Gifts for food lovers: Red Boat fish salt, kids chef caddy, cooking classes

Still fretting about what to give the food lover in your life? Never fear. With ideas such as seasonings, kitchen tools and cooking classes, there's something here for kitchen enthusiasts of all ages, whether you're looking for a small stocking stuffer or the right gift for that special someone.

Red Boat fish salt: Fish sauce may be the secret to Southeast Asian cooking, and it's no secret that Red Boat fish sauce, or nuoc mam nhi, is a cult favorite among chefs. Red Boat has now added a flavored salt to its lineup, cured in mango wood barrels that have stored Red Boat Fish Sauce for more than a year. The finely grained salt adds a nice hint of umami to vegetables, meat, fish and poultry. $15 for an 8.8-ounce bag at


E Waldo Ward "California Treasures" gift collection: Send someone the flavors of California with this gift pack of products made right in Sierra Madre. The collection includes Santa Rosa Plum Jam, Blackberry Preserves, Old Fashioned Chili Sauce (a ketchup replacement), Triple Citrus Marmalade, Pomegranate Jelly and Three Fruit Preserves (a blend of peaches, plums and apricots), all in 10-ounce jars (the chili sauce is 8 ounces). $51.70 at

Pastry mat with measures: Keep your counter top clean with this non-skid silicone mat. At 24 by 16 inches, it's generous in size, including measure marks and measurement rings so you can tell right away if the pie dough you're rolling is the proper size. Perfect for cookie and pastry dough, it's even great for candy. Best of all? It's dishwasher safe. $32 at

Stainless steel bench scraper: A great multi-purpose tool in the kitchen, a bench scraper is a simple thing, really. True to its name, the bench scraper is perfect for scraping your work surface clean. Whether you're cleaning up after kneading a batch of dough, shaving tempered chocolate or collecting all your freshly minced carrots, a scraper's wide edge makes quick work of it. It also works well when you're portioning dough for rolls or cutting cookie logs. This stainless steel version is heavy-duty with a nice grip at the top and a handy measure at the bottom. $6.95 from

OXO Good Grips angled measuring cup set: OXO has made a name for itself revolutionizing a number of classic kitchen tools, and these angled measuring cups are a favorite with our Test Kitchen staff. A patented angled surface allows you to conveniently read measurement markings by looking straight down into the cup, eliminating the need to fill, check and repeatedly adjust the amount of liquid you are measuring. The set includes 1-cup, 2-cup and 4-cup measures, each fitted with a comfortable non-slip grip handle. $19.99 at

Taylor compact waterproof digital thermometer: This handy pen-style thermometer includes a thin probe for measuring the temperature and a large LCD display for easy reading. The thermometer registers temperatures ranging from minus 40 degrees to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 40 to 232 Celsius) and comes with a metal clip on the back and lanyard so you can keep it close by at all times whether cooking, baking or grilling. Easy to clean, the thermometer is made of waterproof plastic with Safe-T-Guard anti-microbial protection on the sleeve and housing. $14.41 at

Curious Chef kids caddy collection: This handy caddy includes everything your budding little chef could need in the kitchen. The 30-piece kit includes a non-stick rolling pin, medium and large silicone mixing spoons, stainless steel whisk, nylon cookie turner, nylon frosting spreader, pastry brush, poly spoon, vegetable peeler, serving tongs, ice cream scoop, pizza cutter, medium and large silicone mixing spatulas, six-piece measuring spoon set, six-piece measuring cup set and the small, medium and large nylon plastic knives (the knives have serrated cutting edges with blunt tips that easily cut food but not skin). The tool caddy contains it all. $79.99 at Curious Chef.

The Gourmandise School cooking classes: Choose from a variety of classes, both sweet and savory (including Thai cooking and chocolate making), and learn from top local chef instructors, including Roxana Jullapat, Stefano DeLorenzo, Gill Boyd and Sonoko Sakai, in addition to in-house chocolatier Ruth Kennison. Classes are 100% hands-on unless otherwise noted. Starting at $85 at  

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