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Gift guide: The best gifts for home cooks, according to Chobani employees

Gift ideas include Lee Kum Kee XO Sauce, a Blackstone Griddle, a Maxi-Matic Air Fryer, and more.

Gift guide: The best gifts for home cooks, according to Chobani employees
[Photo: courtesy Anthropologie]
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Most of us have been cooking at home a whole lot more during the pandemic—so chances are there’s someone on your list who would enjoy a food-related gift. To drum up some inspired ideas, we turned to the foodies at Chobani (the beloved Greek yogurt company that has expanded into oat milk, coffee creamers, and even cafes) for some curated suggestions. These are the best food gifts they’ve given, received, or put on their wishlists. Bon appétit!

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[Photo: courtesy The Whole Fish]
The Whole Fish Cookbook, by Josh Niland, $37
I really enjoy this collection of technique-driven recipes, named the James Beard cookbook of 2019, and think it is a must-have for anyone who wants to learn how to cook really great fish. It’s a great read, with beautiful images that help teach the fundamentals, all while capturing the importance of fresh and local ingredients. —Jake Briere, corporate chef

Maxi-Matic Elite Gourmet Air Fryer, $50
As a self-proclaimed gadget guru, I enjoy trying new cooking tools all the time. And my Elite by Maxi-Matic Air Fryer is one of my favorite tools when creating buffalo cauliflower. The compact size of the fryer makes it an easy addition in my kitchen and helps me create the best-tasting cauliflower I’ve ever experienced at home. —Rosalyn Emerson, channel marketing director

[Photo: courtesy Anthropologie]
Hario Cold Brew Bottle, $35
This is the perfect gift for anyone to take their cold-brew obsession to the next level! Ready with your favorite coffee overnight in your fridge, this simple, Japanese-created bottle makes delicious cold brew to exactly however you like it. —Eddie Revis, vice president, marketing

Amazon Basics Hand Blender, $30
I use this immersion hand blender every week, whether I’m frothing milk for a pumpkin cold-brew foam or trying out social media’s hot trend whipped coffee. This blender takes minimal space for storage and froths quickly with very few dishes to clean. —Morgan VanAlstine, human resources coordinator

[Photo: courtesy Skura]
Skura Style Antimicrobial Sponges, 8 for $30
With cooking at home on the rise in 2020, so is the number of dishes to be done. It seems like I could do dishes all day, but not with a smelly sponge that usually tends to leave an unpleasant odor on your hands for hours after. Once I found these antibacterial sponges that last FOREVER and never smell or leave an odor, I converted all of my family and friends immediately. —Jake Briere, corporate chef

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Lee Kum Kee XO Sauce, $20
A mix of scallops, shrimp, garlic, shallots, ginger, brown sugar, and spices simmered down into a marmalade-like infused umami bomb, XO sauce brings that umami boost you need in a dish. It holds its own in any savory creation, like stir-fried veggies, pasta dishes, and even as part of a chicken wing glaze! —Adley Tong, R&D scientist

Aerolatte Matcha Frother, $20
Like everyone else, I’ve been getting my caffeine fix at home this year. Coffee got boring after day #154, and I decided I had it in me to be my own barista and start making my own Match Lattes. After a week of my wife watching me “whisk” matcha with a spoon, she did me a solid and ordered me this matcha-saving frother. Try it once and never whisk with a spoon again. —Matt Paolucci, senior director of category and channel development

[Photo: courtesy Blackstone]
Blackstone Griddle Cooking Station, $225
This griddle has an expansive surface to cook on, where I can prepare vegetables, eggs, shrimp, and anything else I would use my cast iron pan for—but I get to do it outside in the fresh air and with my grill. It makes for very convenient full meal preparation under the sun or the stars. —Kathy Leo, chief legal officer and general counsel

Edesia Nutrition and Food Rescue Hero 

In lieu of any shiny new objects, my gift guide recommendation supports two incredible female POC founders of nonprofits doing critical work around hunger. The first, Edesia Nutrition, is a nonprofit founded by Navyn Salem, based in Providence, Rhode Island, that manufactures RUTF’s (ready-to-eat therapeutic foods) for infants and children suffering from acute mal- and under-nutrition around the globe. Navyn founded Edesia a dozen years ago with the goal of ending global malnutrition. 

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The second, Food Rescue Hero, is a nonprofit founded by Leah Lizarondo, based in Pittsburgh, that utilizes the power of technology and mobilizes tens of thousands of volunteers in seven U.S. cities to “rescue” perishable food from the grocery store and deliver it to people in need. She is a last-mile logistics expert, and FRH has the power to scale up to end hunger in the U.S. —Zoe Feldman, head of corporate development and new ventures

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