Christmas Countdown – Gift Guide #1 – The 'Oui Chef'

Christmas is approaching. Fast! I translate this with the (wonderful) agony of buying the right gift for family, friends, me (?)  … And with a big family and many friends this means more eclectic gifts to look for. Hence the sudden birth of this Christmas gifts countdown miniseries. First up,  gift ideas for the chefy chef.

So what do you buy for the chef in your life who has it all? I have been scratching my brain on round trips from Brussels to Berlin and back and these are some of the chefy things I came up with.


1. His/ her very own olive oil tree from Nudo. We adopted a tree for a year and it is the perfect gift which keeps on giving. Not ready for the whole tree-adoption commitment? Try instead a trio of the stylish Kalios olive oil. I love giving and receiving olive oil. Versatile, and a great entertaining addition. Not only conversational – oh you bought that in Croatia? – but also delicious! Some great olive oils can be found in ROB gourmet market in Brussels //

2. You know my love of cooking courses. And all things cooking really. Now Mmmmh! hit the nail on the spot with these ‘skills’ courses. Perfect for all chefs in training – knife skills, sauces, how to cook your vollaile? This and many Christmases to come your chef will guarantee your ‘bird’ (turkey/ goose/ duck) is juicy and not under or over cooked. A Christmas delight for all! Btw, what bird are you cooking this Christmas? //

3. If not for the chef then I will get the Tom Kerridge‘s book for myself. I love the guy! //

4. Because I believe that no chef can ever have enough wooden chopping boards! I love this one from Iittala – as well as probably ALL their other products – and we use it every occasion we get (makes a fantastic cheese board!). There are also some great chunky ones at Jamie Oliver online. Or head to your nearest Ikea and buy the biggest one you can get. Trust me, you never have enough chopping boards. //

5. Oven gloves. Simply because it is an indispensable chefy tool – asbestos fingers or not! – and they usually tend to burn around the edges. So the perfect time to buy a new one. After many tips of fingers burned, the ones I settled for are the double oven gloves from Le Creuset. //

6. If it has to be chocolate – this being Belgium and all – then go for something different like the BbyB chocolate. Bring together a Michelin starred chef (Bart Desmidt) and a master chocolatier (Jan Verleye) and you’ll get a chocolate made by chefs for chefs. //

7. Aprons! You didn’t think I forgot the festive aprons? When Christmas comes closer, our kitchen gets a real white – green – red transformation. This is when Zara, Dille & Kamille, Hema and similar home shops come in very handy. And the chef has to go along with it like it or not 🙂 //

8. OK. So the bird is cooked to perfection. The guests are all tipsy happy. The only thing the chef needs now is a suitable carving set. I say bring carving sets back. Every household should have one. //

9. For the gadget chef? Only Heston can help. And really every chef needs a bit of precision in the kitchen madness. On a side note, hello!, John Lewis delivers to (mainland) Europe as well. Finally! //

10. The ultimate gift for chefs based in Belgium and not familiar with the … French cuts. We will finally know what we are eating, not only guess. Buy the poster or the multilingual dictionary to meat cuts. I know many expat chefs who would take this along on butcher trips to understand what they buy! //

I would love to hear what you plan on buying for the chef in your life … in the comments, on Twitter @onfoodandwine or FB/onfoodandwine.

Merry pre-Christmas! 

(photo credit to the different product website. Mmmmh photo from my personal archive)

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