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12 Guys of Christmas: The Chef

A baker's dozen for the culinary nut

Blame Anthony Bourdain and his gallivanting food porn circus. Blame Bravo’s utterly watchable, bro-it’s-not-reality-TV show, Top Chef. Blame the hipsters, the bandwagoners, the trust-funders — and for Guy Fieri’s sake — please, someone, blame Bobby Flay. Because if one thing is certain in today’s chow-crazy culture, it’s that you’ve got a foodie on your holiday list.

Oh, our fault. They like to be called foodists.

Whatever you call him, the fact remains: the food-obsessed gentlemen you’re shopping for this year wants something far more unique than that twirling spice rack you found on sale. Take a minute to make sure you still have the receipt, and then check out the dozen ideas we’ve cooked up after the jump. If you’re lucky, maybe he’ll even invite you over for dinner as thanks.

Looking for more men’s gift guides? Be sure to check out all of our gift guides for men for plenty of inspiration.

1. Noble Tonic 01: Tuthilltown Bourbon Barrel Matured Maple Syrup


Crafted from maple syrup procured “from heritage sugar shacks in the ancient maple orchards of Quebec” (yeah, they’re serious), Noble Tonic 01 is a pancake-topper that’s been aged in Tuthilltown charred American oak bourbon barrels. Yes, Tuthilltown is the same distillery that makes Hudson Whiskies. Yes, there is a lingering note of the good stuff in every bottle.

Buy Now: $29

2. Jojo’s Sriracha


What’s that? You like rooster sauce on everything too? Adorable. Maddeningly enough for you, your au courant gift recipient moved past everyone’s favorite Thai-inspired condiment the day he saw a bottle in his parents’ refrigerator. To bridge the gap between deliciousness and disdain, there’s Jojo’s Sriracha. Made from ingredients like locally-sourced peppers, organic garlic and palm sugar, it’s sure to please the palates, and more importantly, the minds, of even the most persnickety food snobs.

Buy Now: $12

3. Modernist Cuisine at Home


As the baby brother to Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, Modernist Cuisine at Home is the Joy of Cooking for the All-Clad set. Designed to be a bit more realistic than its six-tomed progenitor, the cook-friendly book offers directions on how to sear the perfect steak, make amazing chicken wings and concoct three different versions of mac and cheese.

Buy Now: $115

4. Sightglass Coffee


Every self-respecting foodie knows that coffee is all about the beans. Created by Jerad and Justin Morrison, San Francisco–based Sightglass Coffee serves the needs of the discerning addict based solely on this essential java building block. Offering roasted-to-order seasonal coffee beans through a mail order service, the two brothers proffer a curated, rotating selection from Latin America, Indonesia, Africa and anywhere else that makes a mean cup of joe. Just think: through the available subscription service, you may never have to hear a complaint about the local coffee shop ever again.

Buy Now: $16+

5. SousVide Supreme


We’ll let you in on a little secret: sous-vide cooking is easy. Honestly, you may be intimidated — the French language has that effect on people — but because the technique maintains a constant, low temperature, it’s practically impossible to overcook food. Accurate to within a single degree, the SousVide Supreme offers fantastic, professional-level control — so the bungling chef and the pro alike can create fancypants grub with sweatpants effort.

Buy Now: $429

6. Molecula-R Cuisine R-evolution Gastronomy Kit


It finally happened — your dad watched one too many episodes of Iron Chef America, and now the man has it in his head that he’s going to become the next great American chef. Don’t laugh: remember when you told him you wanted to grow up to become a Transformer? Help the man out with the Molecula-R Cuisine R-Evolution Gastronomy Kit. Packed with unique tools, additives like agar agar and, most importantly, directions (a DVD of 50 recipes, to be exact), your old man should enjoy the alternative chemistry take on burning things to a crisp. He’ll be elbow deep in edible foams, coagulants and ohmygodwhatthehellisthat before you know it.

Buy Now: $59

7. Schmidt Bros. Bonded Teak Series 15 Pc. Downtown Block Set


Take one look around the cutlery section of any high-end kitchen supply store and what do you see? Black — lots and lots of black. If you’re going to spend the effort buying someone an entire knife set, you may as well help them stand out. The Schmidt Brothers Bonded Teak Series 15 Pc. Downtown Block Set does just that. Made from forged 100% German stainless steel, the set offers refreshing, handsome teak wood handles to fight through the sea of sameness.

Want to show some sharp love but lack the cash to go all out? Try the Victorinox 40520 Fibrox 8-inch Chef’s Knife ($28).

Buy Now: $400

8. Click & Grow


The Click & Grow is a digi-potter that takes the pesky responsibility out of maintaining fresh herbs and (small) vegetables. Employing a computerized water storage and delivery system along with designated seed cartridges, the smart planter tends to its micro garden with minimal help from clumsy human hands. Just insert the cartridge, add some water when the sensor indicates, and it’ll do the rest, nurturing greens and herbs with a soft touch until someone’s ready to kill cook them.

Buy Now: $60

9. iittala Sarpaneva Cast Iron Pot


Made from cast iron, the iittala Sarpaneva Pot is a steep upgrade from the chili-cookers cowboys used to use. With a minimalist design and natural wooden handle, it’ll look just as good over a fire as it would atop a dinner table. It’ll be well-seasoned in no time, just like you.

Buy Now: $295

10. SodaStream Source


Every foodie wants to know where their food comes from, and their drinks are no exception. Imagined by lauded designer, Yves Béhar, the SodaStream Source ($150) is the latest iteration of the at-home drink maker. With the ability to control every aspect of your soda, from carbonation levels to flavors (the pack comes with six different ones), the Source is a dream for the sugary drink addict. What’s more, the Source saves hundreds of bottles a year, and it looks damn good while doing it. Green thumb, fizzy drink, happy gift recipient.

Buy Now: $96

11. Rancilio One-Touch Pure Coffee Machine


A quick internet search showed that for the price of a Rancilio One-Touch Pure Coffee Machine we could get six nights at a Four Seasons resort in Thailand, two semesters of in-state tuition at UC Berkeley or a brand new 2013 Kia Rio. What does that mean? This machine brews up one bad ass cup of coffee — and if you gift it to someone, they’d better be seriously appreciative. Equipped with all the bells and whistles, including a touchscreen interface, what it can do is store up to 48 customized drinks in its library; as a self-serve machine, it makes drinks with little or no work on your part. What it can’t do is seat five comfortably.

Buy Now: $14,200

12. Heritage Meats The Mighty Roasts


As our Month of Beef can attest, all guys love beef. It’s the same for male foodies, except they crave fancier steer. Give them what they want with The Mighty Roasts from Heritage Foods. Comprised of a whole filet of beef, an entire ribeye and a New York strip roast (that’s 30 pounds of meat in total), The Mighty Roasts is the Voltron of mail-order steak kits. As if that weren’t enough, the roasts are made from Piedmontese cattle, a breed renowned for its tenderness. We recommend having it delivered to your house so you can gift it in person, and perhaps stay for dinner.

Buy Now: $589

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