Holiday Gift Guide For Food Lovers

Get great ideas for food lovers with our holiday food gift and gadget guide from Cooking Channel star chefs and staff.

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Kelsey Nixon

Kelsey Nixon, host of Kelsey's Essentials, is all about clever twists on kitchen and household staples. Chances are, you'll be adding some of her great gift ideas to your holiday wish list.

State-Shaped Cutting Boards

Kelsey gets a kick out of cutting boards shaped like different states. Fun on their own but can be paired with cheeses and fresh fruit. Gifted, these boards definitely make the cut and can be used as a kitschy serving trays. Etsy, $40.

Fruit Memo Pads

Kelsey likes these pads as stocking stuffer or holiday hostess gifts. Whether you're jotting down a quick shopping list or leaving a message, it's always more fun with fruit. Kikkerland, $8.

M-Cups Measuring Cups

For the daring baker, Kelsey likes pairing these affordable nested measuring cups wih a favorite recipe. It's serves as a sweet set that's also sentimental. Fred & Friends, $10.

Heirloom Recipe Boxes

Kelsey loves this company and their recipe cards almost as much as she loves their stationery. Added bonus, these recipe boxes are handcrafted by local artisans from trees destined for landfill. Rifle Paper Co., $125.

Written Recipe Cards

"I like the idea of writing down my favorite family recipes and creating a keepsake that I can even pass down one day." Friends will love a set, tied in a ribbon and wrapped as a gift. Priceless.

Chuck Hughes

Chuck Hughes, host of Chuck's Day Off, knows pro kitchens and has a short list of must-haves. Check out what Chuck likes.

Chef's Knife

Chuck has great gear at Garde-Manger, his restaurant in Montreal. However, his go-to gadget is a chef's knife which he recommends as a great gift. "Buy something solid and of good quality that you can keep sharp! ...Too many dull knives out there."


Mandolines are kitchen critical for Chuck. Better yet, most people don't already have one. Slice, dice, julienne and make the thinnest homemade potato chips ever!

Roger Mooking

Roger Mooking, award-winning musician and host of Everyday Exotic, wants a massive BBQ for all of the amazing food people he's been "blessed to work with every day...too many to mention by name".

Loaded iTouch

Roger considers an iTouch to be a vital kitchen instrument (you gotta have tunes while you cook). He's scoping out a new gazillion gig iTouch loaded with all his favorite songs.

Roger's Fave Holiday Fare

On Roger's private holiday list? His grandfather's secret butter bread recipe and an extra helping of his mother's irresistible black cake.

Jeffrey Saad

Jeffrey Saad, host of United Tastes of America, thinks "the best gifts are those you really want but wouldn't buy for yourself." What's on Jeffrey's holiday list...?

Soda Siphon

Jeffrey's eyeing a soda siphon so he can carbonate freshly pureed ginger into homemade ginger beer!

Individual Baking Dishes

Jeffrey likes sets of individual baking dishes as gifts for a super personal touch. Bring these baked eggs with bubbly tomatillo salsa to a friend's holiday brunch and literally leave the dishes. Staub, Set of 3, $99.

Ceramic Mortal and Pestle

"A mortar and pestle are kitchen items most people wouldn't think to get themselves, and yet can be invaluable tools." Pick a color as spicy as what you're grinding. American Masala, $49.

5.5 Quart Oven Round

For a higher-end gift, Jeffrey likes a large cooker This 5.5 quart is great for bigger cuts of meat, chili or stews. Plus, the array of colors keep it all fun. Le Creuset, $335.

David Rocco

David Rocco, host of David Rocco's Dolce Vita, is just saying no to fruitcake this year. Instead, he's hoping for a cook-off with the stars of Jersey Shore (to determine who is more Italian) and a chance to cook with Elmo on Sesame Street. Find out what else is on David's wish list.

Vintage Vespa

David's hoping to find a vintage Vespa in his driveway Christmas morning. It's just what he needs for food-hopping around Florence.

Dinner with Sofia Loren

On the top of David's list, though, is dinner with Sofia Loren. I'm guessing there are a few Dolce Vita fans who wouldn't mind receiving dinner with David this Christmas.

Wake 'n' Bacon Alarm Clock

Also on David's list? An alarm clock that wakes you up with the smell and sizzle of cooking bacon. Mathlete, Prototype.

Stand Mixer with Glass Bowl

Kitchen whiz, Elizabeth Gray, a Cooking Channel online editor, has a stand mixer with glass bowl on her short list. Kitchen Aid, $290.

Bacon of the Month Club

Frank Samperi, Cooking Channel Site Manager, is dreaming of a gift membership to Pig Next Door's Bacon of the Month Club. He'll need it for one of our All Star Holiday Cookies.

Twirl Whisk

This little twirl whisk is also on Frank's wish list and makes a great stocking stuffer. A perfect match for mixing in tall, skinny containers and pitchers. Rosle, $20.

Pasta Attachments Set

Sara Levine, online editor for Cooking Channel, is hoping for fancy pasta attachments to bling out her mixer. Oh, and she'd also like a bigger kitchen to store them all in. Kitchen Aid Pasta Excellence, $295.

