2023 Holiday Gift Guide For Home Cooks and Food Lovers

November 22, 2023 | |

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Collaged images of gift ideas for cooks and foodies.


I’ve got some very fun gifting ideas for a variety of humans: Home Cooks and Food Lovers (below), Beauty and Wellness EnthusiastsHome and Style Mavens, and, of course, Dudes

We all know that holidays aren’t about the presents. BUT giving presents can sometimes be the best, and I take great pride each year in helping some of you find the perfect thing for someone you love. Especially the tough giftees. (I feel this pain. Everyone in my family is shockingly difficult to shop for.)

As always, my hope is that these gift guides help make shopping for your people a little bit easier and more fun. And reminder that there is zero shame in forwarding these gift guides to significant others/family members with the subject “Hint, hiiiint.”

Happy shopping, friends! And happy, happy holidays. Sending you an enormous virtual hug.

2023 Holiday Gift Guide for Home Cooks and Food Lovers:

A Personalized Papier Recipe Journal. Home cooks and recipe developers deserve a beautiful book to record their most beloved creations, and Papier has countless options that run the gamut from classic to whimsical. Make it personal by adding the recipient’s name to the front cover.

Made In Carbon Steel Frying Pan. This is a true chef’s pan. Carbon steel has a lot of the qualities we celebrate in cast iron (superior heat retention, durability, pretty nonstick surface), but it’s lighter weight and easier to maneuver. You get an epic sear on proteins in this beauty, and since it’s heat-safe up to 1200° F, it can quite literally be used over an open flame. (I love to use this on the grill for things like fish and vegetables that tend to stick or fall through the grates.) It also becomes increasingly nonstick with use, so it’s a great nontoxic alternative for those averse to nonstick coatings. Should you prefer a more affordable high-performance cast iron skillet, good old Lodge is always an excellent call.

Great Jones Beyond Measuring Cup. Aesthetic cooks will be thrilled with this beauteous (and practical) addition to their kitchen. A marriage of form and function, this 2-cup glass measuring cup is marked with measurements in ounces, cups and milliliters (no pesky math necessary!), and doubles as a cute serving vessel for sauces and dressings. Comes in two very fun colorways!

“Table Grill. This one goes out to the cheese lovers! There are few things more fun than group meals featuring melted cheese, and I have a serious love affair going with my raclette set. Each person can melt slices of raclette (or a cheese of your choice) in a little tray underneath a larger griddle that can be used for meats and vegetables. The melted cheese easily slides out of the tray to blanket any delicious items of your choosing! If you want to give the full Swiss treatment, this fondue set is perfect for cheese and chocolate and pairs wonderfully with a table grill for parties…

John Donahue Restaurant Drawing. If a restaurant has gained any semblance of notoriety in New York, London, Paris, or Napa, there’s a good chance John Donahue has drawn the façade in his signature style. Take a peek to see if you can find your giftee’s favorite restaurant (or one that has special meaning—an anniversary/birthday/milestone meal?) in his collection. Bonus points if you frame it. Or consider one of his three books if you can’t settle on a single drawing: All the Restaurants in New York, A Table in Paris, or A Taste of London.

Edibles Jar. A kitschy home for edibles of all kinds…

Ground Up Nut Butters. Nut gonna lie, I’m a a bit of a fancy nut butter fetishist, and Ground Up makes some of the most awesome and creative nut butters I’ve tried. You can build a pack of 2 to 6 or snag one of their holiday sets for the nut butter lovers in your life. Don’t sleep on the Cinnamon Snickerdoodle and the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.

A Tailored Food Tour/Experience. Is there a specific type of food or drink your food lover is partial to? Do some local research, pick 3 to 5 awesome spots, offer up a few dates on the calendar, and take them on a taco tour, pizza crawl, beer tasting, dumpling adventure, etc.! If you can’t go with them in person, I also think this would be a fantastic gift for a couple to do together.

YETI Cocktail Shaker. For the cocktail lovers! Is it truly a Serena Wolf gift guide if it doesn’t include at least one #notsponsored Yeti product?! I’m not sure I’ve been this excited for a new YETI product…ever. This shaker seems to remedy the most common issues I have with shakers. First, it has an easy press lid and twist cap. (The amount of times I’ve been unable to get the cap off my shaker and then proceeded to dump cocktail on myself when it eventually releases is comical.) It’s also leak resistant and has a NO SWEAT design, meaning that it keeps your drinks a consistent cold temperature but won’t freeze your fingies. Did I mention that it’s dishwasher safe?

Caramelo Tortillas. These are the best tortillas I’ve ever had in my life. Period. Logan heard about them from our taco-obsessed friends, and it’s maybe my favorite food recommendation we’ve ever received. Caramelo makes Sonoran-style tortillas in three varieties: pork fat, duck fat, and avocado oil. The duck fat is my personal favorite but all are WILDLY delicious. They’re expensive tortillas (shipping isn’t the focus for this small business), so they’re not necessarily something a person would buy for themself. And that, friends, is what make them such a good present. Buy a couple packages or gift them a subscription if you’re feeling wildly generous!

Hedley and Bennet Essential Apron. A high-quality apron is worth its weight in gold, and nobody does it better than Hedley and Bennett. This apron comes in endless colors, is durable, customizable (add a nickname or initials!), and has a lifetime guarantee should your home cook or grill master somehow manage to destroy it…

First Edition Cookbook. If you have a nostalgic/sentimental food lover in your life, sourcing a first (or simply vintage) edition of a cookbook from a chef/restaurant/time period/destination/style of cooking they love is such a thoughtful present. Many local bookstores have rare/vintage sections, but Rare Book Cellar, Etsy, EBay, Vintage Cookbook, and Chairish are great online perusal options.

Serena’s Cooking Club Subscription. I would be a bad business lady if I didn’t suggest my own virtual classes, but I also firmly believe that they are a fabulous present for home chefs of all ages and skill levels. A subscription gives the recipient access to 4 LIVE classes a month as well as unlimited access to the On Demand Video Library of all past classes (there are well over 100 at this point). In each class we make an entire meal from start to finish—no need to do any prep work in advance—on Zoom. Students can ask as many questions as they like, and I make sure everyone leaves with a delicious meal on the table. It’s educational, but it’s also really fun (I promise), and it really is a lovely community of people. Maybe throw in my cookbooks too if you’re feeling crazy?

For more gifting inspiration, check out the Gift Guides for Home Cooks and Food Lovers from 202220212020201920182017201620152014, and 2013. You may also find some ideas in my Wedding Registry Guide and in my “Kitchen Essentials” highlight on Instagram.

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