that is resistant to bacterial growth—helpful for keeping towels from getting smelly. Each cotton towel is made with a multilayer weave to promote absorbency and a textured surface for superior cleaning power.

"The fabric is stiff until you wash it and it just gets softer every time," says Webb of Taste of Pace. "I have one that is for washing dishes and one that is for drying dishes and hands. I especially like it for getting water spots off of wine glasses since we don't use paper towels at home."

Price at time of publish: $25

Included: 3 towels | Material: Cotton | Towel Dimensions: 13.5 x 13.5 inches

Cosori Premium Stainless Steel Dehydrator

Cosori Food Dehydrator


A food dehydrator is a wonderfully versatile appliance that can help cooks create memorable snacks, sides, garnishes, and more. Corsori’s Premium Food Dehydrator is electric, which allows for precise temperature control. The fans and rear-mounted heating elements are designed to dehydrate food evenly and consistently. Cosori also includes a 50-recipe booklet filled with tasty ideas. 

Our tester praised the dehydrator’s intuitive controls and automatic shut-off feature, which is great for overnight dehydration. She did note that the Cosori took up a lot of counter space, but loved the glass door that allowed her to see how things were cooking inside. 

Price at time of publish: $136

cosori dehydrator dehydrating meat

The Spruce Eats / Lindsay Boyers

Temperature Range: 95 to 165 F | Timer: Up to 48 hours | Dimensions: 13.4 x 17.8 x 12.4 inches

What Our Testers Say

"Unlike other appliances, like air fryers, which can be a little intrusive when they’re on, I could barely hear the dehydrator.”Lindsay Boyers, Product Tester

Red Vanilla Extreme Bone China Dinnerware Set

Red Vanilla Extreme Bone China Dinnerware Set

Courtesy of Amazon

A gourmet meal is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the taste buds. If the cook in your life enjoys the art of plating, they’ll need an aesthetically pleasing dinnerware set. Red Vanilla has a beautiful bone china set of dinner plates, salad plates, mugs, and soup bowls. Each piece is eye-catching and angular, making for a beautifully modern set for special occasions. 

The dinnerware is safe for both the microwave and dishwasher. That said, the corners can chip if handled too roughly. The polished plates can also be a tad slippery, so food might move around if it’s jostled. It’s an elegant set that requires a bit of a delicate touch, but if treated well, it will look stunning for years to come.

Price at time of publish: $138

bone china place setting on table

The Spruce Eats / Joy Merrifield

Includes: (4) 10.25-inch dinner plates, (4) 8.25-inch salad plates, (4) 12-ounce mugs, (4) 20-ounce soup bowls

What Our Testers Say

"Each dish has an ultra-glossy finish, and despite investigating closely with my phone flashlight out, I didn’t find any significant surface flaws." — Joy Merrifield, Product Tester

Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Triple Ply Stainless Cookware Set

Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Triple Ply 12-Piece Cookware Set


A full gourmet meal has a lot of elements to it, from entrees to sauces to sides to desserts and everything between. To tackle such a task, a cook needs all the right tools. This comprehensive cookware set from Cuisinart is an ideal gift for the serious chefs in your life. Not only is it beautiful and uniform, but it’s also is incredibly durable thanks to its triple-ply stainless steel and aluminum construction. 

The set comes with two saucepans (and accompanying lids), two skillets, a sauté pan, a stockpot, and a steamer insert. There are also sets available with an added 4-quart sauce pan, a pan skillet, or an additional sauté pan

Our tester really loved the high-sides of the sauté pans, the convenient size of the stock pot, and that the steamer insert could double as a colander.

