Whether the cook on your gift list is a beginner or a more advanced gourmand, here are some inexpensive but thoughtful options for presents. And even if you don't find exactly what you're looking for, these 10 sources are worth bookmarking for the idea file.
10 Sources for Cooks' Gifts
- Lodge: Lodge's cast-iron skillets can last a lifetime if properly cared for, and they're affordable as well. One of our favorites is the compact 10 and 1/4 inch skillet, which sells for $23 at Lodge online or in big box stores like Target and Wal-Mart.
- Brook Farm General Store: This Brooklyn-based and online shop is a great resource for the classic British "Labor and Wait" kitchen look. Everything is simple, timeless, and well made. Shown: Porcelain Measuring Spoons, $15.
- Williams-Sonoma: This high-end chef's catalog consistently stocks new items, from basics to specialty products for the cook who has everything. Shown: The Ultimate Grilling Rub Collection, $25.
- Fante's Kitchen Wares Shop: Based out of Philadelphia, this online and in-person store is an amazing resource for every kind of kitchen tool imaginable. Their selection is also surprisingly affordable — this Marble Rolling Pin with Base sells for just $11.
- Sur La Table: With locations across the country and an extensive web shop, this store is known for attentive customer service. Not everything is cheap, but there are good deals to be found. We love these colorful Collapsible Mini Colanders, $6 each.
- Crate and Barrel: The go-to source for wedding registries and Christmas gifts, Crate and Barrel's kitchen section is always stocked with affordable, quality basics, including cookware, tools, and kitchen storage. Shown: Oxo Non-Slip Bamboo Cutting Board, $20.
- The Conran Shop: With a focus on beautiful, functional items for the home, this online and New York shop is a good place to shop for design-minded friends. Shown: 3 Piece Gadget Set, $24
- Preserve Products: Preserve uses 100% recycled #5 polypropylene plastic in their products. Their colanders, bowls, cups, and accessories all clock in under the $25 mark, and they can be purchased online or through chain stores like Whole Foods.
- Broadway Panhandler: Located in New York (and online as well), the Broadway Panhandler is a favorite resource for chefs. Their inventory mixes high and low, and you'll always find something to walk away with when you visit. Shown: Natural Hardwood Bowls, starting at $20.
- Fishs Eddy: This New York shop has a ton of basic durable porcelain, china, and glassware. (Think heavy, substantial restaurantware.) The selection is classic and affordable, and mixes modern and traditional styles. This Jade Juicer sells for $11.
Updated by Mat Sanders 12.2.11 Photo: Brook Farm General Store