A Holiday Gift Guide To All The Things Chefs Actually Want

You can gift-wrap investment capital, right?

November 29, 2017 ● 3 min read

By Richie Nakano | Image amdandy via iStock, Collage ChefsFeed 

Chefs are a notoriously difficult group to shop for.

They hold some of the most rigid opinions and deeply-held beliefs about what the right tool for the job is, what's flat-out bad, and what will get quietly thrown away after visiting their parents' house. The holiday season is packed with kitchen gadget-laden gift lists for your friends and family who identify as "foodies," full of weird motorized wine openers and terrifying knife sets made of colorful ceramics, but no one knows what to get chefs for the holidays.

So we asked them.

The Simple Things
Recommended gift: Just like, a BLT. (But no meals made from Blue Apron kits, FFS.) 

Yoni Levy A home-cooked meal.
Trishia Davis Homemade cookies.
Emilie Rose Mita A vacation. Oh, and a pack of Sharpies.
Jeremy Esterly Insurance.
Jacob Kwan-Rosenbush A hot meal that was not cooked by [me], supervised by [me], or sourced by [me]. And a big joint.
Scott Birss A day without mods. Please.
Steve Gonzalez Any meal I don't have to cook.
Kristel Arabian Maid service or homecooked 1 am meal.
Bekah Johnso Cannabis is always welcomed.
@Taylor Boetticher: A meal cooked by someone else.  

Mental Health

Recommended gift: Offer to cover a shift, or spring for a spa treatment. Alternatively, cash out your entire bank account so they can close up shop for a day or three.

Ryan Lachaine Two.Days.Off.In.A.Row.
David Bazirgan A new career FTS.
Adam Bostwick 3 days off in a row.
Don Mallory Encouragement to seek out mental health.
Tricia Tracey A massage or any spa treatment.
@chefattack A full day off. 
@yeschefbridges Pedicures, and to not cook. 
@conesone A spa treatment!
@alisonaglitter Foot massage. 
@djlemur A full body exfoliation. 
@bakebythepound Friday and Saturday off.   

Good Help Is Hard To Find

Recommended gift: Cooks do you know any cooks got any cooks I need a couple cooks—

Brock Macdonald One more line cook.
Naomi Crawford A reliable cook.
Philippe Gaston Free labor for one pay period.
Dennis Lee A dishwasher who doesn't no-show.
Sharon Li People who give a shit.
Jeffery Allan Russell Good line cooks.

I Want It All

Recommended gift: A winning lottery ticket or something.

Sheamus Feeley Investment capital.
Amber Breckenridge Two weeks off, with pay.
Jared Clark Levin Open tab at favorite coffee shop (I provide stack of ones for tips).
Pablo Dexter Lucena Visico Christmas bonus and a raise!
Bill Crites Espresso machine, new Danskos, reliable staff.
Joe Chicotel Leather knife roll.
Ben Paula A Dunkin Donuts in San Francisco.
Josef Valoff In N Out in PDX
Gary Fx LaMorte Temperpedic, walking store, Jeroboam white burgundy.
Doralice Taborelli Handal A holiday and a reservation at n/naka and a chef jacket that fits me properly and a raise and my debt erased from my business. I know it's probably more realistic to ask for a pony. 
James Trees Certificate of Occupancy.
Alex Marsh Kunz spoon, liberal president, bitcoin mine.
Benjamin Parks A professional living wage.
Brooke Mosley 401K / PPO.
Alexander Ong Retirement plan.
Catherine Schimenti New clogs, Jordan’s and Louboutins. 
Paul Caravelli Days off..paid days off..dental...medical...a life...Taco Bell...pregnancy tests, an extra phone charger....free coffee at my door when I wake up.
Jimmy Lê To get rid of Yelp permanently.
@jinniyah_600 dollar knife
@tillythehun Compression socks. A massage. White undershirts.
@thegrexican Shop Vac, Gel Insoles, Bourbon. 
@TeamZissouChef New aprons, good socks, whiskey. 
@chefhenry Long-term employment.   

Peace and Fucking Quiet

Recommended gift: Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Or noise-canceling headphones. 

Casey Rebecca Nunes A day without someone asking me for something. I’d ask for two, but lol get real.

Chris DiMercurio Peace and fucking quiet.
Brian Grzybowski To stop hearing tickets printing when I’m asleep. 
David Sapp Silence. 
@selvaselvaggia Silence.   

I'm Not Crying You’re Crying

Recommended gift: A box of tissues and a bottle of bourbon.

Michael Manton A holiday at home.

Aaron Hoskins Hugs.
Becky Masson My bake shop back open.
@ChefCarli The missed bedtimes with my son.     

For the Chef Who Has Everything

Recommended gift: Honestly, most chefs would probably be happy with a peeler and a pack of Sharpies.


Liza Shaw Another year just like this one.
Junji Umezu Everything everyone asked for...you should all ask for a unicorn, you are more likely to get that.
Alejandro Rodriguez A new pair of tweezers.
David Varley Richie Nakano and Donald Trump Twitter war.
Jason Poon One way ticket to Flavortown.
Mathew Clouser Vincent Price’s reissued cookbook.
Joey Elenterio Original Four Loko.
Edward Martinez The McRib.
Hanna LeFèbvre Like 100 cake testers.
Trace Tedde-Vega His balls in my knife bag.
Han Ly Hwang My whole squad to do well.
Scott Vivian Anger knife.
Karen Solomon Restaurant gift certificates.
Nicholas Dorgan Unlimited supply of Advil.
@hessianchef A big bag of Swiss peelers.
@ajbailey Sharpies.
@Migdesigner Recurring Amazon Prime paper towel shipments. 
@bbrrains 4,6,8 quart containers, never enough. 
@thevugbug Bay tree.
@a_deliboy Restaurant supply house gift certificates. 
@sugartraffic Bras. 
@MatthewSievert Gold Bond.
@ChefNickPantz New clogs. 
@the_lessa Plain white towels. 

Hop to it, Amazon Prime shoppers.