I may not be Oprah, but I am unashamedly the one and only Kari Alana and as the doyenne of all things homely and the one tasked with helping you turn any house or living space into a home, these are a few of my favorite things for the food lover and those who really enjoying making home. This is an update Best Gifts for Foodies compilation. All of the items listed here are curated in my very own Amazon Store.
Yes, my friends, I now have my own store on Amazon due to your continued support, and for that, I am thankful. When you shop through my link, I get a very small commission on any qualifying purchases.
I have been writing seasonal gift lists for years in my Dubai food column, When Hunger Strikes, which many looked forward to over the years. I have some experience in kitchen and table as I also directed the digital marketing efforts of the top fine kitchen and table retailer in Dubai with over 15 stores in 6 countries and rebranded and streamlined their digital marketing to include e-commerce and a very active, highly engaging social media presence and creating a cult following now amounting to over 100,000 on FB and IG combined!
What you will realise is that many of the things I like are pretty consistent and for good reason. I am helping you to build a life, a home, one item at a time. If you shop my list according to your disposable income over time you will actually create your own Chef and Steward Kitchen.
These items are great for starters, newlyweds, new home owners, seasoned cooks and chefs. Some items are actually commercial grade and used in top restaurants worldwide. I curate quality. This year, 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year across the world due to a pandemic which has increased distancing between us and those we love. One way to keep our language flowing is through gifts. You can buy items and ship directly to the persons on your list but you could also buy them and create your own care packages. So for example, with fancy Staub teapot, get some great loose leaf herbal blends for tisanes like Loose Leaf Hibiscus, or Loose Leaf Earl Grey Tea and make a package with a handwritten note, saying in what ways you are grateful for their presence in your life.
BEST FOODIE GIFTS FOR 2020
I figured I would start with the knife in my featured image. Hands down, as one who teaches cooking classes and works with food for a huge portion of my living, fatigue and overuse are things I try to avoid and one great way to do so is with well balanced knive that are light in the hand as well. My global knives are prized possessions in my kitchen and so much so that I do not like cooking without them. This three knife set is a really great value. If you want to go all out, buy a global knife block but I prefer to buy a small kit and build upwards based on preference and usage. I use a magnetic metallic strip to hang my knife
This French cast iron teapot will keep your teas and tisanse hot so you will never have to drink another cold cup of tea while you are enthralled in your conversation. This design is very modern with clean lines and it comes in an assortment of shiny, enamel led bright colours as well as a more reserved grey. Click on image to purchase.
Known for their strong and elaborate tea culture, the Japanese have made the serving of tea a high art. One thing in their arsenal is a cast iron teapot and kettle. This is more a traditional design and comes in different sizes. Click on image to purchase.
I bought this Alessi of Italy famous Whistling Kettle because it was my gift to myself and such a prized collector’s item. It is a fine piece for the discerning tastemaker and collector. Other Alessi collector’s pieces are also in my shop. Click on image to purchase.
This Le Creuset cast iron cookware set is perfect for the person who has been cooking all your meals, even if that person is you! But seriously, what an incentive to stand up and cook delicious meals. Available in several colours, you can select the one that suits the taste, decor and personality of the one being gifted. Click on image to purchase.
I personally bought a 10 piece All Clad set as a wedding anniversary gift several years ago. This has turned out to be a great investment not only because they have outlasted the marriage, but because they also brought great meals and good times and memories to our family table and continue to do so. Somethings do not last forever, but for every great kitchen, there is All Clad. Made in America. This is a great stater kit and quite a steal at this price! Click on image to purchase.
This three pot All Clad set is perfect for the college student, graduate or single person starting out or even a couple. Just be sure to gift a few cans of Barkeepers’ Friend along with it. It is also a great and cost effective way to transition to getting better quality pots and leveling up from cheap pots that burn everything into a crisp. Click on photo to purchase.
This All Clad Copper Core Set is perfect for the person for whom there is no budget. How about saying “Thank you for cooking for us for the past 5,10, 15, 25 years and have fun and look good doing so for as long as it brings you joy?!” I don’t know many seasoned cooks who LOVE COOKING would not turn into a happy bawling blubber to see this. Copper is such an efficient heat conductor and helps to eliminate hot spots. Made in America. Click on photo to purchase.
If you want to really take the copper cookware all the way up… you must stop with Mauviel of France. They are a heritage line, making copper cookware in the same family since the 1700s and they are simply the best at it. Get this set and get any other Mauviel copper specialty pans in my store because I have curated the best. Ideally, 2.5mm thickness for commercial pans is ideal but for home use, 1.5mm is fine and will still last for generations. If you can only get one piece, get this 2.5mm frying pan. Be sure to get their Copperbrill cleaner to keep them looking like the showpieces they were created to be and even hang them for display in a rustic modern or traditional farmhouse or Mediterranean design. Click on image to purchase.
The seasoned cook needs this Mauviel Copper Roasting Pan with Roasting Rack in their life like now! It’s roasting season, and what greater way to give an early gift that will actually be the gift that keeps on giving! How amazingly well will your turkey and ham and other large meats roast (and look) in this? Seriously, such a perfect gift! Click on image to purchase. You can also get Mauviel Stainless Steel version from my store.
Very few things scream HOLIDAYS louder than this Staub of France Cocotte! You can get it in a festive red or so many other colours. It enameled and preseasoned so you do not have to worry about upkeep. I have two of these in different sized and only wish I had bought more. They are picture perfect from stove to oven and straight to table and make a pretty presentation while serving double duty of keeping the food warm while something else takes forever to cook. Click on the image to purchase.