Price at time of publish: $225

cuisinart cookware set

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Includes: 1.5-quart saucepan and lid, 3-quart saucepan and lid, 8-inch open skillet, 10-inch open skillet, 3.5-quart sauté pan and lid, 8-quart stockpot and lid, steamer insert and lid

What Our Testers Say

"The bright metal design hides fingerprints and won’t clash with any color schemes should you decide to paint a new backsplash in your kitchen.”Donna Currie, Product Tester

Mosser Glass Colored Glass Cake Stand

Mosser Colored Glass Cake Stand


Desserts are works of art that deserve to be put up on a pedestal—Mosser made some truly stunning glass cake stands for just that purpose. The opaque glass stand comes in six colors and three different sizes. Each piece has a small lip around the edge that shouldn’t get in the way of frosting down a cake. 

The gorgeous cake stands can showcase equally pretty desserts, like a key lime pound cake or a rhubarb custard pie

Price at time of publish: $44-$220

mosser cake stand, empty

The Spruce Eats / Irvin Lin

Material: Glass | Size: 10 x 8 inches | Weight: 3.94 pounds

What Our Testers Say

"It's a timeless design that is elegant and modern. It's very stable and durable with a heavy weight and a solid base." Irvin Lin, Product Tester

Crowd Cow Japanese A5 Wagyu Filet Mignon

Crowd Cow Japanese A5 Wagyu Filet Mignon

Crowd Cow 

Wagyu is world-renowned for its high quality, intense marbling, and rich, buttery flavor. Literally meaning “Japanese cow,” wagyu is highly sought-after. Crowd Cow has a number of premium wagyu beef cuts, including delectable New York strips, petite ribeyes, striploin ends, and filet mignon among others. 

The filet mignons are sourced from two award-winning Japanese farms. Each 5-ounce steak has luxurious marbling and a rich umami taste. The gift of wagyu beef would send any gourmet cook over the moon with delight. 

Price at time of publish: $84

Size: 5 ounces | Flavor Profile: Buttery, umami, intense marbling | Country of Origin: Japan

KitchenAid KSM150PS Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

KitchenAid Artisan 5 Qt. Stand Mixer KSM150PS


Serious cooks require serious tools. KitchenAid’s Artisan Series 5-Quart Stand Mixer is a powerful and versatile machine that’s up for just about any task. It can knead thick bread doughs, whip up delicate meringues, and mix cake batter with ease. 

There are 10 speed settings, easily adjusted with a slide knob. The head of the mixer can also tilt back to easily swap attachments or get at the bowl with a spatula. The set comes with three attachments: a dough hook, paddle, and wire whip. There are, of course, additional attachments sold separately like a pasta roller, a five-blade spiralizer, a grain mill, an ice cream churner, and plenty more. 

Our tester praised the easy setup of the mixer and how useful the tilt-head feature was. Additionally, they loved the iconic look that balanced retro charm with modern sleekness. Though they were a little disappointed that the wire whip wasn’t dishwasher safe and that the coated-attachments could potentially chip, the tester found the mixer an all-around great option. 

Price at time of publish: $350

kitchenaid mixer cutting fresh pasta dough

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Number of Speeds: 10 | Power: 325 watts | Bowl Volume: 5 quarts | Attachments: Beater, dough hook, wire whip

What Our Testers Say

"No matter what the task, we could just set up the machine and stand back and watch it." Donna Currie, Product Tester

Vitamix Professional Series 750 Blender

Vitamix Professional Series 750 Blender


Blenders can do so much more than just make smoothies. Gourmet cooks could use blenders to create amazing salsas, vegetable soups, or rich emulsions like aioli. Vitamix is well known for its powerful blenders, and the Professional Series 750 Blender is no exception. With a 2,400-watt motor and hardened stainless steel blades, the blender can handle just about anything.

The container holds up to 64 ounces (great for making big batches), and it’s designed to funnel ingredients back towards the blades for optimum blending. The Vitamix has 10 speed settings and five pre-programmed settings. There’s also a pulse feature for more precise control. 

Our tester liked the fact that the container had measurements marked on the side, but did mention that it was a bit tricky to read. She tested a number of recipes with the blender, including oatmeal cookies, an iced latte, and celery juice, and loved each result. 

