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Christmas presents for beginners

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Everyone has to start somewhere. If you're buying a gift for a novice foodie this year, combine our pick of beginner books and courses with the ultimate gift to put under the tree...

For those who are only just discovering the kitchen consists of more than just a microwave and washing machine, give them beautiful tools to work with and the knowledge they need to get creative...

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The beginner's kitchen package:

The Flavour Thesaurus

The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit

The wonderful Flavour Thesaurus is packed with information about perfect food pairings and is the ideal gift for cooks looking to get a little creative in the kitchen.

Flavour Thesaurus, Niki Segnit - RRP £18.99: The Flavour Thesaurus

Combine with one or more of the following...

Joseph Joseph chopping board

Joseph Joseph, Index advanced chopping board set

On asking our food editor her advice on the best gifts for foodie beginners, Joseph Joseph products came high on the list. Our top pick? Their index advanced chopping boards are convenient and colour-coded, making prep work a pleasure.

Joseph Joseph, Index advanced chopping board set - RRP £44: Joseph Joseph

Mixing bowl

Mason Cash mixing bowls

A good quality mixing bowl will be eternally useful and will last forever. We love Mason Cash's ceramic Zest Mixing Bowls, available in a range of patterns, colours and sizes.

Mason Cash Zest Mixing Bowls - from £15: Mason Cash

Le Creuset Stoneware rectangular dish

Le Creuset Stoneware rectangular dish

Perfect for making a variety of dishes from pasta to puddings, a quality oven dish is invaluable for conquering many a culinary challenge. Those stalwarts Le Creuset have three different sizes of rectangular dish in a number of eye-catching colours.

Le Creuset Stoneware rectangular dish - from £17: Le Crueset

The brand new baker package

Baking is becoming something of a phenomenon in Britain. With more and more of us wielding a wooden spoon and trying our hand at everything from classic cakes to savoury bakes, there are more than a couple of cooking companions every budding baker will love...

Great British Bake Off recipe book

Great British Bake Off recipe book

Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood and the Bake Off contestants are largely to thank for the baking boom of the modern day. From the pretty basics to the more complex challenges, the Great British Bake Off cookbook will only deepen a new found love of creative cooking.

Great British Bake Off cookbook - RRP £20: Amazon

Combine with one or more of the following...

Electric mixer

Electric mixer

Every John Whaite wannabe needs a good electric mixer, and with baking being big business, there are plenty of lovely options. From pretty Kenwood handheld mixers from £47.99 to the beautiful KitchenAid Artisan stand mixers from around £400 - there's an option for all budgets.

Electric mixers - varying prices: John Lewis

Joseph Joseph baking gift set

Joseph Joseph, baking gift set

This four-piece set contains the basics for getting your bakes just right. Featuring a rolling pin, spatula, pastry brush and kitchen timer, it comes neatly packaged and with the brand's signature, colourful design.

Joseph Joseph baking gift set - £40: Joseph Joseph

The International chef's package

If you're buying for someone with a penchant for a particular cuisine, buy them the perfect gift combination so they can begin to make their favourite dishes at home.

Beginner Italian package

Carluccios At The Dinner Table hamper

Carluccios, At The Dinner Table hamper

The hamper from Italian titan Carluccio's includes everything you need for a big, joyful dinner table including a bottle of Prosecco to toast the festive season in style.

At The Dinner Table hamper - £50: Carluccios

Combine with...

Pasta machine

Jamie Oliver, Pasta Machine

For a truly authentic Italian taste, a pasta maker is a must. Great fun to use, new chefs will love the satisfaction of making their own fresh pasta. Jamie's pretty pasta maker is available in red, blue or silver.

Jamie Oliver Pasta Machine - £39.99: Amazon

Beginner Japanese package

Sushi

Yo Sushi, Sushi School Rice & Rolls

Ideal for beginners, Yo Sushi courses last for 2-3 hours and are available up and down the country at participating restaurants. You'll learn how to cook Japanese rice, make different types of sushi and will take away a step-by-step guide of all the recipes you made that day.

Yo Sushi, Sushi School Rice & Rolls - £30 per person: Yo Sushi

Combine with...

Sushi kit basic set

Japanese Kitchen, Sushi kit basic set

Including a rolling mat, chopsticks, seaweed sheets and more, this starter kit from leading Japanese food retailer, Japanese Kitchen, has all the basics a beginner needs to start making their own sushi.

Japanese Kitchen, Sushi kit basic set - £15.95: Japanese Kitchen

Beginner Mexican package

Thomasina Miers

Mexican food made simple, Thomasina Miers

MasterChef winner and restauranteur, Thomasina Miers is one of the authorities on Mexican cooking in Britain and shares her favourite recipes and tips in this book. There's even a guide to the world's hottest chillies included for some spicy inspiration.

Mexican food made simple, Thomasina Miers - £20: Amazon

Combine with...

Spice rack

House of Fraser, white washed wooden spice rack

Get new Mexican chefs ready for action with all the spices they'll need to create flavourful dishes. We love this shabby chic rack from House of Fraser, which comes with empty jars ready for you to fill with vibrant coloured spices to complete the package.

White washed wooden spice rack, House of Fraser - £30: House of Fraser 

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Are you buying a foodie gift for a beginner this Christmas? What will you be putting under the tree?

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