Creative gift ideas for the casual home cook

Got a friend or family member who loves to cook? Weeknight dinners can still be elevated with these favorite kitchen items.

The Essential Napa Valley Cookbook

This tasty gift gives back: The Essential Napa Valley Cookbook features more than 35 recipes from area restaurateurs, as well as wine pairing suggestions for each dish. Discover the secret ingredients in Charlie Palmer’s Lobster Corn Dogs, Gott’s Ahi Burger, Bounty Hunter’s Beer Can Chicken and many more. Proceeds benefit restaurant workers devastated by Covid-19-related shutdowns and also fund Feed Napa Now, providing meals to families and children in need. $39.95, at

Weeknight Heroes Box from Porter Road

Whether your favorite cook is planning quick meals during the holiday hustle or stocking up for fetes with friends, this exceptional assortment of pasture raised hand-cut meat is a great place to start. This nine-pound variety pack includes sirloin filets, bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, pork chops, dry-aged ground beef and hot dogs, beef taco blend and sweet Italian sausage. $100, at Porter Road

The Trifecta from Earlywood Designs

Gift the beauty and craftsmanship of handmade wooden utensils to the cook on your list and watch them elevate the simplest cooking project with tools that were engineered with intention. Durable and sustainable, this elegant 3-piece set will allow cooks to spread, scrape and sauté with the same care they take in preparing special holiday meals and treats. Choose from gorgeous hardwoods jotaba, Mexican ebony, hard maple and bloodwood for your 13” sauté tool, 10” scraper and 8.3” spatula. $43, at Earlywood Designs

The Best Sellers Collection from The Spice House

Give the gift of seasonings this season with four bottles of The Spice House’s most popular blends, in 2.5-ounce sampler sizes. Back of the Yards Garlic Pepper Butcher’s Rub is great for coating meat with shallots, bell peppers, parsley, garlic and black pepper; Vulcan’s Fire Salt gets a healthy dose of heat and spice from chiles, lime, garlic and paprika; Lake Shore Drive Shallot & Herb Seasoning combines chives, scallions, green peppercorns and shallots to give vegetables a kick; and Gateway to the North Maple Garlic Seasoning is both sweet and savory — perfect for pork roasts or sweet potatoes. $42, at The Spice House

Food-Themed Prints from the Chasing Paper x Lewis Collection

Do you know a foodie’s kitchen that needs an infusion of art? If so, these monochromatic prints of radishes and arugula are just the thing to brighten any home. Inspired by the local farmer’s market and transformed into unique artwork, they are printed on high-quality archival matte paper with GreenGuardCertified, fade-resistant latex ink. Order them framed or unframed, in a variety of sizes. $12, at Chasing Paper

LQD x Apothenne Kitchen Candle

’Tis the season of wonderful aromas from the kitchen. One of four signature LQD candles created in collaboration with Apothenne LA, with top notes of basil, green herbs and figs, and background scents of black pepper, bay, lily and jasmine, this 100% natural, handcrafted candle will bring a delicious, calming scent to any holiday gathering. Non-GMO soy wax is infused with premium natural and essential oils and poured into a retro black glass for this long-burning candle. $38, at Lisa Queen Design

Blue Oyster Grow Kit from Smallhold

Give a gift that grows! Put this Blue Oyster Grow Kit under the tree and your favorite chef may just nurture their own gourmet ingredients. Blue oyster mushrooms are as easy to raise as they are to enjoy, and these have a delicate, savory flavor and a subtle anise finish. Versatile and delicious, these mushrooms can be fried or sautéed, or added to soups and sauces. $34, at Smallhold

Gourmand Cooking Gift Box from Culinarie Kit

We love Culinarie Kit for their incredible selection of gift boxes for home chefs looking to spice things up. This Gourmand Cooking Gift Box is brimming with top-of-the-line gourmet cooking ingredients sourced from artisan vendors nationwide. Included in this box is Raw Unfiltered Greek Olive Oil, Black Truffle Mustard and much more. Plus, Culinarie Kit’s packaging is recycled or reused from the brand’s various vendors. $49, at Culinarie Kit