Top Chef host and author Padma Lakshmi is excited about the holiday season and is sharing her favorite holiday gifts for the foodie in your life, including the one thing on her own wish list.
“People often ask me what they should have in their kitchen, so I love giving foodie gifts a lot,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. We caught up with Padma at the Kellogg’s Holiday Baking Challenge in New York City, where she showed us the winning dessert she calls a “crowd-pleaser.”
Ahead, shop Padma’s top foodie gifts to give this holiday season and the one gift she says she would get for herself.
For the co-worker
“My top gift for a co-worker would be something homemade,” she says. “I think it’s always nice to bring in something that you’ve baked or cooked yourself.”
Padma adds that the winning dessert from the Kellogg’s challenge is a great option to bring to the office before the holiday weekend. “It’s a beautiful pear and berry tart, and it is actually made with Frosted Flakes,” she explains. “The heavy cream was steeped in Frosted Flakes, so you get that beautiful cereal milk flavor. It’s used in the crust, and it’s also used in the sugar cookie that’s decorating it. I think people love when you use pantry ingredients to do something unorthodox. This is an easy recipe and it’s a crowd-pleaser.”
For the kids
“I’m very excited about the holidays — mostly because it allows me to have some fun playtime with my daughter and the rest of my family,” says Padma. The culinary pro says this mini-fondue set is a kid-friendly gift she’ll be picking up for her daughter. “She recently did a really nasty job of burning chocolate in the microwave, so I’m going to teach her how to do it the right way with her own personal kit.”
SHOP IT: Boska Ceramic Chocolate Fondue Set, $30, food52.com
For the chef
“For my chef friends who think they already know everything about food, I would give them my Encyclopedia of Spices & Herbs because I think a lot of Western chefs still need to learn how to use more spices than the 10 that come in their spice rack,” says Padma.
SHOP IT: The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs: An Essential Guide to the Flavors of the World, $22, amazon.com
For the nonchef
Padma says this essential kitchen tool is ideal for the friend who is a novice in the kitchen. “I would probably give them a microplane,” she explains. “A microplane is like a grater but it’s long like a wand and much finer. It’s great for grating things like nutmeg, but also amazing for grating lime or lemon zest. And just a little bit of lime zest in salad dressing changes the game.”
SHOP IT: Microplane Premium Classic Zester & Grater, $15, bloomingdales.com
The busy mom admits she would love to treat herself to a vacation — with a foodie twist. “I would give myself an eating tour of Thailand, Cambodia and Laos,” she muses. “I really haven’t been to that part of the world, and I’ve always loved that food, so I’d actually love to take an eating tour somewhere far away.”
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Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
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- 15 holiday gift ideas your mom will love this year
- The tiny, brilliant kitchen tool that set me free