A cooking-themed gift set, whether it's one you assemble yourself or one that's already packaged by the manufacturer or retailer, is always in perfect taste. It's a great way to introduce someone to a new cuisine or type of cooking, and if there are ingredients included, it's a great balance between the instant gratification of a food gift, and the lasting enjoyment of a tool that they can keep for years to come. Take a look at some of these ready-made gift sets, celebrating cuisines from around the world, or use them as inspiration to create your own personalized combination of cooking equipment and specialty ingredients. If you like the ethnic cooking theme, take a look at Ethnic Cooking Must-Haves for ideas about cooking equipment you could include in your gift.
This set contains everything needed to master using the versatile, healthy wok. The wok is made of heavy-gauge carbon steel and comes with a tight-fitting lid. Also included is a bamboo spoon and spatula, cooking chopsticks, a set of of table chopsticks and a steaming rack that fits inside the wok. There's even a booklet that includes tips and recipes.
Crepes are fun and versatile to make for virtually any time of day, whether it's breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert. The delicate little pancakes can be folded around an array of sweet or savory fillings and made in different flavors themselves (how about Chocolate Crepes with Strawberries and Nutella?). There are a few crepe sets on the market, but this one is among the most complete and appealing. In addition to the preseasoned, blue steel pan with riveted handle and traditional, low-sided shape, the set includes a wooden crepe spreader designed specifically to facilitate spreading the even layer of thin batter across the pan, and a wooden turner that makes it easy to left and flip the delicate crepe. The set is completed with a can of dark chocolate crepe mix and a jar of seedless raspberry jam (both from specialty food company Stonewall Kitchen), as well as a cute blue kitchen towel emblazoned with a French cow design.
This beautifully packed gift set has less to do with actually making sushi, and more to do with plating and serving it beautifully - perfect for an urban couple who frequently gets sushi take-out but wants to eat it in style, rather than from the styrofoam containers. Included are four placesettings of bamboo chopsticks and rests, bamboo placemats, square ceramic plates, and soy sauce dishes. We particularly love how the whole thing is cleverly packed in a two-piece square bamboo steamer, ideal for steaming some dumplings to go with that sushi feast.
Create a paella feast with this set that includes the pan and the ingredients needed to make the famous Spanish rice dish. The 14-inch enameled pan can be used on the stove, in the oven or on an outdoor grill. Packaged inside of the pan are many of the ingredients for making the dish: a bag of paella rice, as well as saffron, olive oil, smoked Spanish paprika, gourmet olives and even Spanish pine-nut candy to cap off the meal. An included recipe gives step by step instructions on making this traditional dish. There is enough rice to make about six servings.