The 2019 Holiday Gift Guide from Bon Appétit

Collage of people and cooking toolsFoodies come in a variety of flavors, from gadget geeks to cookbook collectors, which can make shopping for a food-obsessed friend or family member challenging. Luckily, we at Bon Appétit Management Company (not the magazine!) all share a deep love of food and cooking — and are ready to help. We polled Bon Appétit chefs, operators, and support staff to assemble the list below of curated gift ideas, featuring our favorite cookbooks, kitchen tools, kid-friendly options, and more. Happy shopping, cooking, and eating!


Stasher Silicone Bags

“They’re great snack bags and storage bags and come in different sizes and colors ─ a fun gift for those in your life who are eliminating single-use plastics.”
—Waverley Aufmuth, Public Restaurant PR & Marketing Manager

“I am trying to reduce plastic one-time-use items in our house and these Stasher bags are great. They are made of silicone so you can heat them (microwave and sous vide), freeze them, and most importantly, clean them in the dishwasher!”
—Jill Koenen, National Brand Activation Manager

Cocktail Channel Knife and King Cube Silicone Trays

“The channel knife lets you throw a fun accent/citrus twist into your beverage, making your guests feel special. Looks fancy but it’s really simple and easy to do! As for the king cube tray, the large ice cube in a low ball glass not only looks swankier than classic cubes, it also melts slower ー not watering down your perfectly crafted cocktail.”
—Jessie Gentz, Regional Marketing Director

Food Network Kitchen App

“So many people love home cooked food but simply don’t know where to start. Luckily, there’s an app for that. Food Network has developed an app with live and pre-recorded cooking classes, allowing users to take courses on the go. It’s the perfect gift for those just starting out in the kitchen.”
—William Persson, Marketing Coordinator, Hillsdale College

Instant Pot

“The Instant Pot really is an all-in-one cooking vessel — I use it mostly as a pressure cooker. Pressure cookers, slow cookers, rice cookers, and steamers have all been around for a while, but the Instant Pot puts them all in one vessel, which saves space as well.”
—Roberto Perez, Chef/Manager, SAP

Instant Read Thermometer 

“The ThermoWorks instant read thermometer gets fast, accurate temperature readings for steaks, fish, chicken, etc. ─ it works the best.”
—Royal Dahlstrom, Executive Chef, Medtronic

Digital Food Scale

“For people cooking out of cookbooks and recipes online and like to be precise, a digital food scale is essential. No more converting between lbs and grams. No more guessing if the chicken you bought is large enough or if you have enough bones and scraps saved up to make stock. A digital food scale will give you the confidence you need to go forth with your recipe!”
—Norris Mei, Digital Content Manager

Miyabi Koh’s Chef’s Knife and Opinel Folding Pocket Knives

“This chef’s knife is light and holds well in my hand. The blade stays pretty sharp as well. I’ve given this knife as a gift to a couple chef friends. The folding knife is great for camping or for traveling cooks/chefs. Plus they’re beautiful.”
—Mayet Cristobal, Executive Chef, Buena Vista Café 

Messermeister Julienne Peeler 

“I love actual noodles but have also boarded the ‘zoodles’ train. I use this tool several times a week. It’s a great stocking stuffer!”
—Cheryl Sternman Rule, National Marketing Manager

OXO Mandoline

“How I existed without one, I’ll never know! I use a simple handheld OXO daily. Keep an eye on your thumb!”
—Christine Giordani, Director of Catering, University of the Pacific 

Kamado Joe charcoal grill and smoker

For those with a larger holiday budget, the Kamado Joe charcoal grill and smoker is an amazing piece of equipment. I’ve made everything from pizza to Southern-style pulled pork with mine.”
—Joseph Pearson, Chef/Manager, Milliken


Safe, Kid-friendly Knife Kid-friendly Cutting Board, and Spiralizer 

“Kids love to cook! For anyone seeking great kitchen tools for kids getting started in the kitchen, I recommend three essentials: safe, kid-friendly knives for learning knife skills without the fear of accidents (made from material that’s safe on skin compared to metal blades); a kid-friendly cutting board that’s lightweight, flexible, and easy to wash; and a spiralizer, which is ideal for turning vegetables into pasta noodles, and both easy to use and safe for all ages.”
—Nina Abramson, Healthy Kids Program Coordinator

