The Gift Guide

The Ultimate Luxury Gift Guide: The Best for Foodies

the best luxury gifts for foodies this year

Is someone on your gift list a great cook? Or a passionate foodie? Or both? We asked our Food Editor Nicole Douillet to help us suss out the best luxury gifts for cooks, people who love to grill and foodies. Here’s her curated ultimate luxury gift guide with the best ideas for foodies and passionate home cooks right now, including several for under $50.

what do the foodies want right now?

If you have someone in your life who really appreciates small-batch, artisanal, hard-to-find food items – like honey, marshmallows, salt, ice or butter – we’ve shared our reports on the best of breed in each of those those categories.

But because we almost never cook at home, we turned to our expert, Food Editor Nicole Douillet, for additional ideas and insights on what the foodies of the world are hoping for when gift-giving time rolls around.

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She’s shared ideas for products and experiences sure to please any foodie, with options from under $50 to the moon. Something on this list is sure to be perfect for the passionate cook in your life.

The Ultimate Luxury Gift Guide: The Best for Foodies

appliances and cookware

1. great jones cookware

Great Jones was launched a couple of years ago by two childhood friends who wanted to upgrade their cookware collection, but couldn’t afford All-Clad or Le Crueset. 

The founders asked friends in the restaurant industry to help them fund the business. They signed on investors such as David Chang (head of the Momofuku empire), Clare de Boer (chef and partner at the Manhattan restaurant, King), and Nic Jammet (co-founder of Sweetgreen).

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De Boer even stocked the kitchen at King with Great Jones pots and pans; she has only praise for their durability and quality. These pots and pans are not just durable and made in the USA – they’re also really nice-looking.

The best luxury gift for the cook or foodie

The best luxury gifts for the cook or foodies this year: Great Jones Cookware. Courtesy Photo.

2. an immersion circulator

An immersion circulator, also known as a sous vide machine, heats a pot of water to a specified temperature and holds it there. Whatever is submerged in the water becomes that same temperature (and never more than that). Submerging food in a bath of heated water—instead of subjecting it to the uneven heat of flames—means it never gets overcooked.  Sous vide machines are quite small, so this could even be a stocking-stuffer (albeit a really nice one).

Our top pick is the Chef Steps Joule sous vide machine ($179). The Joule is controlled completely through a Bluetooth app on the user’s smart phone. A slightly less pricey option is the Anova sous vide machine. The nano version is $64, and the more advanced version is $129.

best luxury gifts for the cook or foodies this year

The best luxury gifts for the cook or foodies this year: ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide Machine. Courtesy Photo.

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3. a food storage system

I don’t know about you, but my family has become more focused on minimizing food waste. The challenge is that it’s not always easy to keep those berries fresh, even just days after purchasing them.

The Vacuvita One Step Vacuum Storage System ($84.99) was created to solve the problem food waste by keeping items fresh for five times longer. It also helps keep your counter top, fridge, freezer, and pantry neatly stocked. The System comes with reusable containers and bags which cuts down on plastic bag waste. And its stylish design will make you want to keep it front and center on your counter.

And if that isn’t cool enough, it’s also equipped with a coding system app to help you keep track of what’s in your freezer, how long it’s been there, and how much longer it will stay fresh. Sign me up! (*This would be a great gift to pair with an immersion circulator (see #2, above) because it will seal food perfectly for being cooked sous vide.)

 luxury gift guide to the best for foodie

The luxury gift guide to the best for foodies: the Vacuvita food storage system. Courtesy Photo.

4. a sparkling water maker

One of the most often used items in my kitchen is our SodaStream Fizzi One Touch ($95.99). Everyone in our household, including our four year old, prefers “bubble water” to flat water. The added benefit of using SodaStream instead of buying cans of La Croix is the reduction in waste.

Plus, there’s no worry about forgetting to add sparkling water to your shopping list – you can make it at any hour of any day in the comfort of your own home. And, for those who like flavored sparkling water, several vendors, including SodaStream, also sell flavor packets. Personally, I prefer it with just a squirt of fresh lime juice.

