As SAVEUR’s test kitchen director, I play with more tools than your average cook: skillets, knives, and little gadgets galore. Some are better than others. A few are worth hoarding. These are some of the best tools I’ve worked with, new tools and better upgrades I’d be thrilled to give (or receive,
hint hint) to any enthusiastic cook on my list. Whether you’re still on your first knives or a professional food obsessive, the following gifts are essential for anyone who likes to get down and dirty in the kitchen.
See all our gift guides this way »
I typically use towels to pull things from the oven, which isn’t always the best idea. This linen mitt is definitely safer than a towel, and cute to boot.
Linen Oven Mitt, $12.95 from
Sur la Table
This versatile pan is perfect for any home cook, and an elegant gift. It heats evenly and covers jobs from pan-searing to sauteeing to braising, which makes it a real workhorse.
All-Clad Copper Core 4-Qt. All in one Pan with Lid, $280 from
This limited edition skillet was designed by acclaimed industrial designer Raymond Loewy. It’s Le Creuset quality, which means even heat distribution, cast-iron, and a lifetime guarantee, and it has looks to match.
Raymond Loewy Skillet, $300 from
These aprons are, without a doubt, the best. Lots of cute colors and fabrics, sturdy but flexible, everything you need and nothing you don’t. Every chef needs to join the apron squad.
Apron, $89 from
Hedley and Bennett
I use citrus juice all the time for dressings, marinades, and cocktails. This juicer is not only functional, but looks good on display, and will encourage you to get more citrus in everything you make.
Glass Juicer, $35 from
I’m a pizza obsessive, and when I came across this steel, I knew I had hit a home run; it heats better than any baking stone. Not only that, you can use it as a griddle for cooking pancakes, eggs, or bacon, on the stovetop, just like at your favorite diner.
Baking Steel, $199 from
I have a mild obsession with wooden boards. I use them for everything–serving meats, appetizers, and photography. And this handsome board is just the right size with a good amount of heft. It’s beautiful enough to sit in the center of the table.
Walnut Cheeseboard, $69.95 from
I love these spatulas! They’re designed by some of my favorite chefs, and Williams-Sonoma will donate 30% of the proceeds to No Kid Hungry, an organization working to end child hunger in the US.
No Kid Hungry Spatula, $12.95 from
What chef doesn’t cut themselves? If you’re going to wear a plaster, you might as well wear a cute one.
Macaroni and Cheese Bangages, $3.95 from
I feel like everyone I know is now taking the shucking home with them, especially this time of year. Freshly shucked oysters are always perfect to start a party, and this set is the best for getting the job done safely without spilling any brine.
Oyster Knife Set, $150 from