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Perfect Gifts for Young Chefs
Posted by Samantha on 12/5/2012 to Gift Ideas

Cooking and preparing meals in the kitchen is a great pastime of many young people. It’s also a way for families to hand down traditions and heirlooms in the form of recipes. From baking with grandma to helping mom with dinner, we all started somewhere in the kitchen with a family member who knew more than we did. For me, cooking was always the best way I could express my creativity. I never really thought of myself as an artist, but my husband constantly tells me that what regularly comes out of our kitchen is a work of art. I’m still on the fence about that one. 

This got me thinking about gifts that are perfect for young chefs. Be it a pre-teen or teenager in your home, a college student who is just getting started in their own kitchen or a couple who is just getting married, there are certain kitchen tools that make great gifts for these individuals. In fact, I’m pretty jealous that I did not receive any of these during those years, but luckily it didn’t hamper my desire to cook and be in my kitchen. 

The first item that is perfect for new chefs is the Kai My First Knife by Shun. This knife has some great features, starting with the price. At about $40, this knife is fantastic for those who want to introduce younger chefs to professional quality knives, but don’t want to pony up the prices generally associated with this quality. Kai deems this knife as “the perfect starter knife for smaller hands” and they created this knife with safety in mind. The serrated blade won’t slip easily on foods which makes it safer than a plain edge. The rounded handle also encourages the correct grip, something they will be thankful for later as they move into more professional sets. The knife is great for left or right handed users, and is suggested for ages 9 and up. 

Shun Kai My First Knife

Wusthof Gadget Cup Set

The next two suggestions for young chefs are geared toward the college years, in my opinion. The Wusthof Gadget Cup Set is absolutely perfect for smaller kitchens and has 5 essential Wusthof gadgets plus kitchen shears and two knives. This 9 piece set offers an assortment of gadgets, utensils and knives which all store in a wooden storage cup. Included with this set you will find a swivel peeler, an apple corer, a lemon zester, a balloon whisk, a bottle opener and Wusthof’s kitchen shears. A 3” paring knife and a 4.5” utility knife are also included with the set. This is a great set for introducing someone to the Wusthof brand, and includes both basic and specialty tools useful to any kitchen.  

Another item that I think is perfect for college students is the Kai Pure Komachi II Block Set from Shun. We’ve blogged about this separately here on this blog, but this set is a no brainer for younger cooks. The colorful knives are beautiful on any countertop and are great for learning the differences between varying knife styles. This set includes every basic knife you need, plus a few specialty knives - all of which store in a clear acrylic block that shows off the beautiful knife blades.  You will find:

Shun Kai Pure Komachi 2 Knife Set

  • 3.5” Paring Knife (AB5068)
  • 4” Tomato Knife (AB2204)
  • 4” Citrus Knife (AB1277)
  • 4.375” Fish Knife (AB5060)
  • 5.75” Bagel & Sandwich Knife (AB5063)
  • 6.5” Hollow Edge Santoku Knife (AB5064)
  • 8” Bread Knife (AB5062)
  • 8” Chef’s Knife (AB5066)

Finally, I like this set for weddings. Every young couple needs a good set of knives to get them started on their life of meals together, and this set meets those needs while being more comfortable on a budget. The Wusthof Silverpoint II 18 piece block set includes a 17 slot block and is completely filled with knives to suit nearly every kitchen need. An alternative set to this one is the Wusthof Silverpoint II 14 piece set, which doesn’t include the peeling knife, slicing knife and has two fewer steak knives than the 18 piece set. In this complete set you will find:

Wusthof Silverpoint II Block Set - 18 Piece

  • 3" Flat Cut Paring Knife
  • 2.75" Bird's Beak Peeling Knife
  • 3" Spear Point Paring Knife
  • (Six) 4.5" Steak Knives
  • 3" Clip Point Paring Knife
  • 4.5" Utility Knife
  • 5" Serrated Utility Knife
  • 8" Bread Knife
  • 8" Slicing Knife
  • 8" Cook's Knife
  • 9" Steel
  • Kitchen Shears
  • 17-Slot Block
  • Wusthof Lifetime Guarantee

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