Price at time of publish: $551

vitamix blending a fruit and greens smoothie

The Spruce Eats / Renu Dhar

Capacity: 64 ounces | Power: 2,400 watts | Dimensions: 8.5 x 17.25 x 8.5 inches

What Our Testers Say

"I was surprised to see emulsions like hollandaise turn out smooth and creamy."Renu Dhar, Product Tester

Stargazer 10.5-Inch Cast Iron Skillet

Stargazer 10.5-Inch Cast Iron Skillet


Many cooks prefer cooking in cast iron skillets since they can get hot enough to sear a steak in seconds. Cast iron also becomes non-stick after it is seasoned and works with a number of cooking surfaces, from grills to open fires to stovetops. Stargazer has an incredible 10.5-inch cast iron skillet available that has a rustic bronze look to it. 

Thanks to the flared rim, it’s easy to pour the contents out without fear of a big mess. Stargazer skillets come backed with a lifetime warranty, as well. 

Price at time of publish: $115

lodge stargazer on the stove cooking eggs

The Spruce Eats / David Kukin

Available Sizes: 10.5 and 12 inches | Pre-Seasoned: Optional | Lid Included: No | Warranty: Lifetime

Lab Test Takeaway

"This pan impressed us with its amazing browning and nonstick abilities, acing tests where many other pans failed. Plus, it has a great design and was easy for all of our lab testers to maneuver and lift.”

Hedley and Bennett Atlantic Apron

Hedley and Bennett Atlantic Apron

Hedley and Bennett

Even pro chefs can get messy in the kitchen. An apron is a fantastic gift that combines fashion with function. Hedley & Bennett’s Waxman Apron looks great and performs well. Made of 100 percent cotton, the heavy canvas fabric is coated with soy-wax. The apron has three deep pockets, perfect for holding tools or recipe cards while cooking. 

The leather straps are adjustable and the attached belt can tighten up the waist. Available in four colors–Atlantic blue, Napa Valley red, Montana brown, and woodland camo–the aprons are durable and long lasting. Just note that they cannot be machine washed, only spot cleaned. 

Price at time of publish: $120

Material: Cotton, soy-wax coating, leather | Weight: 12.5 ounces

OXO Good Grips Chef's Mandoline Slicer 2.0

 OXO Good Grips Chef's Mandoline Slicer 2.0


Mandolines make short work of slicing things like zucchini or sweet potatoes. Oxo is a titan of the kitchen, and its Good Grips Chef’s Mandoline Slicer is a beast. This tricked-out mandoline comes with an incredibly sharp blade, various thickness settings, a no-slip kickstand, and (perhaps best of all) a protection holder that keeps your fingers away from the blades. 

With Oxo’s mandoline, cooks can create anything from thin tomato slices to waffle-cut french fries. Our tester mentioned that there’s a bit of a learning curve when first using the mandoline, but the results were well worth the effort. She praised the ease of cleaning and the superiority of Oxo’s protection holder over other models tested.

Price at time of publish: $100

oxo mandoline slicing potatoes

The Spruce Eats / Rachel Ellison

Blade Style: Japanese | Thickness Settings: 17+ | Blades Included: Straight, julienne, fry, and crinkle cut

What Our Testers Say

"The sheer number of settings make this device feel like a professional tool."Rachel Ellison, Product Tester

Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker

Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker


Breadmaking may be an ancient art, but now there’s technology to make it easier than ever. For gourmet cooks who enjoy making their own bread for sides and appetizers, check out the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker. It can make a 2-pound loaf of evenly browned bread.

Our tester loved how versatile the breadmaker was, able to handle wheat bread, pizza dough, pound cake, and even jam with ease. It’s ideal for ingredient experimentation thanks to its many pre-programed and customizable settings. The machine can produce a full loaf in just about two hours, though it can go up to 13 (which is best for richer breads like sourdough). Though a bit big and bulky, this Zojirushi breadmaker is well-rounded and wonderfully versatile. 

