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Alta Editions is an award-winning publisher of beautiful online cookbooks. 

Gifts for the Cook in Your Life: The Seasoned Veteran

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Gifts for the Cook in Your Life: The Seasoned Veteran

Chris McBride

The Seasoned Veteran - pun intended - is someone who knows what they're doing in the kitchen. This cook understands the importance of multitasking and has embraced technique, from brining to pickling to singer-ing. Basic staples like knife skills, sauce building, and poaching eggs are well-honed habits - pun intended again. This type of home cook loves a challenge and tries new recipes with great enthusiasm and zest. Cooking is a way to unwind for this person. For the Seasoned Veteran, cooking is an expression of care, love, and depth - something to share with others openly or to explore more intimately.

The problem with shopping for the Seasoned Veteran is that they seem to have everything. You feel like you can't fill in the gaps with a spatula or a hand-mixer or knife because this cook not only has these essentials but they probably love the brand they have.

Lo and behold, though! Alta Editions has some inspiration for the Seasoned Veteran in your life. From stocking stuffers to that big gift, here are some things your home cook may be eyeing. Help your home cook specialize with one of a kind tools or round out with practical, everyday items. Enhance your loved ones cooking experience with one of these 35 gift ideas!

Cake Tester, $1. One of the most practical (and easy to misplace) tools out there - test anything from cake to steak for doneness.

Cake Tester, $1. One of the most practical (and easy to misplace) tools out there - test anything from cake to steak for doneness.

Jigger, $3. A useful tool for any chef interested in mixology.

Jigger, $3. A useful tool for any chef interested in mixology.

Oyster/Clam Knife, $3. A great find to fill out a knife collection.

Oyster/Clam Knife, $3. A great find to fill out a knife collection.

Bamboo Sushi Mat, $4. A great place to begin while experimenting and delving into the world of Japanese food.

Bamboo Sushi Mat, $4. A great place to begin while experimenting and delving into the world of Japanese food.

Porcelain Escargot Dish, $6. Explore French technique and flavors with this particular cooking and serving vessel.

Porcelain Escargot Dish, $6. Explore French technique and flavors with this particular cooking and serving vessel.

Cake Leveler, $7. Love to bake? Refine your style and decorating skills with this tool.

Cake Leveler, $7. Love to bake? Refine your style and decorating skills with this tool.

Hickory Wood Chips, $7. Infuse deep, woodsy flavors with these smoking chips.

Hickory Wood Chips, $7. Infuse deep, woodsy flavors with these smoking chips.

Ring Mold, $8. Take the beauty of your food to the next level by incorporating this professional plating and cooking tool.

Ring Mold, $8. Take the beauty of your food to the next level by incorporating this professional plating and cooking tool.

Cheese Paper Storage Bags, $9. Store your cheese easily (and in a much less odorous way).

Cheese Paper Storage Bags, $9. Store your cheese easily (and in a much less odorous way).

Saffron, $10. Enhance food with this luxurious and potent spice.

Saffron, $10. Enhance food with this luxurious and potent spice.

Springform Mold, $11. Have a thing for pastry? From cheesecake to sachertorte, this is a must.

Springform Mold, $11. Have a thing for pastry? From cheesecake to sachertorte, this is a must.

Mortar & Pestle, $11. Grind rubs and more by hand for the freshest, most flavorful food.

Mortar & Pestle, $11. Grind rubs and more by hand for the freshest, most flavorful food.

Knife Covers, $12. Protect blades (and fingers) while storing.

Knife Covers, $12. Protect blades (and fingers) while storing.

Cedar & Alder Planks, $17. Flavor your food with a natural, raw quality by roasting and grilling with wooden planks. 

Cedar & Alder Planks, $17. Flavor your food with a natural, raw quality by roasting and grilling with wooden planks. 

Tortilla Press, $20. Take your tacos the extra mile and make your own tortillas.

Tortilla Press, $20. Take your tacos the extra mile and make your own tortillas.

Pizza Peel, $25. Get great color and texture on your pizza by utilizing a pizza peel to place your pie directly into the oven.

Pizza Peel, $25. Get great color and texture on your pizza by utilizing a pizza peel to place your pie directly into the oven.

Vanilla Beans, $30. The bean beats the extract any day of the week.

Vanilla Beans, $30. The bean beats the extract any day of the week.

Sharpening Stone, $35. Hone and refine your blades at home.

Sharpening Stone, $35. Hone and refine your blades at home.

Decanter, $37. Let your wines open and breathe the way they're supposed to - it will only pair better with your food.

Decanter, $37. Let your wines open and breathe the way they're supposed to - it will only pair better with your food.

Chemex Brewery, $40. Make your best coffee ever. Don't forget to buy filters.

Chemex Brewery, $40. Make your best coffee ever. Don't forget to buy filters.

Knife Roll, $46. You might have spent a small fortune on your blades so get them places safely.

Knife Roll, $46. You might have spent a small fortune on your blades so get them places safely.

Ricer, $50. If you don't have one yet, it will make your mashing, pureeing and processing life so much simpler.

Ricer, $50. If you don't have one yet, it will make your mashing, pureeing and processing life so much simpler.

Laser Infrared Thermometer, $50. Instantly read the temperature of anything from candy to a sensitive sauce to the internal temperature of your roast chicken.

Laser Infrared Thermometer, $50. Instantly read the temperature of anything from candy to a sensitive sauce to the internal temperature of your roast chicken.

Paella Pan, $50. Of a Spanish inclination? Specialize in your cuisine with this enormously practical pan.

Paella Pan, $50. Of a Spanish inclination? Specialize in your cuisine with this enormously practical pan.

Cast-Iron Wok, $67. An enormously versatile pan for anything from the obvious (stirfry) to the not-so-obvious (chili).

Cast-Iron Wok, $67. An enormously versatile pan for anything from the obvious (stirfry) to the not-so-obvious (chili).

Clay Pot, $70. Like a wok, this is an enormously versatile item. Add a rustic, earthy note to baked dishes.

Clay Pot, $70. Like a wok, this is an enormously versatile item. Add a rustic, earthy note to baked dishes.

iSi Dispenser, $99. Add an upscale element to your dishes with foams and creams. Don't forget the canisters!

iSi Dispenser, $99. Add an upscale element to your dishes with foams and creams. Don't forget the canisters!

Cast-Iron Skillet, $140. A classic piece that only gets better with age.

Cast-Iron Skillet, $140. A classic piece that only gets better with age.

Pasta Attachments, $152. Any KitchenAid Mixer attachment can help specialize this kitchen staple.

Pasta Attachments, $152. Any KitchenAid Mixer attachment can help specialize this kitchen staple.

Breville Oven, $250. Have a convection oven and broiler right on your countertop.

Breville Oven, $250. Have a convection oven and broiler right on your countertop.

iPad, $429. An enormously helpful and accesible tool to use in the kitchen.

iPad, $429. An enormously helpful and accesible tool to use in the kitchen.

Did we mention that our online cookbooks are optimized for use on mobile and tablet? Check out the The Journey and Laurent Gras: My Provence.

Did we mention that our online cookbooks are optimized for use on mobile and tablet? Check out the The Journey and Laurent Gras: My Provence.

Sous Vide Machine, $800. The ultimate gift to experiment and try new things in food that are happening in professional kitchens around the world.

Sous Vide Machine, $800. The ultimate gift to experiment and try new things in food that are happening in professional kitchens around the world.

Any suggestions of your own? What's that thing you've wanted but aren't willing to buy for yourself? We'd love to know.