The luxury gift guide to the best for foodies: the .Soda Stream Fizzy One Touch. Courtesy Photo.

5. an instant pot

While they’re not the hot new thing like they were a year or so ago, home cooks are still passionate about their Instant Pots. These programmable pressure cookers take a lot of the stress out of making meals at home. The Duo Plus is the most popular model ($1i9.95).  We suggest pairing this gift with Melissa Clark’s cookbook, Dinner in an Instant, $14.71.  I use this cookbook with mine because it’s still foreign to me to not be able to tinker while food is cooking.

Duo Plus 6-Quart Instant Pot

The best luxury gift for the cook or foodie this year

The best luxury gift for the cook or foodie this year: an Instant Pot and a cookbook from Melissa Clark. Courtesy Photos.

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6. an air fryer

Air fryers continue to be the kitchen appliance rage. When used correctly, these appliances mimic the effects of frying. But they only use a fraction of oil used with a deep fryer. They don’t deliver the exact results of a traditional fryer – but the food they cook is much healthier, and they still deliver a crispy, golden exterior.

The Philips HD9641/96 ($199.99) earns consistently high marks in the category. It cooks evenly, and it’s relatively easy to use. It’s also smaller than many of other air fryers.


The best luxury gift for the cook or foodie this year: The Philips HD9641/96 Air Fryer. Courtesy Photo.

7. a cutting board

The Kiso Hinoki Extra Large Cutting Board ($279.99) frequently sells out, which is a good sign that it’s a great gift item. Made in Japan from 100% authentic Japanese Cypress, these boards are prized for being gentle on Japanese and premium knives.

The best luxury gift for the cook or foodie this year: Kiso Hinoki Extra large Cutting Board. Courtesy Photo.

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8. a wine preservation system

The Coravin Model Eleven ($799.95) is the first Bluetooth-connected and fully automatic wine preservation system. Users insert a needle through the cork, tip the wine bottle, and pour. Once the needle is removed, the cork reseals naturally. Whatever you don’t consume stays fresh in the original bottle. The LED display lets you know when to charge your system.

The best luxury gift for the cook or foodie this year: the Coravin Model 11 Wine Preservation System. Courtesy Photo.

9. chic chef’s garb

There are at least two options for a chic cover-up in the kitchen, both from a hot brand. Tilit is hailed as “a fashion brand for the food and hospitality industry,” and “the Carhartt of chef wear.” First, for traditionalists, there’s the Tilit Chef’s Apron. Prices range from $70-100. A second option is following the fashion cues of New York chef Missy Robbins and her good friend, fashionista Jenna Lyons, and suiting up in a Tilit jumpsuit, $165.

Tilit New York

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Outdoor Grills and Smokers

what kind of grill is best for your foodie?

If the foodie in your life loves to cook with real smoke and flames, a new grill is the perfect gift.

A couple of quick tips for context when deciding which type of grill to focus on. If BBQ is the passion of your favorite grill-master, you’re talking low and slow cooking using smoke to create that beautiful dark bark on the meat.

On the other hand, if it’s a crunchy sear on the outside of a perfectly medium-rare steak that says grilling to your gift recipient, the grill for them will be a grill that can hit super high temperatures. 

Finally, if grilling means all of the above, plus cold smoking fish and cheese, roasting meat, charring veggies, making pizzas, desserts and everything else, a hybrid grill is the perfect option.

1. the best smoker

The smoker that we see most-often in the backyards of chefs is the Traeger Timberline Series pellet smoker (from $1,799). This grill is also a smart grill, meaning that you can control the temp and timer on it from an app on your phone via WiFi. So, imagine that you got stuck at the farmers’ market longer than anticipated and really need to get the grill warmed up. Just whip out your smart phone, set the temp and the grill will be ready to go when you get home.

The luxury gift guide to the best for foodies: the Traeger Timberline Series Pellet Grill. Courtesy Photo.