Price at time of publish: $300

zojirushi bread maker making bread

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Loaf Size: 2 pounds | Dimensions: 18 x 10.5 x 12.875 inches | Timer: 13-hour delay | Fastest Bake: 2 hours, 25 minutes 

What Our Testers Say

"After testing it, I feel that it’s worth the price, as it produced consistently tasty bread—even when I got creative with recipes."Donna Currie, Product Tester

Calphalon Premier Hard-Anodized Nonstick 13-Inch Flat Wok

Calphalon Premier Hard-Anodized Nonstick Cookware 13-Inch Flat Bottom Wok


A traditional wok is used to make incredible meals like chicken lo mein, vegetable stir fry, or sweet and sour pork. This wok from Calphalon is triple coated for a slick non-stick surface. At 13 inches wide, the wok has a nice capacity for big batches of fried rice. 

It’s also oven safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s compatible with both gas and electric stoves, though doesn’t work with induction. Some users might find the wok a little heavy, weighing in over 5 pounds.  While it is dishwasher safe, hand washing is recommended. 

Price at time of publish: $124

Material: Hard-anodized aluminum | Max Heat Capacity: 450 degrees | Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Marcato Design Atlas 150 Pasta Machine

Marcato Design Atlas 150 Pasta Machine


There’s nothing quite like fresh homemade pasta, and Marcato’s pasta machine takes care of the heavy lifting. Nickel- and chrome-plated, the hand-crank pasta maker can smooth out sheets of pasta dough before cutting them into three different types of noodles–lasagna, fettucini, and tagliolini. Marcato also has additional pasta-cutting accessories for sale for other types of noodles. 

A clamp secures the pasta maker securely to the countertop so it does not wobble while in use. There are 10 thickness settings to choose from which allows cooks more control over the consistency and texture of their pasta. 

Our tester found that the rollers produced even results that made the dough a little shaggy, ideal for absorbing sauces. She praised the sleek and modern look of the pasta machine and loved the fact that the rollers are removable for easier cleaning. 

Price at time of publish: $80

marcato pasta maker cutting fresh pasta dough

The Spruce Eats / Tierney McAfee

Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 7 inches | Thickness Settings: 10 | Weight: 5.5 pounds

What Our Testers Say

At first, I wasn’t sure whether homemade pasta would be worth the effort, but…I found that it was more tender and absorbent than store-bought pasta, making for all-around tastier dishes.” – Tierney McAfee, Product Tester

“The Flavor Bible” is a must-have for any gourmet cook–either seasoned or novice. The book is designed to teach readers how to coax the most flavor out of a dish. It’s a deep dive into the nuances of flavors and ingredients of all kinds. Filled with tips, photographs, anecdotes, and fun facts, the book is a creative tour for taste buds. 

Price at time of publish: $29

Pages: 392 | Published: 2008 | Formats: Hardcover, paperback, spiral-bound, e-book

What Our Editors Say

"An encyclopedia of sorts that just lays out a single ingredient (say, mint) and a laundry list of other ingredients that pair well with it. It is a compilation of opinions from I believe over 1000 different chefs from various cuisines and specialities, and allows for someone who already has skill in the kitchen to riff and play with new flavor pairings. It’s a fantastic resource for people who like to develop their own recipes or who can cook without a recipe." - Kristin Stangl, Food Editor

John Boos Chop-N-Slice Maple Wood Reversible Cutting Board

John Boos Block Chop-N-Slice Maple Wood Cutting Board

Courtesy of Amazon

A dependable cutting board should never be underestimated. If the gourmet cook in your life is in need of a gift, strongly consider this thick cutting board from John Boos. The beautiful maple wood block is reversible and heavy enough to keep from sliding around. It’s able to withstand anything from rapid slicing to hearty chops. 

Our tester loved the block’s large surface capacity and how the wood was hard enough to withstand daily use, but soft enough that it didn’t damage any knives. She noted that it does require a bit of special care, however, as it needs to be seasoned before use and carefully hand washed. 

