2020 Holiday Gift Guide for Home Cooks and Food Lovers
.Take a deep breath. Prepare yourself…
We all know that holidays aren’t about the presents (particularly in the dumpster fire of a year that is 2020), BUT you may also know that giving presents is kind of the best. Nothing makes me giddier than finding the perfect present for someone I love, especially when it comes to a tricky giftee. (Logan is weirdly hard to shop for.)
My hope is that these gift guides might help you source a little something special for someone you love. Or yourself! As I remind you every year, there is zero shame in forwarding these gift guides to significant others/family members with the subject “Hint, hiiiint.”
Happy gifting, friends! And happy, happy holidays. I’m sending you the tightest virtual koala hug.
2020 Gift Ideas for Home Cooks and Food Lovers:
1. DIY Food Basket. A basket of fancy foods is the default holiday present for many, but it doesn’t always feel…personal? Show a food lover some tailored TLC by collecting a few of their favorite food items and building a custom gift basket. (My assistant once gifted me a bottle of tequila, with fancy salt, and limes wrapped in a bow, and I felt SEEN, dammit!). Call me crazy, but I personally think a Trader Joe’s basket could be fun! Especially for someone who doesn’t necessarily live near a TJ’s and can’t experience the specialty item magic on the regular. (A few of my favorite TJs items: Everything But the Bagel Seasoning, Chili-Garlic Crunch, Smoked Paprika, Chili-Lime Cashews, Marcona Almonds with Rosemary, Creamy Almond Butter, Organic Dried Mango, and Salsa Verde.)
2. Casa Dragones Blanco Sipping Tequila. If you have a tequila drinker in your life, a bottle of Casa Dragones crisp, smooth sipping tequila is likely to go over very well. This stuff is delicious on the rocks or with a squeeze of lime, and the bottle looks particularly fetching on one’s bar/countertop.
3. Oxo Polypropylene Carving and Cutting Board. A cutting board may seem like a lame gift, but it’s hard to find a great one, and this one stands head and shoulders above the rest! Large (this is key!), sturdy, and wildly versatile, this synthetic bad boy is a culinary workhorse that flies under the radar. Your giftee shall think of you every day ;).
4. That Cheese Plate will Change Your Life by Marissa Mullen. Honestly, I find this book mesmerizing. It’s filled with creative cheese/charcuterie boards, and each one is accompanied by a “Cheese by Numbers” pictorial to help you bring it to life at home. Perfect for cheese lovers, entertainers (we gonna have a comeback one day!), budding food stylists, and…anyone in need of a new hobby? Cheese is a good hobby.
5. Joseph Joseph 5-Piece Silicone Elevate Kitchen Tool Set. When it comes to cooking utensils, I’m a diehard silicone loyalist. It won’t scratch up your pots and pans, can withstand high heat, is easy to sanitize (throw it in the dishwasher), and doesn’t stain easily/hold onto smell (cough..wooden utensils…cough!). Joseph Joseph’s elevate utensils have a small piece of silicone at the top of the handle so that they rest about a half inch above the counter and don’t require a spoon rest!! If you don’t want to shell out for the entire set, the Elevate Spatula would make a fabulous gift on it’s own. (I wish to be buried with mine.)
6. DOMA The Chronic Super Dank Coffee. Drip coffee connoisseurs will flip for this blend, which is, in fact, super dank. (And guaranteed to put a smile on their face and some pep in their step.) If you order from the DOMA website, you can get beans whole or ground for a chemex, cone drip filter, French press, home espresso machine, or cold brew. (p.s. This blend is billed as a dark roast, but I thought it was medium at most before I checked. Just throwing that out there.)
7. Rubirosa Frozen Pizza via Goldbelly. Treat a pizza fetishist to NYC’s finest!! These pizzas arrive frozen and can be baked to perfection in your home oven. As someone who has eaten hundreds of these pizzas in person, I can personally vouch for the fact that these frozen pies deliver almost (let’s be real) the same pizza magic.
8. Microplane Rasp Grater. Fact: I did an entire podcast episode about my love affair with this essential kitchen tool. This grater gets almost daily action in my kitchen—to zest citrus and grate hard cheeses, ginger, garlic, and even chocolate—and I believe every home chef should have one.
9. custom gift box featuring my book babies and some of my favorite sweet and savory treats. (Act quick on the book front—there are a limited number of signed copies available!)Give the gift of epic snacks and a signed copy of The Dude Diet or The Dude Diet Dinnertime (or both)!!! One of my oldest and bestest friends runs a fantastic company called The Giftwell Neighborhood that creates custom care packages featuring exclusively female-founded brands. I couldn’t be more excited to have teamed up with her to create a
11. Virtual Cooking Class/Serena’s Cooking Club Gift Certificates. Yours truly started teaching virtual cooking classes back in April, and not to toot my own horn, but they are SO MUCH FUN!!! Classes walk students through a meal from start to finish (no need to do any prep work in advance), often with a cocktail in hand. Chefs of all levels are welcome—recipes are broken down easily enough for beginners to handle, but they’re impressive enough to still be fun and exciting for seasoned cooks, and the classes have fantastic group energy. Gift certificates are now available for dollar amounts as well as for Serena’s Cooking Club subscriptions (1 month, 6 months, or 1 year). For the price of a single class, subscribers gain access to all live classes every month as well as on demand recordings of past classes!
For more gifting inspiration, check out the Gift Guides for Home Cooks and Food Lovers from 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013. (It is hilarious, that my gift guide collage skills have truly not improved much over the past 8 years. Thanks for sticking with me.)
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