Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Too Many Cooks

Presents for wannabe chefs, foodies and anybody whose favorite room is the kitchen

The right tools and ingredients are essential in the kitchen. A great cookbook acts as a necessary guide for exploration, while a little personality in utensils make the experience altogether more enjoyable. And of course, with much of cooking and baking, precision is key and reliable devices deliver the best results. Whether you’re tenured in the kitchen, just getting started or enjoy watching someone deserved (of these gifts) slave away over a hot stove, the items in our Too Many Cooks Gift Guide are worthy of precious counter space.

Pasta Tool Set

Not only are Eataly’s wooden pasta utensils traditional (so you can make dishes like your nonna), they’re also good looking enough that you’ll be proud to display them in your kitchen. The Pasta Tool Kit ($38) from the already iconic Italian marketplace is exclusively available at MoMA Store, and comes complete with two ravioli presses, a gnocchi- and a spaghetti-maker. The set even contains four recipes—charming Italian accent not included.

Utility Apron

The latest from Apolis, a certified B Corp that aims to empower disenfranchised people through equal opportunity (in place of charity), is a durable apron ($98) made from hemp canvas with three pockets and an adjustable leather strap. Whether you’re hard at work in the studio or the kitchen, this versatile piece will keep what’s underneath pristine.

The NoMad Cookbook

Treat someone special to a Michelin-starred meal without ever visiting a restaurant, using Daniel Humm’s The NoMad Cookbook ($60). Inside, elegant photography and detailed recipes treat home cooks to the very dishes the acclaimed NYC-based chef dreams up at his award-winning restaurant. As an additional surprise, it even comes with a second cocktail recipe book hidden within false pages.

Life Measured Pitcher

Brooklyn-based industrial design studio Visibility and food design publication MOLD have collaborated on a borosilicate glass pitcher ($65) that’s more than just pretty to look at. Whether using it as a wine carafe, a mixing bowl or something else altogether, the pitcher’s colorful silicone rings can be moved or removed entirely according to the measurements you need at the time. Dishwasher- and microwave-safe, it holds hot or cold liquids and promises to be a super-useful addition to the kitchen.

Californian Growers Blend Olive Oil

Fresh, quality olive oil in the pantry signals your dedication to good food. This daily-use olive oil from indie makers Other Brother is the mildest and most versatile of their offerings. Their Spanish-style Growers blend ($25), made from California-grown olives, is smooth and buttery—and we’ve even been advised to try pouring a little onto vanilla ice cream. The vintage design of the “Tallboy” tin makes it especially fun to gift.

Cat Pot-Holder

This 100% cotton cat pot-holder ($29) adds a little extra whimsy and bewitchery to tonight’s dinner preparations. With an embroidered kitty face by your side, you’ll be able to conquer any hot handles. And if you’re in the mood for more, Arro Home also has a matching velvety black cat cushion.

Toast Plate

London-based ceramicist and illustrator Charlotte Mei’s blushing Toast Plate ($55) has a contagious smile that will throw any morning moodiness out the window. Made by hand using white earthenware clay and painted with subtle pigments—all smothered in a glaze to make it glossy and also safe to eat off, this lovingly created character is almost too cute to cover with your wake-up PB+J.

Gluten-Free Crackers

Made using only non-GMO ingredients, Onesto crackers are super-crunchy, and delicious—which might be seemingly impossible to many, as they are also gluten-free. Free of bleached sugars and preservatives, the variety pack ($21) includes different flavors like rosemary, sea salt and ancho chile. They’ll make an unexpected and tasty treat for even the gluten-tolerant at your next cheese and wine party.

Vermont Dark Maple Syrup

Skye Chalmers and Tina Hartell—the duo behind Bobo’s Mountain Sugar—refuse to cut corners when it comes to their Vermont Dark Maple Syrup ($19). Each spring, they harvest sap from roughly 2,500 trees, boiling down 55 gallons to produce just one gallon of the rich, liquid gold. Pour it over homemade pancakes or, better yet, mix it with ginger, apple cider vinegar and cold water for a refreshing Vermont Switchel.

Octagonal Cast Iron Skillet

Portland-based FINEX, with humble origins on Kickstarter, is now one of the very few American companies making cast iron cookware. With deeper walls than the average skillet, this compact 8″ one ($125) from FINEX is best for browning meats and sautéing vegetable side dishes, but can handle anything from breakfast to blackberry crumbles. The octagonal design makes it much easier to pour sauce or cooking liquids from almost any angle. For more options, there’s also a grill pan version to get your BBQ on even in colder weather.

Images courtesy of respective brands, hero image also courtesy of the Nomad Cookbook