Spritz Cookie Press

“My cousin recently surprised me with my late mother’s Spritz cookie press from the 1970s. I used it to prepare holiday cookies. It’s a simple recipe and you can make dozens quickly and easily with the press ー which probably came in handy for my mom feeding 5 hungry kids. I cherish this vintage kitchen tool but would highly recommend the modern version. Happy baking!”
—Paula Nielsen, Director of Corporate Catering

Dough scraper/bench scraper 

“They’re not just for dough — dough scrapers, similar to bench scrapers, help measure portions, expedite clean-up, and get every bit of chopped ingredients off the cutting board. I use a flexible plastic scraper, which has been the MVP of my weeknight meal prep routine. It hasn’t always been easy to separate waste for composting in our house, but this tool has helped so much to quickly sweep food scraps into the compost bin and landfill waste into the trash.”
—Sammi Lowe, Communications Project Assistant

Squeasy Gear Reusable Food Pouch

“My new favorite zero waste tool for toddlers is the Squeasy Gear reusable food pouch. My baby Jack loves smoothies and feeding himself — so we recently tried this for him. It’s been a great option for when we are in the car (no spills or leaks), and it’s really easy to clean. We fill it every day when he goes to daycare.”
—Maggie Kraft, Waste Specialist


AeroGarden Harvest Countertop Herb Garden

“This was a fun family gift under $100 we received last year that has enabled us to grow tons of delicious herbs indoors with no mess.”
—Kari Menslage, Regional Marketing Director

Hedley and Bennett aprons

I own a couple of these and I love them. The company uses great quality materials, the designs are fun and trendy, and it’s founded and owned by a female chef.”
—Mayet Cristobal, Executive Chef, Buena Vista Café

Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables Poster

“This detailed list of fruits and vegetables that are in season each month is letter pressed and really beautiful.”
—Jessica Sackler, Resident District Manager

Earlywood Utensils

“The utensils are made of beautiful, great quality wood. The spatulas, turners, and other utensils all feel great to use. I highly recommend them!”
—Kristopher Kotte, Regional Manager

Goat Lady Dairy Cheese

“Goat Lady Dairy is a pioneering, multiple award winning goat dairy in Randolph County, NC. They have won numerous American Cheese Society Awards over the years as well as Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s Farm of the Year award. For the past 25 years, they have been actively contributing to their local economy, sharing the principles of knowing where your food comes from, and promoting their motto, ‘When you change a person’s relationship to their food, you change them…and the world.’ Not only do they embody everything that Bon Appétit is about, they make an incredible product. Their story is an inspirational one — and one that is especially close to my heart. During college, I would take a 5-hour bus ride over from the University of Tennessee to help with “kidding” (when the new baby goats are born), cooking for the team, mucking out stalls, and doing anything to be of use on the farm. They are the reason I work in food service and why the principles that Bon Appétit upholds ring so true.”
—Beth Bayrd, Marketing Manager, University of Pennsylvania

Olio Nuovo Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

“Instead of bringing a bottle of wine to your next gathering, try bringing a bottle of nice olive oil. Olio nuovo is available for a limited time during this time of year, making it a prized seasonal treat. It’s like liquid gold.”
—Norris Mei, Digital Content Manager

Penzeys Spices

“I purchase the Choose Love Box from Penzey’s Spices for all family members. Not only do they get amazing spices, but wonderful messages of love and support as well.”
—Christine Giordani, Director of Catering, University of the Pacific 

Trade Coffee Subscription

“Trade Coffee is a wonderful subscription service, allowing you to try out and support local roasters throughout the country! No local roaster in your area? No worries! Trade has you covered.”
—William Persson, Marketing Coordinator, Hillsdale College


“The KeepCup is one of my go-to zero waste tools — I use the small size for coffee and the large size for smoothies. The lid perfectly fits my reusable metal straw. And I love the design — I get compliments on it all the time!”
—Claire Cummings, Waste Programs Manager 

ChicoBag Tote

“I carry a Chico shopping bag with me everywhere I go — I bring one when I travel and keep one in my car and one in my purse! I’ve had one since 2012 and it’s still going strong, through several trips and wash cycles. I love them because they’re compact for packing and can fit a ton of items once you open them up.”
—Maggie Kraft, Waste Specialist 