Never heard of a “pellet” grill? This grill uses wood pellets that Traeger conveniently sells. Once a temperature is set, the grill will take care of adding pellets when necessary to keep the temperature where it needs to be.

Depending on what meat, fish or vegetable you’re cooking, you can choose different wood pellets. Say, maybe apple wood for BBQ ribs, but mesquite for brisket? Traeger’s got you. And while Traeger grills can be used to sear steak and grill veggies, it’s better at the low temps. The 2019 model hits a top temp of 500, which will give you a crust on a steak. But not the same way a grill that hits 800-1,000 will.

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2. the best charcoal grill

Do you want a versatile charcoal grill as a gift this year that can smoke low and slow, but also sear chops, grill seafood, and roast side dishes? The Big Green Egg is a great choice (it comes in a wide range of sizes – this year the large size is priced at $1,499).

The luxury gift guide to the best for foodies: the Big Green Egg (size medium). Courtesy Photo.

Based on the ceramic cooking vessels of the Qin Dynasty of China, this grill is made to hold temperatures steady when cooking over wood or charcoal. The Big Green Egg is time-tested and a bit less expensive than the Traeger Timberline series. This has been a very popular grill since it’s creation in the 1970’s.

3. the best hybrid grill

If you, like me, value the option to slow smoke (hot or cold), sear at 1,000, grill at 400-600 degrees, roast chickens or legs of lamb in a rotisserie, make deliciously crispy pizza, cook over wood, charcoal, or with gas, there’s just one grill for you. That would be the Kalamazoo Hybrid grill with a side-mounted smoker box. The basic version starts at $14,000 and top-of-the-line models go as high as $30,000+.

The luxury gift guide to the best for foodies: the Kalamazoo hybrid fire freestanding grill. Courtesy Photo.

This is the grill that I’ve been using for more than a decade, and I couldn’t imagine grilling without it. It is definitely an investment, but you will find yourself cooking everything on it, even in the middle of winter (it will hit about 800 degrees in 30 degree weather). I even roasted my Thanksgiving chicken on it one year!

This grill allows you to cook over a log with open flames. It will maintain a low temp of 250 degrees with some oversight for hours to slow-smoke ribs or pork butt. And, the rotisserie burner is the perfect way to not only roast chickens, but to ensure bubbly cheese and crispy toppings on grilled pizza.

4. grilling recipes and techniques 

Each of these grills have cult followings, so it’s always easy to find a new recipe or technique to try out, whether it’s published by the manufacturer or fans of the grill itself. For example, Traeger has an app with lots of great grilling ideas for every part of a meal. And you should suggest that your gift recipient check out the Eggsperience. Regardless of which of option you choose, I’m sure your gift recipient will have delicious food in your future (insist on an invite to dinner).

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experiences in the world of food and wine

Some people would much prefer an experience to an object when it comes to gifting. If your loved one is among them, a surprise trip to a destination restaurant could be the dream gift. Short of that, here are some other ideas.

1. A fine food subscription and basket

Mmmm, cheese. Am I right? If you’re looking for a winning experiential gift, check out Murray’s Cheese Shop’s subscription options. Personally, I would leave it to the experts and opt for the Cheesemonger’s Picks (starting at $75).

This ensures that the newest, ripest, freshest and most interesting cheeses from around the world are delivered to your favorite foodie every month. Some may be new discoveries, while some are certain to be old favorites. Can’t go wrong here, folks.

The luxury gift guide to the best for foodies: a Murray’s Cheese subscription. Courtesy Photo.

And while you’re at it, why not throw in the Deluxe Charcuterie assortment from Harry & David ($89.99). Who would say no to a sampling of six deluxe salamis to  enjoy with their cheese?

2. a sushi knife and a sushi-making class

A great combination gift would be a sushi knife, accompanied by a sushi-making class. The Kikuichi Yanagi Ginsan sushi knife ($469.95) is made in Japan. It’s hand-forged, hand-sharpened and hand-assembled in a traditional method involving a 40-step process.

