The best thing about foodie gifts is that they lay the romantic groundwork for future dinners together. Plus, these are the gifts that keep on giving — back to you, as the loving significant other to a now well-equipped home cook. Here are five suggestions to get you started.
Walk into someone's kitchen and you'll be able to tell immediately if a person loves to cook. Often, there will be a cake dome, cheese board, or cookie jar out. If not, why not wrap one of those or a tiered serving platter up? It will make your food-loving girlfriend or boyfriend even more proud of the end product of a few hours of slaving over a hot stove. (Cheese board, above, from Brooklyn Slate Company.)
2. A Cookbook (But Not Just Any Cookbook)
This sounds almost too simple, but of course the book you select is very important. Think Julia Child, not Sandra Lee. There are definitely some must-have tomes like the New York Times Cookbook, Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything and, of course, Mastering the Art of French Cooking that would be perfect, provided the recipient doesn't already own them. A more playful option like David Lebovitz's ice cream book The Perfect Scoop plus an at-home maker is as cute as it is indulgent — the best kind of gift.
3. A Chef's Knife
Every serious cook needs serious knives, but not every cook can afford one. If you have a little money to spend, then look into a nice brand like Shun or Wüsthof. It is the sort of thing where how the knife feels in the owner's hand matters, so rather than make it a surprise, invite your significant other out to give a few a test spin.
4. Cooking Classes
In this case, it would be best to sign up for the classes as a couple. Is your relationship ready for that? Your guy or gal might find it impossibly nerdy, or unbelievably sweet and fun. Once you start researching the local grocery stores or restaurants (or even bars that host cocktail classes), make sure to keep an eye out for the classes that are specified as hands-on, so you're not just sitting in a chair watching someone else flambé. How else will you get to brush the adorable food smudge off your cutie’s face?
5. Actual Food
Cooking gifts require work, obviously, so if your dude loves food, why not get him food? Cook his favorite meal, take him out to a fancy restaurant with a big-name chef, or order in some Texas barbecue sauce or New York pastrami. You can be sure that this gift won't sit on a shelf unused.
— Nikki Metzgar, HowAboutWe
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