“Ottolenghi Simple” by Yotam Ottolenghi

“His recipes are very colorful and packs in great flavor and plenty of vegetables all around — fits right in with our way of cooking at Bon Appétit!”
—Derek Ivancic, Executive Chef, Case Western Reserve University

“Any of Ottolenghi’s cookbooks (Plenty, Jerusalem, SIMPLE) are great inspiration for plant-driven dishes. His recipes deliver lots of flavor.”
—Thom Fox, Manager of Plant-Forward and Innovative Products

“Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables” by Abra Behrens 

“This book has a creative and fresh approach to featuring vegetables in the center of the plate ─ plus Abra is a friend!”
—Kristopher Kotte, Regional Manager

“Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow” by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky 

“This has become my #1 go-to cookbook. It has taught me how to make healthy power-packed meals quickly, and how spending a few hours to meal prep on Sundays makes life easier. We make ‘Sunday Sweet Potatoes’ each week, along with grains and sauces, to make great power bowls all week long. It’s the perfect gift for runners!”
—Kari Menslage, Regional Marketing Director

“Solo” by Anita Lo 

“‘Solo’ by Anita Lo is filled with delicious recipes that are totally achievable for inexperienced home cooks (like me). Most cookbook recipes yield too many portions for me to finish, but the Solo meals are around two serving sizes. No more leftovers left behind!”
—Sammi Lowe, Communications Project Assistant

“Clean Soups: Simple, Nourishing Recipes for Health and Vitality” by Rebecca Katz

“This cookbook came out a few years ago, but I still reference it more than almost any other in my entire (94 cookbook!) collection. It has simple, from-scratch soup recipes that are delicious enough for discerning palates, yet approachable for novice home chefs.”
—Laura Braley, Communications and Engagement Manager, Google

“East Bay Cooks” by Carolyn Jung and “We Are La Cocina” by Caleb Zigas and Leticia Landa

“‘East Bay Cooks’ highlights lots of recipes from great restaurants in California’s East Bay. Also, goes without saying, I love the ‘We Are La Cocina’ cookbook.”
—Jessica Sackler, Resident District Manager

“5 Ingredients” by Jamie Oliver

“Jamie Oliver’s ‘5 Ingredients’ reminds us how to make beautifully inspired food with the best ingredients ー it’s simplicity at its best.”
—Leah Fetters, Catering Manager, Abercrombie & Fitch

“Tasting Pennsylvania: Favorite Recipes from the Keystone State” by Carrie Havranek 

“I am loving this new book by my friend Carrie Havranek. It celebrates Pennsylvania in all of its culinary diversity.”
—Peter Todaro, Marketing Manager

“The Adventures of Fat Rice” by Abraham Conlon, Adrienne Lo, and Hugh Amano 

“‘Fat Rice’ is full of fun artwork and delicious recipes from Macau, and comes from a restaurant of the same name in Chicago.”
—Leah Fetters, Catering Manager, Abercrombie & Fitch


“The Food Lover’s Companion” by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst

“I’ve always given the gift of ‘The Food Lover’s Companion’ to cooks, chefs, and foodies. It’s a very valuable resource that I still use in my own kitchen.”
—Vincent W. Gaikens, Executive Chef, Case Western Reserve University

“It’s the perfect food and cooking reference guide. It’s small and can easily go with me anywhere. I always keep one handy at work and at home. The reference guides in the back of the book are incredible. I recommend this book to professionals and home cooks.”
—Jessica Cak, Chef/Manager, Edgewater 

“Foundations of Flavor: The Noma Guide to Fermentation” by Rene Redzepi |  “Salt Smoke Time: Homesteading and Heritage Techniques for the Modern Kitchen” by Will Horowitz | “Wildness: An Ode to Newfoundland and Labrador” by Jeremy Charles 

“These three books are a delicate mix of bringing old world and forgotten culinary skills and traditions into today’s culinary setting.”
—Ty Paup, Resident District Manager, Brown University 

“Momofuku Milk Bar” by Christina Tosi

“‘Milk’ is the only dessert cookbook I own. As a chef with more experience in savory cooking, I find the recipes very approachable and fun. I’ve read through it multiple times and still use it as a reference when writing special menus.
—Joseph Pearson, Chef/Manager, Milliken