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December 6, 2023

The A+ All Australian Hospo Gift Guide

Holiday giving inspiration for all the chefs, cooks, bartenders, servers and food-obsessives in your life. 

Words: The A+ Team

Video by A+ team

Hospo folks can be frustratingly hard to shop for. They work too hard to have hobbies. They live in their uniforms, making clothes a difficult choice. They live and breathe the industry, but at the same time they aren’t completely defined by their jobs – a chef can only receive so many pairs of zany chef pants before she screams “enough!” Most bartenders don’t want a bartending set for Christmas – that’s what they do at work, and you probably won’t buy them the right one, anyway (such snobs!). It’s a delicate balancing act. 

Luckily, we’re here to help. Welcome to what we hope will become an annual tradition: The A+ All Australian Hospo Gift Guide. We’ve collected a list of all-Australian-made, high-quality gifts that we’d love to receive ourselves. We aim to help you surprise, delight and pamper the hospo worker in your life. Or, if you are that hospo worker, we hope you can slyly forward this along to the people who struggle to fulfil your holiday wishes, for all of the above reasons. 


Have a young chef in your life who’s just starting out in the industry? An aspiring culinary school student? This gorgeous knife starter kit from Fireblade Australia ($250) has all the tools they’ll need to get going. And more established chefs will appreciate the next-level tools Fireblade sells, like these Damascus stainless steel tongs ($60). 

And to roll up all those beautiful new tools? How about a knife roll made of buffalo leather from Dog Boy Knives ($240)?

Even the chef with everything is unlikely to have an oyster shucker as fancy as this one, which is hand forged by Tasmanian blacksmith Anthony Curtis from reclaimed high-carbon 316 marine grade stainless steel, with a handle carved from California Redwood harvested from a 100+ year old tree grown on a farm in Tasmania. Phew! ($90)

If you have a camping chef in your life, I can’t stress how awesome this heavy-duty campfire kitchen setup from ACK is ($340). I bought it for my camping chef husband a couple of years ago, and it’s made our camping life so much better. It’s basically a metal post with a swinging hot plate and grill to put over your campfire. The family-owned Australian company has all kinds of extra gadgets you can add to your campfire kitchen, depending on the proclivities of your particular cook. 


Ok, I said it: no one wants more chef pants with chilli peppers on them. But there are some fun workwear options out there that might be right for your hard-working kitchen slave.

A bunch of Australian companies are now making really cool boiler suits, like these Worktones unisex cotton coveralls ($150). 

SÜK is well known for their work pants and suits, but they have a new line of fabric called Ripstop that’s specifically made to… stop rips. I love this zip-up short sleeve version ($190). (I should note, however, that SÜK doesn’t allow exchanges on online purchases, only returns, making it a bit tough as a gift purchase unless you’re extremely sure of sizing. If you’re in Melbourne, the in-store exchange policy is more gifting-friendly.)

There are all kinds of awesome Australian-made aprons on the market these days. Here are a few of our favourites:

Linen aprons from Carlotta & Gee ($65)!

Denim aprons from Hudstar Duds ($35)!

Kangaroo leather aprons from Karmine Leather (from $200)!

Personalised, ethically-made aprons from Cargo Crew (around $55 with personalisation)!


For the drinks professional or drinks-obsessed person in your life, booze is an obvious choice. But the Australian spirits and drinks category is so overwhelming these days, it’s hard to know where to start. Here are a few ideas that particularly struck our fancy.

Økar Tropic mistelle from Unico Zelo ($32.99), an orange-flavoured aperitivo that makes for fantastic summer spritzes. 

For the beer geek, La Sirene Oak Aged Wild Ale Gift Pack ($45). 

For the classics cocktail lover, The Gospel Manhattan Kit ($140).

For the bartender who probably already has it all, this Australian mezcal-style agave product from Blacksnake ($130), with label art by Gamilaroi artist Mavis Stone. 

Receptacles for All That Booze

One of my go-to gifts for weddings, bartenders and birthdays is a set of vintage glassware. It’s unique, it’s fun, and it allows me to shop for stuff I love when I’m no longer allowed to buy those things for myself. (I have a lot of vintage glassware.) Obviously there’s no one shop I can send everyone to in order to find the glassware of your dreams, but here’s some inspiration: An adorable set of chef-adorned juice glasses! A starburst mid century cordial set! These amazing psychedelic water glasses (um, you can buy these for me if you want)! This gorgeous shaker and matching glasses! You get the idea. 

For those with a different kind of very specific Australian nostalgia, check out this Flemington Acrylic Jug ($45) and matching Flemington Acrylic wine glasses ($10 ea) and tumblers ($8 ea) from Aura Home. 

Books by Australian Chefs

It’s been a banner year for Australian cookbooks, and we could write a list a mile long if we wanted to include them all. Some standouts include the Meatsmith cookbook ($60) for the barbecuer in your life, Josh Niland’s latest book, Fish Butchery ($70, signed) for the pescatarians, Rumi: Food of Middle Eastern Appearance ($39.99), from legendary Melbourne restaurateur Joseph Abboud, and Sustain: Groundbreaking Recipes and Skills that Could Save the Planet ($55), by Jo Barrett.

Health and Wellness

You know what would really help that chef or bartender who spends all day standing, sweating and slinging? A massage. So that’s an easy win – gift certificates are available from most spas and foot massage joints. 

Also, the Foot Collective sells this Foot Optimisation Kit ($177) to improve balance and posture and help tired, sore feet, and Freestyle Feet has a Complete Foot Restoration Kit ($94.95). Or you could go with some Tasmanian lavender Epsom salts ($14.50) for soaking those tired muscles. 

Support the Industry

Finally, we recommend buying a gift card to your favourite restaurant or bar, for the hospo worker who needs a good night out, or for anyone else on your list. 

Happy holidays, we hope you make it through the silly season in one piece. 

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