Experiences tend to make the most memorable gifts. The best at-home cooking kit or interactive class is the perfect foodie gift and will give your loved one an experience they won’t soon forget. A class or kit won’t collect dust on a shelf either. It’s a good alternative gift for the home chef in your life who’s already flush with kitchen staples like a Dutch oven, chef’s knife and good cookware. Plus, most make for a very fun night in when the Netflix queue has all but dried up.
Preassembled cooking kits and digital cooking classes are out there to tee up any sort of culinary endeavor, from paella to Palomas. There are cocktail boxes for the spirited among us, complete kits for budding pastry chefs and others for making sushi or sourdough. There are also options for interactive online cooking classes you can gift from afar, and simple tastings for those not quite so fond of strapping on an apron.
From simple to serious, these are the best cooking kits, at-home experiences and cooking classes to gift.
For the baking curious, Bakit Box will send all the premeasured ingredients (including perishables) to execute a baking project without having to go to the store or buy bulk ingredients you may not use again. Think meal kits but for baking. You can subscribe to Bakit or spring for a solo box to make batches of tasty sweets such as churros or red bean mooncakes for around $25 each.
These at-home cocktail kits are another festive project to gift a budding mixologist. The service sends boxes of ingredients and garnishes for various cocktails including standbys and seasonal selections like the Halloween-inspired Old Fashioned kit or Birthday Cake Cocktail. You can choose the kits in different sizes and with or without the bottle of booze included.
I made my first Paella this year and it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. But it helps to have the proper ingredients — bomba rice, paella spices — and a pan to both cook and serve it in. This kit from Williams Sonoma has much of it for under $60.
For a prospective bread baker, this experiential kit has the essentials for getting your sourdough starter, well, started. The bundle includes three packets of instant sourdough culture, artisan salt (16 ounces), muslin cloth, a proper dough scraper and dough whisk. Plus there’s a recipe book to whip up some very tasty bakes.
Bean Box is a coffee club but they’ve got some unique gift boxes. My pick goes to this coffee and chocolate tasting kit. These two indulgences are a truly classic pairing on par with PB&J and the sampler box features four freshly roasted coffees (1.8 ounces each) paired with four artisan chocolates and tasting notes for each.
I’d say it’s hard to go wrong with this one.
Thomas Keller is America’s most Michelin-decorated chef. In this in-depth video tutorial hosted by the online portal MasterClass, Keller walks you through some of the techniques that made his restaurants, such as Per Se and The French Laundry, so iconic. Specifically, the downloadable and rewatchable class walks students through the preparation of fish and other seafood, sous vide cooking and even some of Keller’s favorite desserts. Pair this MasterClass subscription with an actual sous vide stick for the perfectly themed experiential cooking gift that will undoubtedly lead to some delicious meals.
Tadka Tarot isn’t the typical deck of your tarot cards. You’ll get 28 illustrated cards that teach you how to cook more intuitively through the lens of traditional Indian ingredients, mostly vegetables and spices. Each card will dive into the flavor profile so you’re not just following recipes but learning how to create your own from the ground up.
The deck alone is $35. The complete kit for $150 includes the deck, seven essential Indian spices and a masala dabba to store your new spices.
Speaking of great, in-depth cooking tutorials, Yotam Ottolenghi also has a course available to take on MasterClass. There may not be a chef working today who has a better beat on cooking vegetables and legumes in interesting ways than Yotam. His course explores plant-based spreads and dips, including labneh, muhammara and other tasty mezze that are perfect for the serial entertainer or host.
Explore all of MasterClass’ food and drink lessons here. A subscription is $180 for the year and includes the entire library of classes in dozens of categories and practices.
For these experiences, you may have to leave the house so my apologies in advance.
Food tours are by no means a new thing, but the standard tasting tour and walking tour have certainly gotten better over the years. Since Airbnb launched its Experiences platform a few years back, they’ve added thousands of options including a tapas tour of Barcelona’s gothic neighborhood called “Tapalicious” ($90 on Airbnb.) Or if someone on your list is planning a jaunt to Mexico City, treat them to a street tacos seminar from a local chef for just $27 a person.
There are countless food-based experience gift ideas to book through Airbnb in just about every major city on Earth. You can search by city and use dozens of other filters — drinks, eats, wellness, specific neighborhoods — so the perfect culinary class or food tour is waiting when they arrive.
The Chef & the Dish
Here is all the fun and know-how of a private cooking class from world-class chefs, but from the privacy of your home or apartment. The Chef & The Dish brings Michelin-level culinary masters into your kitchen via video chat, from places as far away as Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, New Orleans, Turkey and Thailand. Dinner is going to be awesome from now on. Classes for two start at $299, plus $50 for each additional person, making a four-person class as inexpensive as $100 each.
You can also purchase cooking class gift cards and let them choose the lesson themselves.
If you’re gifting this book, it should come with a loud and clear disclaimer. Foraging and eating the foods you find can be very dangerous. Though it can be fun, it requires some professional guidance. Bradford Angier’s popular book teaches you to recognize edible plants, fruits, berries and nuts. This portable guide even explains how to find bird eggs to scramble or catch edible insects.
There’s even a very brief section on cannibalism etiquette. No, I’m not kidding.
You’re receiving price alerts for For a curious forager in training
The MakiMaki sushi kit has everything to make fresh sushi at home. And I mean everything, including slabs of sushi-grade tuna, toro, hamachi, salmon and all the fixings. Making sushi turns out to be a whole lot of fun, satisfying and quite a bit easier than I thought it would be. This is a fun gift for the DIY foodie and one you can all enjoy together.
This handy kit has all the kitchen tools needed to make the dim sum star including steamer baskets, wood dough roller, wood rolling pin, dough scraper, dough cutting ring, tongs, dumpling molds, silicone steamer liners and four pairs of chopsticks.