Chefs Share the #1 Food Gift on Their Wishlists This Year

You might want to add one of these eight cooking tools to your list, too!

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a Dutch oven, knife, and copper cookware set on a blue background
Photo: Allrecipes Image

As you're making your lists and checking them twice — for everyone who's been nice and for yourself to offer ideas to those who want to pass along presents to you — it can be overwhelming to narrow things down. True, we've shared some gourmet food gifts to consider, as well as the best present ideas for people who love to cook.

But what about people who love to cook so much, that they make a living out of it? We asked professional chefs from coast to coast to chime in about what they're asking Santa to bring this year. Admittedly, some are quite the splurge, but after the last couple of years working in the hospitality industry, we say it's time to treat yourself, chefs!

Great Jones the Dutchess Dutch Oven

green dutch oven with gold handle
Great Jones

Available in eight jewel tone colors (take the brand's color quiz to meet your match!), this enameled cast iron Dutch oven earns a spot on the wishlist of Elizabeth Blau, a Las Vegas-based restaurateur, founder of the Women's Hospitality Initiative, and co-author of the Honey Salt: A Culinary Scrapbook.

"This one is so pretty, it also makes for a great service vessel," she says. It also retains heat well and is a breeze to clean, and its oval shape makes it possible to roast large pieces of meat and even boil long cuts of pasta without breaking the noodles.

"I love making soups, sauces, and fried chicken, and currently, my passion is baking sourdough bread," Blau says, and this Dutch oven is a fantastic tool for acing all of the above.

Buy it: $160; Great Jones

MEATER Plus Smart Meat Thermometer with Bluetooth


While food safety might not be the most glamorous topic, it's crucial to ensure everyone around the table leaves satisfied — not sick. So Meg Walker, the CEO and executive chef of Made by Meg Catering in Redondo Beach, Calif., is wishing for a Bluetooth thermometer to make it easier to cook meat to a safe internal temperature.

"I love this thermometer because you simply stick the gauge in the dish that you're cooking, pull up the app on your phone, and watch the temperature rise. No more getting up to check the oven or taking the dish out to take the temperature and losing heat," she says. "This is a gadget that I am absolutely here for!"

Buy it: $99.95; Amazon

Chef'n Ice Cream Sandwich Maker

Chef'n Ice Cream Sandwich Maker
Williams Sonoma

In the mood for a hint of nostalgia, Kim Canteenwalla, a Las Vegas-based chef and co-author of the Honey Salt: A Culinary Scrapbook, is asking for this smartly-designed, freezer-friendly ice cream sandwich maker.

"We have used similar molds like this to make a trio of ice cream sandwiches including vanilla, chocolate, and oatmeal on dessert menus in our restaurants before," he says. This maker is constructed with silicone so you can bake the cookie portion right inside, then add the ice cream and freeze.

Buy it: $21.95; Williams Sonoma

Tsunehisa Santoku Knife

Coutelier NOLA

Both Hunter Evans, chef at Elvie's in Jackson, Miss., and Chris Curren, executive chef and owner of The Graceful Ordinary in St. Charles, Ill. are asking for something a cut above the rest: a chef's knife.

"I love getting new knives! I have been eyeing a Tsunehisa Santoku — I really love the size of the knife," Evans says. "It's not a really large chef's knife, but a little smaller and more comfortable which allows it to be used for many different tasks."

Curren adds that a chef's knife like this is the ultimate gift for the cook in your life because it's uber-versatile.

"You always need one, and you always need a good one. Used for cutting and chopping, it is the most important knife — and definitely worth spending a little extra money on... or having someone else spend a little extra money on," he says. "I prefer Japanese-style knives, mostly because of their light weight and ability to stay sharp. I mean, after centuries of creating some of the sharpest blades in the world, they really understand how to create a quality knife."

Buy it: $180; Coutelier NOLA

Made In Cookware The Copper Set

Three copper cookware pots with stainless steel handles
Made In/Paige Smith

In other kitchen workhorse news, a solid set of pans is well worth the investment. R.J. Cooper, chef at Saint Stephen in Nashville, Tenn., has his eye on one spiffy set in particular: "Copper pans from Made In Cookware are at the top of my list this year! They are beautiful, durable, and cook very evenly." (We rated them highly in our rankings of the best copper cookware sets.)

The copper material is highly conductive and looks beautiful enough to head from stove to table as a service piece. This set of three pans (braiser, saucepan, saucier) and three lids come with a 45-day trial period to ensure any recipients are 100 percent happy before committing to the investment.

Buy it: $1,199; Made In Cookware

KitchenAid Pasta Roller and Cutter Attachment

red kitchenaid mixer with pasta making attachment

For KitchenAid stand mixer fans like Alec Gropman, executive chef of Uptown Hospitality Group in Charleston, S.C., accessories make their go-to tool even more fun and useful.

"You can customize your mixer with a huge selection of diverse attachments," Gropman says. "I will definitely be adding the pasta roller and cutter and press to my collection this year, whether my fiancé gets it, or I do! Having access to a proper homemade pasta setup is an absolute game-changer for any person looking to elevate their dinner parties or just spend quality time with their family. "

Buy it: $219; Amazon

Ohio Stoneware 3-Gallon Preserving Crock

Ohio Stoneware 02443 Preserving Crock

For a present that will stand the test of time, consider this food-safe, super-sturdy crock — a wishlist item of Jordan Harvey, executive chef at Hearth and Hill in Park City, Utah.

"I'm obsessed with fermentation, and this is the ideal vessel for preserving a range of products from pickles and sauerkraut to homemade miso," he says. "This product will last forever if well cared for. It's sturdy and versatile, two things every chef or home cook can appreciate."

Buy it: $94.93; Amazon

KitchenAid Commercial-Style Imperial Black Gas True Convection Range with Self-Cleaning

KitchenAid - Commercial-Style 5.1 Cu. Ft. Slide-In Gas True Convection Range with Self-Cleaning - Imperial black
Best Buy

For those who are feeling *really* generous, Cleetus Friedman, director of hospitality at Camp Aramoni premier boutique campground in Tonica, Ill., has an idea for you: "At some point, we want to upgrade our appliances, and if Santa was looking to hook a brother up, I would die to get a KitchenAid Imperial Black Commercial-Style Gas Range. For me, the range is the hub of the kitchen and a place where I spend lots of time when preparing meals for the family. I like the KitchenAid commercial line for home-cooking and could hope for the whole suite!"

Buy it: $6,119.99; Best Buy

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