Price at time of publish: $87

cutting lettuce, cucumber on john boos cutting board

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Material: Maple Wood | Dimensions: 20 x 15 x 1.25 Inches | Weight: 9 pounds

What Our Testers Say

Because this board is so thick, it can be used for chopping. By that we don’t mean chopping an onion—we mean whacking a chicken into pieces.” – Donna Currie, Product Tester

What to Look for in Gifts for a Gourmet Cook

Current Inventory

It may be difficult to take stock of another person’s kitchen, but if you can, it will make gift giving infinitely easier. They may have a tasty kimchi recipe, but need a fermentation crock to facilitate preparation. Also, if this is a special occasion gift, be sure to check for a registry. Foodies are usually open to trying something new, so don’t be afraid to get them something that entails experimentation. A browse through Instagram might help spark inspiration, as well.


Different occasions call for different budgets, but always keep in mind what is comfortable for you and makes sense for the gift recipient. Be mindful of spending an appropriate amount based on what place in life your recipient is at, as well. In the end, a gift, no matter how large or small, will be appreciated.

Type of Gourmet Cook

Buying a passionate cook a gift can be difficult, but if you know the cuisine they like to cook or are interested in trying, it makes the job of selecting something easier. Someone who leans toward slow-cooked French stews may need a Dutch oven. A cook that also loves science would enjoy dabbling in molecular gastronomy. Any cook that loves a good cheese plate would happily learn to make their own cheese. Trust your instincts and knowledge of the person and their cooking style.


What does gourmet mean?

The Spruce Eats explored this concept in this article. Below are the basic principles:

  • Someone who is a connoisseur of good food and drink
  • Food of the highest quality and flavor, prepared with precision and presented in an artful manner
  • A restaurant where food is prepared and served with the highest quality standards
  • A store that stocks and sells high-quality, unique, or hard-to-find ingredients needed to prepare gourmet dishes
  • A kitchen that is well-appointed with professional-grade appliances and storage areas for specialty items and equipment

What are some ingredients to keep on hand for making gourmet meals?

This is highly subjective and would differ with the type of cuisine you tend to prepare, equipment on hand, and knowledge level, but there are some staples that create the backbone of most recipes:

  • Olive oil
  • Fresh black pepper (preferably in a mill)
  • Salt
  • Fresh garlic
  • Some sort of acid (lemon or lime)
  • Vinegar (red wine is widely called for, but rice is popular for Asian dishes)
  • Dijon mustard (a must for making simple vinaigrettes) 
  • Butter
  • Grains (such as rice or quinoa)
  • Onion
  • Fresh herbs (flat leaf parsley is king, but mint and cilantro add brightness)

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

The author of this piece, Bernadette Machard de Gramont, is an L.A.-based writer who specializes in global food and wine content. After a two-year stint at Williams-Sonoma headquarters in San Francisco, she now researches and tests a variety of cookware, bakeware, and wine tools, and interviews field experts for their insight. She interviewed two experts for this piece: Pace Webb, executive chef and owner of L.A.-based Taste of Pace, and Dr. Julia Skinner, food historian and founder of Atlanta-based Root Kitchens.

Carrie Honaker, who updated this roundup, is a food writer who appreciates handcrafted, artisan products and tools. As a restaurateur and avid home cook, she loves to gift a beautiful knife or a selection of artisan salts to encourage exploration in the kitchen. Her work has appeared in many publications, including Bon Appetit, Allrecipes, and Wine Enthusiast.

Allison Wignall, who updated this article, is a writer who focuses on food and travel. She’s always in the kitchen trying to recreate recipes from around the world. Her work has been featured in publications such as Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, and Southern Living.

Additional reporting by
Carrie Honaker
Carrie Honaker The Spruce Eats
Carrie Honaker is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine, travel, and culture. Her work has appeared in Bon Appetit, Wine Enthusiast, Allrecipes, and more.
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