For a budget cast iron pot, this Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven is strikes just the right balance between style and pocket. It is also enameled and pre-seasoned. Note that unlike Staub and Le Creuset who make all their Cast iron cookware in France, Lodge only makes their non-enameled pots and pans in the USA. So this and all like it is made in China. For some that is a high deal worth mentioning as some have said that the labeling on the Lodge listing made it seem otherwise. I believe it states it in the small print, but I am saying here so you don’t come for me later on if that is a big deal for you. Click on the image to purchase.
This Staub Oval Cocottte is exactly how you level up a roast chicken. Yes a roast chicken level up issa ting. But seriously though, a great way to book cook and serve a roast chicken, when on the stove or in the oven then place it on a trivet directly on the table to serve family style one it has cooled a little. Just remember to tie napkins around the handles or let pan cool down to a safe temperature. Click on the image to purchase.
For the person who loves smoothies, or who is always hinting not so subtly, “I wish I had a Vitamix” when something didn’t blend just right in a lesser blender. Le sigh. Make those wished come true all the way through and just buy it. I prefer this commercial version because I tend to fancy commercial models over consumer models but if your top cupboards are low, then you can opt for a model with a shorter and wider blender cup. This is also a great gift for a chef. Click on image to purchase.
This Brushed Metallic Kitchen Aid line is for the highly discerning foodie who places high regard on a a metallic aesthetic and is not afraid to drop some serious dough on it. You can get a regular one for half the price as this by the way in the traditional colours but these metallic ones are limited and premium and so picture perfect! Click on image to purchase.
If I could pick one thing that has gotten the most use in my kitchen, it is my Bamix handblender. I chose the commercial grade over the consumer because of higher wattage and more power making light work of anything. So many recipes on this blog have been created with this matchine. I would suggest to buy the blender cup as well separately. Wash up is so easy and convenient and it comes in handy when you have a young child! So this would be great for an expectant foodie mom who wants to make her own baby food as well or just about anyone who cooks. Great for chefs too because it is the quality they are used to. Click on image to purchase.
This Magimix Food Processor is French made by Robot Coupe, the same company that makes the best commercial food processors. This is the perfect gift for a serious foodie or one who has a part time food business in the home or otherwise or Meal Prep Mamas and Papas who are serious about large batch cooking. This motor is no joke. I own one of these. Click on image to purchase.
Air Fryers are all the rave in 2020 and this Ninja is a best seller and one to beat. It is amazing and makes so many dishes more practical especially for those with dietary restrictions. I have seen so many really amazing things being done in an air fryer this year that I looked into getting one myself. And that leads me to my next favourite thing. Click on the image to purchase.
I have used my WMF pressure cooker for years until somehow, it was punctured. I tried replacing it twice, with two lesser than pressure cookers, which do nothing but waste my gas and time. So, I needed a pressure cooker. I also have been looking at air fryers. So this combination is literally what my own foodie dreams are made of. I am literally dreaming of this as my birthday present and my New Year’s gift. It is BOSS! You can make yogurt, air fry, pressure cook, and set it and forget it! I also love that it provides another cooking station because you can make so many dishes in it- even dessert so when your oven is occupied and you are cooking on all the burners you have, this allows you to have another dish hissing away. Click on image to purchase
More Gifts Under $100
Never underestimate the power, efficiency and impact of a Microplane Zester in the life of a foodie who does not own one. This is why I will be giving it away for a gift for my YouTube Subscribers. It is so useful for zesting citrus and hard cheeses. Zesting with this Microplane produces light zest without the bitter pit. Using it to grate hard cheeses produces light airy shreds so yo can buy better quality hard cheeses and use less, which gives greater bang for each.
This Alessi Anna G. screwdriver is the perfect illustration of the Alessi aesthetic of modern Italian design which fuses form and function into beuaiful pieces that are worth displaying and collecting, even whilst being highly functional. Click on image to purchase.
This Staub Ceramic Baking Dish is beautiful and functional and comes in at an alarmingly good price. You can also select from a wide range of colours. This makes oven to table a beautiful things indeed! Click on image to purchase.
I love Bodum. Period. I have loads of their products in my store. But this is a STEAL! How beatiful is this kettle! Such a fine one for a discerning collector too and at this price, you can buy one for yourself and another for your bestie! Click on image to purchase.
Because this is what self care looks like for the coffee lover or tisane/herbal tea lover. How beautiful is this and perfect as a corporate gift for your B2B clients who have stuck with you in a very challenging year. And for me too. I have one in the classic stainless steel but this is just stunning! Click on image to purchase a few for those who deserve a great way to enjoy their favourite hot drinks in fine style!
This Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker with Permanent Filter is the BIGGEST STEEL YET! Would you believe that this thing comes in at ____? (Hint: You can buy all of 6 and still not reach $100!! So create bang for buck with this gift for the coffee lover!
For the baker, this is the perfect gift and such a mind-blowing price. At only $18, you get 4 ceramic ramekins,a wire rack and perfect square 8×8” pan, creating the perfect ban Marie for Creme brûlée as well as a pan that can be used for brownies and other baking and ramkeins that are perfect for both sweet and savoury baking!
MY FAVOURITE FOODIE GIFT FOR 2020 AND BEYOND… A FARMBOX SUBSCRIPTION (BELOW)
And last, but not least, how about the gift that keeps on giving. As in monthly… supplying a box of farm fresh produce to someone or a family your love with organic ingredients to help them on a monthly basis? Boxes are available in different price points and you can even order a juicing box! How about selecting a senior citizen who could use the added nutrition? It could be a parent or a relative or a teacher who has been a huge support to your kids and family throughout the pandemic. This is really a gift that can bless just about anyone because we all have to eat and eating organic, nutritionally dense foods helps to boost our immune system in ways no vaccine can. Of all the gifts, this is one that is closest to my heart. Because this is a random act of kindness that anyone can pay forward to any family based in the US. Click on any of the images to set order and send to whoever you choose.