Five ideas the failing/blossoming chef in your life is too proud to admit they need

Everyone has to start somewhere. For the blossoming chef, that could be the difference between burning a cup of noodles or possibly burning their entire home. We aren't judging. In fact, we're here to help. Whether your home chef is simply in need of some new tools of the trade, classes or, perhaps, a motivational apron, we've got some gift ideas this year.

COOKING CLASSES FROM MODERNIST COOKS (a)

How to fix a disastrous home cook without insulting them? Offer them fun cooking classes, like those from Modernist Cooks. Maybe they'll listen to reason, if reason is wearing a chef's hat. Amanda Hillmann, owner-operator of Modernist Cooks, suggests her classes are great for beginning cooks, ambitious three-course-dinner-party socialites, dry-ice-using gastronomists and even kids who want to up their mac-and-cheese game. "I do a lot of their prep work for them," Hillmann says. "They're just doing the fun parts. We do all the cleanup, too." Class with Modernist Cooks • $27-$47 for kids, $35-$80 for adults • 1014 N. Pines Rd., Spokane Valley • modernistcooks.com

A SHARPER KNIFE FROM KITCHEN ENGINE (b)

You can always tell a disastrous home cook when their trusty chef's knife struggles to pierce through an egg yolk. But rather than mocking them mercilessly, head to Kitchen Engine and buy the kind of high-end knife sharp enough to chiffonade hairs and cleave through atoms. If you're strapped for cash, snag their lousy knife, drop it off at the Kitchen Engine, and they'll sharpen it for a mere $1. Nothing like giving a person their own possession, but upgraded. Kitchen Engine's 6-inch Wusthof Classic Cook's Knife • $120; 8-inch version for $150 • Flour Mill, 621 W. Mallon Ave. #416

A BIG-ASS CUTTING BOARD (c)

So much of cooking is just standing over a board, slicing pieces into smaller pieces. The way to make that less painful? A big-ass cutting board, ideally approaching the size of a ping-pong table, means you spend a lot less time picking scraps of onions and garlic off the linoleum. (This is not to be confused with "big ass-cutting boards," which are mostly used for rump roasts.) If you're handy, head to Ziggy's and make your own. Otherwise, purchase a quality cutting board from a local business. Either way stick with wood: Don't get one of those pretty glass ones that turn even good knives into useless slag. 19x15-inch cutting board at the Culinary Stone • $130 • 2129 Main St., Coeur d'Alene

SPICEOLOGY'S SMOKY HONEY HABANERO RUB (d)

Great cooking is about great flavor. So if you're not a great cook, you can just cheat by adding some spices that come preloaded with amazing flavor. Our local mad scientists at Spiceology have cooked up one of my favorite spice blends, a rub that's filled with heat, sweetness and smokiness all the same time. Smoky Honey Habanero Rub is so good it even makes vegetables delicious. Wow! Spiceology Smoky Honey Habanero Rub • $19.50 per pound • Huckleberry's Natural Market, 926 S. Monroe St. • spiceology.com

F-WORD APRON

They undercook, overseason and can't even make toast without potentially causing a small kitchen fire. Help your beloved yet disastrous home cook own their ineptitude in style with an apron that covers any and all mishaps with variations on one of the world's most versatile curse words. F-word apron at Lucky Monkey • $29 • 412 E. Sherman Ave., Coeur d'Alene (CARRIE SCOZZARO) ♦

Coeur d'Alene Brewfest @ McEuen Park

Sat., July 11, 1-8 p.m.
  • or

About The Author

Daniel Walters

A lifelong Spokane native, staff writer Daniel Walters is the Inlander's City Hall reporter. But he also reports on a wide swath of other topics, including business, education, real estate development, land use, and other stories throughout North Idaho and Spokane County.He's reported on deep flaws in the Washington...