Cooking Louisiana  -  Chef Dad's Gifts
Gifts for the Home Chef Dad.

Being a Dad and being a Home Chef I can speak with a little wisdom here. I surely don't know your dad's or hubby's kitchen but I'd be willing to bet there's something missing. Here's a few tips on what to look for when deciding on the "right" gift in the cooking area.

Step One, ask! Hey, he might actually tell you exactly what he wants!

If that fails try the next strategies.

Observe, observe, observe! You will learn more from watching his cooking process than any questions asked (sometimes).

Look for things he likes to do.

Here is the tactic used to buy a gift that makes what he likes to do "more likeable". For instance, suppose chopping vegetables is like a fine art to him. Look! Is he using a quality knife? Or is he fighting old faithful because he's too tight to go out and buy himself a good one? If it's a fight, do some research and go out and get him a nice knife, no, I didn't say a set of knives, I said "one knife". Get the best one for the money you can afford (and let me tell you, you can spend some serious bucks on a good one!). He will cherish that knife for as long as he cooks! If he likes it enough you may hear him talk about passing it on to his grandkids....! By all means don't, for example, go buy him one of those quickee-chopee machines unless he says he wants it. He'll use it once to prove to you that it's not like the fine art of hand chopping! In the cabinet it goes and you can sell at the next garage sale. Are you following me here?

Look for the processes that he doesn't enjoy doing but never says anything about it!

If you watch long enough you will notice little things that give him trouble. Do some thinking and come up with a gadget or better gadget to help make the process easier for him. You can often tell what gadget he needs by the number and quality of cuss words he uses to describe the existing tools he works with! Here's a for instance. Suppose he flips burgers on the barbecue and burns himself almost every time he does it! He may not say anything in the front of you so watch through the window. Count how many times he throws the flipper on the ground, and, read his lips! What would you buy in this case? Well, maybe a flipper with a longer handle, or maybe a caged cooker that he can put several burgers in and flip them all at once.

You have to understand the "kid" in us men.

Men hold bragging rights to most everything they own. It's a "Things" thing for many. Men buy some things just to say to their friends that they have them (not that they use them or ever figured out how to use them). Believe me, you get him something that is quality out the wahzoo, and/or, "state of the art" and he'll brag to his cooking buddies about it for a long time. He wants to be the first on the block to have "such-and-such" a gadget, take my word for it (but he'll seldom tell you that he does want it).

Don't Do's

Don't go to the store not knowing what you're looking for. At least have an idea of the gadget wanted. Look in a few different places starting with the internet (hey, you're reading this on the internet huh?).

Don't buy him things that he has denied wanting, and, the observation process on your part proves he is telling the truth!


Ask misleading questions. Like, "boy, those onions must be tough huh?". He'll say "no, it's this d... knife!" not knowing he just admitted not liking the knife he said he liked a month ago!

Look at the quality of what he's already working with. Buy better stuff unless he REALLY likes the tool he has, or, it has sentimental value, i.e. his dad gave it to him and he doesn't care how bad it performs, "it was good enough for his dad so it's good enough for him!", it doesn't matter that machete's were not designed to mince garlic.

Give him a gift certificate to a real good cooking supply place he's never been to because it was too expensive! (WARNING: This could be detrimental to your future savings for retirement.)

In conclusion, guys don't really need much but they want the same. Tickle their hearts with a little something special even if it's "one good thing" that everybody pitched in for. If he talks about it to his friends rest assured you've done well!