For a sushi class, if you live in greater New York, we recommend Osakana in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The restaurant offers group, semi-private, and private classes covering various Japanese cooking techniques such as sushi and sashimi-making, noodle-making, and Ramen-making.

The best luxury gift for the cook or foodie this year: the Kikuichi Yanagi Ginsan Sushi Knife. Courtesy Photo.

3. a trip to Blackberry Farm in tennessee

A weekend getaway to Blackberry Farm in eastern Tennessee in late spring is a sure-fire winning gift — it’s a true foodie haven.

The best luxury gift for the cook or foodie this year: a trip to Blackberry Farm, Tennessee. Courtesy Photo.

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4. a home cooking experience on the road

Traveling Spoon, founded by two female entrepreneurs, offers travelers the opportunity to connect with locals to eat a home-cooked meal, take a cooking class, or have an escort to local markets. Described as “Airbnb for foodies,” it’s an incredible way to spend time with the best home cooks in the world.  A Traveling Spoon gift card is the way to gift the experience to the foodie in your life.

The best luxury gift for the cook or foodie this year: a gift certificate for a trip with Traveling Spoon.

5. a fermentation kit and an expert guide

For the adventurous cook, how about gifting a plunge into fermentation? The Eden Farmhouse Essentials Fermentation Kit ($25) has all the necessary tools. Combine it with a copy of  The Noma Guide to Fermentation by René Redzepi and David Zilber.

The best luxury gift for the cook or foodie this year

The best gifts foodies under $50 this year: Eden Farmhouse Esssentials Fermentation Kit. Courtesy Photo.

The best luxury gift for the cook or foodie this year

The best gifts foodies under $50 this year: The Noma Guide to Fermentation. Courtesy Photo.

6. outstanding in the field

Outstanding in the Field is a traveling celebration of people and place and the origins of good food. A single long table set in an extraordinary site. Existing in that place for just that day, in grateful appreciation. For example, on February 12, 2019, you and your gift recipient could join the communal table in Austin, Texas at the Farm at Vista Brewing. This Texas Hill Country meal will feature a menu with produce from the garden, fruit from the orchard and honey from the apiary, along with a selection of Vista’s beers.

The best luxury gift for the cook or foodie this year: Outstanding in the Field. Courtesy Photo.

Books about the world of fine food and drink

There are three new books that I’d highly recommend as gifts this year for someone who really loves to cook or is a foodie.


Leo Robitschek, The Bar Director of Eleven Madison Park, Davies & Brook in London, and The NoMad properties, just recently released his second book, The NoMad Cocktail Book ($20.80). The beautifully-bound volume contains not only amazing cocktail recipes for EVERY occasion, but also fun anecdotes about how Leo became an award-winning cocktail expert. This should be on your list for anyone who enjoys making (and drinking!) a perfectly-balanced cocktail.


Alison Roman, author of the best-selling cookbook Dining In, has a new cookbook that was released in October, and is already on the New York Times best-sellers list. Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over ($19.50) should be on your gift list for anyone who likes to entertain. True to form, the food is delicious and highly Instagramable (anyone heard of #thestew or #thecookies?). So be sure to post and tag her when you throw your next dinner party using recipes from the book!

The guide to the best gifts for foodies under $50: some of the best food and drink books of 2019. Courtesy Photo.


James Beard award-winning pastry chef Claudia Fleming wrote one of the most popular pastry cookbooks ever. After the book went out of print years ago, copies started popping up on eBay for as much as $800 each. Chefs recount toting this book with them across the globe as they staged at restaurants in Europe and Asia because it was so rich with ideas and inspiration.

For those of you who aren’t up for spending $800 on a cookbook, good news! The book is being re-released this month, just in time for you to score one for your favorite pastry-lover. The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern ($25.60) includes 175 timeless recipes.