Stacked Dessert Tower

Michelle Buffardi, online editor for Food Network Magazine, wants a 4-tiered stacked dessert tower to show off her baking skills. Sweet!

Multipot with Mesh Inserts

Michelle also wants to make her pasta making, boiling and blanching a whole lot easier with this Multipot with Mesh Inserts. Williams-Sonoma, $130.

Ravi Instant Wine Chiller

How often do you grab a quick bottle of white and it's warm? Mark Levine, Site Director of Cooking Channel and, is hoping Ravi will rescue his next bottle. Ravi Instant Wine Chiller, $40.

My Sweet Mexico Cookbook

Mark often grabs Fany Gerson's new cookbook and dreams of these insanely decadent Mexican desserts. Pick it up for friends with sweet teeth. Ten Speed, $20.


Mark's family has been going to Bayley's Lobster Pound in Maine for decades, but they ship coast to coast if you can't make the trek north.

Babushkups Nesting Glasses

Small kitchen? Kristin Filipovits, Marketing Manager at Cooking Channel,shared this gift idea: stackable cups. And this set of 3 Babushkups Nesting Glasses couldn't any be cuter. Fred & Friends, $16.

Professional Meat Grinder

Roberto Ferdman, Intern for Cooking Channel, is wishing for a pro meat grinder this holiday season. We're wishing he gets one and makes us fresh, homemade sausages.

Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine

Alison Sickelka, Site Manager for Cooking Channel wants Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine by Rene Redzepi. "It's not a cookbook. It's more of an inspiration book. A coffee table conversation piece." Phaidon, $33.


We asked Cooking Channel stars and staff what they wanted in their stockings this year. Here are their top picks, large and small.

Click to the next slide to see their Wish List.

Chuck Hughes

Chuck has been pretty busy this year. While juggling his successful Montreal restaurant, Garde Manger, he went down to Mexico to shoot the new Cooking Channel series Chuck's Week Off.

See what he wants under his tree this year.

Perlini Carbonating System

"We use one of these at the restaurant and it is terrific. I could use another one at home to make my own sodas, with as little or as much sugar as I like."

                                                – Chuck Hughes

Perlini Carbonating System

A Trip to Mexico City

"When we were filming Chuck's Week Off in Mexico, one of the places that truly rocked was the Condesa District in Mexico City. It feels like Paris and the food is amazing. I want to go back for theaguachile at Broka Bistrot."

                                                – Chuck Hughes

Anything Homemade

"I'm a huge fan of homemade food gifts. I mean, who isn't? Candied pecans, homemade ketchup and sucre a la creme (maple syrup fudge) are a few of my favorites. They are easy to make and delicious. Of course, you can also go all out with homemade chocolate truffles."

                                                        – Chuck Hughes

Chuck's Chocolate Truffles Recipe

Lee Anne Wong

Host of Cooking Channel's Unique Eats, Lee Anne is always looking for innovative add-ons to her kitchen gadget arsenal. But this year, she's got her heart set on something a little more old-school.

Berkel Meat Slicer

"I really want a hand-cranked meat slicer like they have in all the fancy restaurant kitchens in New York. Because it's hand-powered, it doesn't burn the meat like electric slicers can. Red, please!"

                                             – Lee Anne Wong

Red Berkel Meat Slicer

Jeffrey Saad

Host of United Tastes of America, Jeffrey thinks "the best gifts are those you really want but wouldn't buy for yourself." So what's on Jeffrey's holiday list?

A Wine Tour of Spain

"I am working toward a master's in wine training. Part of the journey is traveling to vineyards around the world — I would love for Spain to be my next trip! Just like with food, when you get to the source of where something comes from, you have a much deeper connection to the final product. I will never forget standing on the hot rocks in the vineyards of the Rhone Valley in Southern France. I can smell those rocks every time I drink a glass of Rhone wine.

                                                   – Jeffrey Saad

Vintage Spain Wine Tour

An Ice Cream Maker with a Built-in Compressor

"I failed miserably at my first attempt to make salted caramel ice cream — it wouldn't freeze because I used too much salt. I had to wait 36 hours for the canister to re-freeze until I could attempt it again. No one should have to wait that long for ice cream — ever."

                                                   – Jeffrey Saad

Whynter ICM-15LS 1.6 Quart Ice Cream Maker

Serve with: Alton Brown's Eggnog Ice Cream

A Trip to the Moroccan Spice Markets

"I want to spend a whole day smelling and tasting spices. Standing in those markets must be like standing in a gigantic spice grinder, after the blade just finishes spinning. Then I would take those spices and spend another few days cooking with a local chef.

                                                   – Jeffrey Saad

Marrakesh Historical Tour

Kelsey Nixon

Kelsey, host of Kelsey's Essentials, is all about clever twists on kitchen and household staples. Chances are, you'll be adding some of her great gift ideas to your holiday wish list.

Kitchen Calendar

"A food-themed calendar for the upcoming year looks great on the kitchen wall, especially one with bright colors like this fruit calendar from Rifle Paper Co. I also love Anthropologie's kitchen tools calendar."

