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  • Writer's pictureChef Simeon Hall Jr.

It never too late to buy gifts!

Chef Simeon Hall Jr.’s Christmas Amazon Gift Picks

'Tis the season—a time filled with wondrous things like indulgent comfort foods, the joy of holiday cooking, and, of course, gift-giving. With hospitality ingrained in the very fabric of my culinary journey and a life philosophy centered on uniting people and cultures through the universal language of food, gift-giving is a natural extension of my year-round practice, not confined to Christmas alone.

Allow me to share five thoughtful gift ideas for those on the hunt for presents catering to loved ones who may be burgeoning home cooks or even seasoned culinary artisans.

  1. High-Quality Spice Blend

Chef's Favourite: Spiceology - Black Magic - Cajun Blackening Spice Blend (18 oz.) and Spiceology Ultimate Rub Collection Gift Set

Mastering culinary techniques is commendable, but even the most skillfully-prepared dish can fall short without the right seasoning. Instead of navigating an overwhelming assortment of spices, many of which expire before  full use, consider opting for a go-to all-purpose seasoning—the one I personally favour. This versatile blend is a game-changer, enhancing the flavors of dishes like roasted chicken, pan-fried steak, and even mac 'n' cheese. It's an ideal gift for both the seasoned chef navigating a busy kitchen and the novice cook eager to elevate their seasoning game. Plus, it comes in a generous 18 oz size at an affordable price.

Within this seasoning mix, you'll discover a harmonious blend of cayenne, spicy-sweet paprika, garlic, and herbs. Holding this brand in high regard, I recommend taking it up a notch for your loved ones. Consider gifting their 12-pack ultimate rub collection—an assortment featuring 12 Gourmet BBQ, Grilling, and Cooking Spice Rubs & Blends. It's a fantastic gift for the adventurous home cook.

  1. Potato Ricer

Chef's Favourite: White Ladle Premium Potato Ricer - Stainless Steel

Unveiling the unsung hero of the kitchen—the potato ricer, a tool that often flies under the radar but holds the power to transform your cooking experience. It's the perfect gift for cooks looking to elevate the texture of mashed potatoes to restaurant-quality smoothness without the laborious peeling or the struggle with a fork, potato masher, or hand mixer.

But the charm of the potato ricer doesn't stop there. Its versatility knows no bounds. With my favourite potato ricer, you can craft homemade baby food, create fruit sauces and compotes, make gnocchi from scratch, and whip up guacamole, hummus, and cauliflower rice.

Affordable, practical, and under $50, this kitchen essential makes for an ideal gift!

  1. KitchenAid Blender

Chef's Favourite: KitchenAid K400 Variable Speed Blender

Meet the KitchenAid K400 Variable Speed Blender—a culinary powerhouse that embodies KitchenAid's dedication to excellence. This blender stands out for its versatility, going beyond the routine smoothie fare. Whether you're crafting soups, sauces, nut butters, homemade flours, salad dressings, or pancake batters, the KitchenAid K400 proves to be a reliable and multi-functional kitchen companion. Its use for various culinary needs spans seasons—be it a refreshing smoothie bowl in spring, a chilled cocktail in summer, or a warm, comforting blended soup in the fall and winter months.

Beyond functionality and durability, the KitchenAid K400 makes a style statement, available in six stunning colors. It's not just a blender; it's a vibrant addition to your kitchen aesthetic, making it the perfect culinary gift for any cooking enthusiast.

  1. Mandolin

Chef's Favourite: Benriner Super Standard Mandolin Slicer

The Benriner Super Standard Mandolin Slicer is a culinary game-changer and one of my top gift recommendations for the home cook who loves the art of cooking but finds the prep work daunting. This slicer effortlessly tackles a range of tasks, from shredding cabbage and carrots for coleslaw to slicing onions, cucumbers, and radishes for salads, fruit for homemade pies, and even potatoes for au gratin, chips, and french fries. Gift this mandolin slicer to someone who appreciates the joy of cooking and values the convenience of streamlined prep, and witness how it transforms their culinary experience with precision and speed.

5. Blow Torch

Chef's Favourite: FunOwlet,Butane Torch Kitchen Blow Lighter

For the adventurous and seasoned home cook, the Fun Owlet Butane Torch Kitchen Blow Lighter is a must-have addition to their kitchen arsenal. This versatile tool goes beyond conventional methods, offering a range of exciting techniques to elevate culinary creations. From caramelizing sugar for rich and flavorful sauces to precisely toasting meringues and searing meat for a gourmet touch, this torch adds a new dimension to cooking. It's a perfect gift for those who enjoy experimenting with advanced techniques, bringing the artistry of restaurant-style cooking to the comfort of their home.

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