2019 Gift Guide: For the Chef

The holidays are the perfect time to stop and recognize the efforts of those friends and family whose cooking and hospitality you’ve enjoyed throughout the year. Whether your recipient is passionate about preparing the perfect cup of coffee, obsessed with grilling a perfect steak, or simply fond of scooping ice cream for themselves on the regular, we’ve got you covered with ten gift ideas picked for their elevated attention to materials, design, and ergonomics – each surely to be appreciated with a *chef’s kiss*.

Yield Design 850 ML Ceramic French Press \\\ $120
Even with the variety of implements dedicated to preparing coffee in our kitchen – modern and traditional, manual and mechanical – I still regularly use the traditional french method. It’s fairly fool-proof, capable of coaxing flavors from all variety of roasts without much fuss. But maybe most enjoyable about the french press is the oh-so-satisfying sensation of pressing down on the handle, commencing the transformation of water into caffeinated refreshment. Yield’s press pot is a lot nicer looking than any french press I’ve used, and its 3.5-cup serving capacity and heat-hogging ceramic body aids in extending the morning ritual in style.

Noori V01 Grill \\\ $3200
The Noori is a matryoshka doll meets grill – a concrete bodied, multi-tier outdoor cooking station on wheels that opens up to reveal an all-in-one charcoal grill, pizza oven, rocket stove, and fire pit. And while other grills are large and typically an eyesore, the V01 presents a handsomely sculptural profile made of refractory concrete designed to withstand extremely high temperatures. Details like the reclaimed side handles and carbon steel wheels add an extra touch of design and utility that no Home Depot special can ever match.

Bendo Cool Luxe Cake Rack \\\ $28
A cake rack may seem too mundane for a holiday gift, but if your intended recipient loves baking, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how welcome a stylish (and new) rack is received in any baker’s kitchen. Although available in standard black, it’s the copper edition that stands out as gift-worthy, adding an unexpected level of glam to complement the unique grill pattern Bendo has bestowed upon their design.

Aarke Carbonator II \\\ $199
If you know someone who likes to make sparkling water or homemade soda at home, they’re going to love the sleek and compact Aarke carbonator. The Aarke replaces plastic for a stainless steel housing, making the unit easy to clean, stable, and good looking enough to leave out and on the kitchen counter. And thankfully the design isn’t limited by proprietary parts, compatible with CO2 cylinders from Sodastream, AGA, Linde, and many other 425g 60l cylinders for sparkling water makers.

Cylde Stovestop Tea Kettle \\\ $99
The Fellow Clyde kettle is a striking example of form serving function, with an easy to grip handle enabling easy one-handed pouring. The kettle’s soft rounded profile and matte finish imparts the appearance of contemporary ceramics, but the stainless steel body is rated to work with any stovetop, whether gas, electric, or induction. A two-tone harmonic whistle adds an aural element to the pleasures and rituals of preparing tea.

Belle V Left or Right-Handed Ice Cream Scoop \\\ $39
The majority of us go through life without giving much thought of when to use our dominant hand. But left-handed individuals have to navigate a world of endless small hurdles for all variety of functions. Make their life a little easier – and tastier – with an ice cream scoop sculpted to feel comfortable in hand…then remind them that you deserve an extra scoop for your considerate efforts.

Combekk Dutch Oven Thermometer \\\ $332
Long before the Instant Pot, there was the Dutch oven. Combining cast iron construction with long cooking hours of low temperature cooking is a proven method of rendering even the toughest cuts of meat into tender morsels for supper. And while there are numerous cast iron models capable of slow-cooking, braising, and roasting, the Combekk is the first we’ve seen with an integrated thermometer. Its modern-industrial design isn’t just great looking, it’s protected with a 1-layer enamel coating and backed by a 40-year warranty, promising decades of pot roasts and no-knead Dutch oven bread.

Alessi Moka by David Chipperfield \\\ $55
What a daunting task it must have been to update one of the most iconic examples of modern industrial design. But that’s exactly what architect David Chipperfield did for Alessi with the Moka, modernizing the indelible design of the Moka Pot invented by Luigi di Ponti in 1933 into a form that’s both progressive yet respectful of the original. Gift this to the coffee drinker and design aficionado with an appreciation for tasteful progress.

The Range by Balmuda \\\ $600
Despite its name The Range is actually a microwave, but one equipped with a refreshingly uncomplicated pair of dials and a lone button in lieu of the typical Scrabble board of buttons normally associated with microwave controls. Minimalists will find its pared design almost as pleasing as the gentle recordings of acoustic guitars and drums sound effects programmed to chime while adjusting controls and to notify the completion of heating up your cup of tea, popcorn, or meal.

Sori Yanagi Sake Glass \\\ $36
These bell-shaped serving glasses were originally designed by industrial designer Sori Yanagi for the purpose of serving sake (Yanagi being the same talent responsible for designing the torch holder and the seats in the stadium for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964), but there’s no reason why they couldn’t be used to serve any variety of drinks, ice cream, fruit, or other desserts.

Gregory Han is a Senior Editor at Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at