The Buslife Kitchen Holiday Gift Guide 2021
Buying gifts for someone living in a bus can be tough. Finding a space to store anything new is a challenge, so it had better be worth it! Fortunately, I’m here to help. Below you will find 10 of my suggestions for the very best things for the vanlife chef in your life (or anyone else who likes to cook).
I’m going to split this list into two categories (kitchen tools and books) with five suggestions for each. But also be sure to check out our shop, where we have lots of branded merchandise available.
You can check out the “Our Kitchen” page for a full list of our appliances and cookware, all of which I use all the time and would definitely recommend for the mobile gourmand in your life. But if you want some more specific advice, here are the top 5 items that I think every vanlife cook needs:
- Immersion Blender Set – This set comes with all the appliances a vanlife chef needs to produce really gourmet stuff: blender, whisk, food processor, even a milk frother. It doesn’t take up much space or use too much power, and it opens a whole world of new cooking opportunities.
- Good Chef’s Knife – The quintessential gift for the cook in your life is a good chef’s knife. This knife can get you through just about any kitchen task you have, and it will keep its edge a good long time. I only have three kitchen knives in the bus, and this is the one I use for about 90% of my work.
- Offset Deli Knife – Not everyone knows that they need this, but once they have it, they’ll never be without on. Perfect for cutting bread, carving meats, and countless other kitchen tasks, this is definitely a tool we should all have in our kitchen.
- Compact Knife Sharpener – A sharp knife is a safe knife, as they say. Keeping your blades nice and sharp not only save you time and energy, it also allows you to cook your best. A little knife sharpener like this one takes up very little space and makes it a breeze to keep your knives razor sharp.
- Campfire Grill – There are few things in the world better than cooking over an open fire, and this little grill makes that a cinch. Just build yourself a nice bed of coals, pull this bad boy out of the garage, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a forest feast.
Again, there is already a page on this website dedicated to my favorite books, both food-related and otherwise. There are lots of good gifts in there, but I’ll give you and even more curated list here, with my five favorites from there.
- Professional Cooking – This is the book for someone who wants to really learn about cooking. It is the textbook for the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School, and it teaches you from the fundamentals up. The unique layout of the book emphasizes the connections and principles of cooking in a way that allows for a more complete understanding.
- Kitchen Confidential – Anyone who likes to cook ought to read this book. Anthony Bourdain was a wild man and a romantic in the kitchen and in life, and this book tells the amazing story of his earlier days in the kitchens of New York. If you’ve ever wondered what happens behind the curtain at those ritzy restaurants, he’s here to tell you.
- The Food of Sichuan – If you are interested in dipping your toes into Sichuanese food (and you should be), this book is the best way to do it. Fuschia Dunlop shares not only many amazing recipes, but also so much knowledge about Sichuanese cuisine.
- Fat of the Land – In this book about foraged foods Langdon Cook weaves together narrative, information, and delicious recipes from his adventures in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve read it through at least three times, and each time it inspires me anew.
- The Essential Cuisines of Mexico – In this tome of a book, Diane Kennedy explores the many cuisines of Mexico. There are more recipes than I know what to do with, but if you’re like me, there is little in the world more inspiring than flipping through a collection like this an dreaming of all the amazing dishes you could cook. If you want to explore the exquisite and varied cuisines of Mexico, there are few better options.
I hope this list had some helpful ideas on it. I personally use and love every one of those products, and am happy to endorse them. For the sake of clarity, these are affiliate links, so when you click through to Amazon and buy anything during that session, we will receive a small commission on that sale.