This is also a time of rebirth for Fleming herself. After losing her husband, chef Jerry Hayden, to a long battle with ALS, Fleming is planning to sell the restaurant and inn that she and Hayden owned in Southold on the North Fork of Long Island and move back to New York City. She’s a brilliant chef and wonderful person. We wish her all the best as she starts on this next chapter. 

Luxury gifts for foodies Under $50

1. sustainable food storage

Beeswrap Sustainable Food Storage products ($18) are a nice gift for the eco-conscious foodie.

The Ultimate Luxury Gift Guide: The Best for Foodies under $50: Bees Wrap Sustainable Food Storage. Courtesy Photo.

2. reusable food pouches for eco-conscious parents

As a parent of two, these WeeSprout reusable food pouches ($17) are a dream for parents with little ones. We made our own baby “smoothie” or baby food mixes and used these because our kids liked that they could feed themselves. We liked that it was much less mess than a little kid trying to use a bowl and a spoon.

The Ultimate Luxury Gift Guide: The Best for Foodies under $50

The Ultimate Luxury Gift Guide: The Best for Foodies under $50: WeeSprout reusable food pouches. Courtesy Photo.

3. a supply of wine spritzers

If you’re looking for a terrific host or hostess gift, how about a 4-pack of Ramona wine spritzers ($20)? The company is owned and managed by women entrepreneurs, and all of their products are organic.

The Ultimate Luxury Gift Guide: The Best for Foodies under $50: Ramona Wine Spritzers. Courtesy Photo.

4. something for the foodie pet parents

Every family member deserves a nice gift. Shake Shack and BARK have teamed up on a line of dog toys perfect for the foodie with a four-legged baby.

The best luxury gift for the cook or foodie this year:

The Ultimate Luxury Gift Guide: The Best for Foodies under $50.

5. a magazine subscription

Noble Rot is a UK-based publication filled with cheeky and perceptive thoughts about food, wine, and culture. Since its launch in 2013, Noble Rot has featured chefs Pierre Koffmann, Fergus Henderson and Yotam Ottolenghi rubbing shoulders with Keira Knightley, Caitlin Moran, Brian Eno and Francis Ford Coppola, blurring the boundaries between gastronomy and the creative arts. It’s published every four months. An annual subscription is £36.

The Ultimate Luxury Gift Guide: The Best for Foodies under $50

The Ultimate Luxury Gift Guide: The Best for Foodies under $50: a subscription to Noble Rot Magazine. Courtesy Photo.

6. a bottle of cold brew

The Hario Cold Brew Bottle, $30, is a tool for making cold-brewed coffee at home. Using this glass bottle with a built-in filter couldn’t be any easier. Just add ground coffee and water, let it sit for eight hours in the refrigerator, and then pour directly from the spout.

The Ultimate Luxury Gift Guide: The Best for Foodies under $50: the Hario Cold Brew Coffee Filter in Bottle. Courtesy Photo.

7. a ginger grater

This Microplane grater garners rave reviews. The 3-in-1 ginger tool ($15.90) is a combination grater, slicer, and peeler. Ginger is hard to handle, and this ultra-sharp grating surface cuts swiftly and cleanly, allowing all the flavor and health benefits of ginger to shine through.

The Ultimate Luxury Gift Guide: The Best for Foodies under $50: the Microplane 48910 Ginger Tool. Courtesy Photo.

The Ultimate Luxury Gift Guide: The Best for Foodies

That’s it. Our expert recommendations on the best luxury gifts for home cooks and foodies. Happy gifting!

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For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter here. And see luxury in a new light.

Nicole Douillet is a Wall Street executive and lifelong lover of food and drink. She is currently the Food Editor of Dandelion Chandelier, and a senior advisor to several fintech companies. Nicole serves on the Advisory Council for Action Against Hunger | ACF International. She is a former junior Olympic skier, serial restaurant regular, and two-time chili cook-off champion. She lives with her wife and two little ones in Williamsburg, Brooklyn where her kids’ favorite neighborhood restaurant is Lilia. Nicole is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

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