                                                   – Kelsey Nixon

Fruit Calendar

Kitchen Tools Calendar

Soda Stream

"Finally, an inexpensive way to make your own sodas at home. I love artisanal-flavored syrups for DIY sodas, and Soda Stream makes it easy."

                                                – Kelsey Nixon

Soda Stream

Slate Cheeseboard

"I love the idea of labeling the cheeses that you include on the cheese board at your next party. Not only is this a great gift to receive, but it's a great gift to give as well, especially if you load it up with stinky cheeses. Here are two I have my eye on."

                                                – Kelsey Nixon

Reclaimed Slate Cheese Board

Slate Plate

Roger Mooking

Host of Everyday Exotic, Roger likes to keep things interesting when in the kitchen. Do you expect his holiday wish list to be any different?

TDK 3-Speaker Boom Box

"Music is essential in my kitchen, and I have space for this guy right on my kitchen counter. It complements my gift suggestion last year, a gazillion-GB iPod — this is part 2. Plus, I can carry it outside when it's barbecue season in the summer, and scare my neighbors away with loud music. Hehe. I like loud music."

                                            – Roger Mooking

TDK 3-Speaker Boom Box

Roti Tawa

This flat piece of steel (or aluminum, but steel is better) goes on the stovetop. It is used for cooking roti, a flatbread eaten across much of South Asia, but can also be used for making toast, pancakes, French toast egg crepes and more. Use it like a griddle. A 12" diameter one is preferred."

                                                – Roger Mooking

12" Steel Tawa

An Outdoor Wood-Fired Oven

"Imagine the ultimate outdoor barbecue party with this wood-fired oven in your backyard. Can you say 'heaven?' Aww, yeah."

                                                – Roger Mooking

Wood-Fired Ovens From Fogazzo

Staff Wish List:All-Clad Kitchen Gear

"These All-Clad measuring cups and spoons make me feel like a pro in the kitchen. They’re very slick and much better than the plastic Ikea ones I’ve been using for years."

            – Kirsten Vala Fong, Cooking Channel Staff

All-Clad Spoons and Cups at Williams Sonoma

Nadia G.’s Guitar Spatulas

"Rockin' out in the kitchen means using a couple of these guitar spatulas. Don't believe me? Ask the rock 'n' roll kitchen queen herself."

                    – Mark Levine, Cooking Channel Staff

Nadia G.’s Guitar Spatulas

"Rest in Grease" Spoon Tray

"Why didn't I think of this first?"

                – Alison Sickelka, Cooking Channel Staff

"Rest in Grease" Spoon Tray


"They're fun, cute and completely delicious. These sweet or savory Danish puffed pancakes make great snacks and desserts for holiday celebrations."

                – Kirsten Vala Fong, Cooking Channel Staff

Ebelskiver Starter Kit

Ebelskiver Cookbook

A Momofuku Fried Chicken Dinner

"I’m from the South, so I have an inherent love of crispy chicken. I know that Momofuku’s Southern- and Korean-style preparations will be unlike anything I’ve had before."

                        – Kate Gold, Cooking Channel Staff

Momofuku Fried Chicken Dinner

Gold Leaf Wood Trays

"I love the beautiful gold-leaf accent on these tropical-looking DVF pieces. It’s delicate enough to look fancy, but not at all cheesy. The tray would complement my other serving pieces, but I wouldn’t mind getting one of the serving bowls, too."

                – Michelle Buffardi, Cooking Channel Staff

Gold Leaf Wood Trays

A RoboStir

"Although my serious foodie friends might mock and scoff, I secretly want the RoboStir for Christmas. With my new puppy bounding around my tiny kitchen, my hands are literally full, so I'm all about hands-free cooking."

                    – Kevin Bender, Cooking Channel Staff


Bourbon-Coffee-Bacon Caramel Corn

"Doesn’t the name say it all? Sounds like the ultimate snack to me."

                    – Frank Samperi, Cooking Channel Staff

Bourbon-Coffee-Bacon Caramel Corn

Colorful Cooking Mitts

"These colorful dots and diamonds would brighten up any kitchen.

                – Danielle Trencher, Cooking Channel Staff

Dotty Match Pot Holders

Spritely Jig Pot Holders

Dots and Diamonds Holders

More Gift Ideas:Custom Beef Jerky

Make your own customized beef jerky with Slantskack. Start with high-quality, grass-fed beef, then choose from the tantalizing options of marinades, rubs and glazes. Or go with the Chef’s Choice, a delicious combo of ginger, onion and brown sugar.

Slantshack Custom Beef Jerky

Kitchen Conversion Tea Towel

Whimsy & Spice has silkscreened their popular kitchen conversions print onto American flour-sack towels using water-based inks. Absorbent, soft and lint-free, these towels are quite versatile in the kitchen, and very cute.

Kitchen Conversion Tea Towel

Cooking Classes

Julia Child didn't emerge a kitchen guru overnight. An evening or weekend cooking class — usually offered at local schools and colleges — will elevate any cooking enthusiast's skills, whether perfecting basic technique, exploring a new cuisine or taking it to the next level.