From the newly minted cook to the veteran chef, from the Nerdwesterners to the Northwasted, we’ve got a gift for everyone this holiday season.
By Kendra Valkema
Jerusalem: A Cookbook
This award-winning cookbook pairs stunning photos and inventive, inviting dishes. The collection of 120 recipes is a visual tour of the diverse city of Jerusalem, and it’s sure to become a top-of-the-stack staple for any culture-hungry chef.
Barnes and Noble | $21
Learning how to bake can often involve cookies sticking to “non-stick” pans or endless sheets of parchment paper. The silicone Silpat ensures picture-perfect batches of cookies that virtually slide off the pan. Your friend will win baking fame, and you will earn gratuitous baked goods.
Bed Bath & Beyond | $24.99
Cuisinart 12” Stainless Steel Skillet
This classic skillet is ideal for the newbie behind the stove who needs a reliable pan to get the job done. While it might be the first pan an aspiring chef adds to the cupboard, with its lifetime warranty, it could also be the last.
Cuisinart.com or Amazon | $49.95
Gift Card to Mindy’s Hot Chocolate
Mindy’s Hot Chocolate is a crowd-pleaser dessert bar that also offers killer lunch and brunch. There’s a reason why the restaurant was placed in our Best Desserts feature this fall (page 22), so pick up the tab for a friend and let him or her indulge in the rich specialty hot chocolates and delicious desserts without worrying about the bill.
Mindy’s Hot Chocolate | Any amount
International Salt-Free Seasonings Blend Gift Box
Give the cosmopolitan foodie in your life tickets to Mexico, Paris, Singapore and Spain without ever leaving the kitchen. This set contains regional spices and herbs that are ground in small batches to ensure freshness. Pommes de terre, anyone?
The Spice House | $22.95
Bottle Opener Phone Case
What do you get someone who already has the perfect grill, tons of booze and the best sports gear? A school-spirited iPhone case that can effortlessly open up all that booze, of course. You can even customize a case to immortalize that regretted game day Snapchat.
beaheadcase.com | $24.99
No apartment has the space (or the budget) for a blender and food processor. We all know the Magic Bullet can make smoothies, but it can also chop veggies, whip up hummus and mix drinks for a party.
Amazon | $49.99
Peach White Balsamic Vinegar
This bright and sweet vinegar is bound to be used in unexpected ways by the adventurous chef. It can add summery flavor to anything from meats to seafood or fresh salads and salsas. Old Town is Chicago-based but imports this premium vinegar from Italy, making this local bottle worthy of any gourmand’s taste.
Old Town Oil or oldtownoil.com | $17.95
Tour of Half Acre Beer Company
Half Acre has grown from a humble brewery to a favorite even outside the Chicago area. The beer junkie in your life will love getting to tour the inside of the brewery with a new pint glass in hand to sample the taps. Afterwards, he or she can check out the tap room, which is just that: all beer and nothing else.
Must be purchased the day of the tour, on-site and in cash | $10