Gift ideas for a professional chef?

Discussion in 'The Late Night Cafe (off-topic)' started by mewmew88, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. mewmew88


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    I Just Like Food
    Debated putting this in the knife forum, but as he has a favorite knife already, I didn't want to be too specific from the get go.

    I'm dating a professional chef, and his birthday is coming up. He is pretty minimalistic, obviously he loves cookware and stuff (but we spend a lot of time at his place and he has everything that he needs/would otherwise use already). Obviously, his passion is cooking, though, so I do feel like if he wanted anything outside of an experience like a trip (which is out of the question as we are planning a trip to see his parents soon and he can't take off too much time from work), he would want something cooking related. In addition to reservations made at a highly desired, difficult to get into, upscale restaurant, what else might a chef want? Someone suggested a shun knife, which led me to your forum, and made me decide against it haha
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2016
  3. hookedcook


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    Professional Chef
    I may get burned for this but cooking is a job and if he is there all day everyday and has all the tools he needs why buy him something culinary related??  What does he like besides cooking???  Is he the Exec???  From a guy chefs point of view If I were you I would go to the restaurant or call, talk to his boss about him taking an unexpected Friday or Saturday night off without him knowing.  Pay the extra money if you have to have a line cook fill in for him for the night.   When he's dressed and ready to go to work, tell him  SURPRISE, HAPPY BIRTHDAY you the night off, a nice dinner, a bottle of his favorite wine, maybe go to an after hours bar, you and a nice hotel room for an unexpected night off to escape work = happy chef.  Much more creative, warm, birthday present than a cold shun knife or a sharpening stone will ever be!!!!
    polycentric and flipflopgirl like this.
  4. morning glory

    morning glory

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    Home Cook
    How much are you thinking of spending (if you don't mind me asking?). 
  5. laurenlulu


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    Professional Chef
    As an exec chef, a weekend getaway is dreamy
  6. phaedrus


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    Professional Chef
    It's kind of risky to buy a work related gift for a chef, especially if you aren't in the biz yourself.  It's kind of like buying a professional guitarist some effects pedals or diagnostic tools for a shadetree mechanic; do you know enough about those things to make an informed choice?  Most chefs could always use another knife but do you know what he likes?  Or what he already has?  For for example take me- if someone I loved gave me a Shun I'd feign happiness and toss it in the junk drawer as soon as they left and wonder how it came to be that they knew me so little as to buy something so against my preferences.  I'm a knife nerd with blades up to $800 each, and it would be very hard for a 'civilian' to buy one that I wanted.

    Were I in your shoes I'd look at his other interests.  Is he into music?  Is he a movie buff?  If you absolutely have to make it work related maybe sound him out on who his favorite chefs are.  Maybe surprise him with a cookbook by that chef or if possible even take him to dinner at his favorite/dream restaurant.  As a chef I have a hard time eating out since I'm often at work, but it's really important to get a 'reality check' by eating at competitors or challenging yourself culinarily.
  7. vic cardenas

    vic cardenas

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    Does he have a bunch of stainless steel knives?

    Get him a Carbon steel knife to try.

    Does he have mostly large knives?

    Get him a small knife. 

    Does he have mostly small knives, santoku's etc..,

    Get a Very Large Knife!

    Does he have mostly stainless steel or non-stick Teflon pans?

    Get him a Carbon Steel or Cast Iron pans! 

    Does he have enough cutting boards or small, terrible, plastic cutting boards?

    Get him a very large, wood end-grain cutting board!

    Does he have any decent cookbooks?

    Get him a nice cookbook from a chef he likes

    (not food network personalities... unless he's into that).  

    I think these are all great ideas for a cook or chef. They are all gift ideas that will help a cook grow. But think about that last sentence if you don't like any suggestions I just gave and that may help you think of something else.