($15-20) The bento box is great for people who pack a lunch. It contains multiple compartments for different food, along with a built-in set of utensils, and everything stacks together nicely when empty. Plus, it looks exotic.
($45-55) Fondue is on its way back in style thanks to pots like this Cuisinart, which is electric and very easy to clean. This makes a great gift for a grad student or someone who likes to host others in style.
($20-30) This is no gimmick appliance. In fact, it’s probably the coolest one invented in the last 5 years. The breakfast sandwich makes the equivalent of a McDonalds Egg McMuffin with very little trouble. Put the ingredients in their respective spots and 5 minutes later–hot and tasty breakfast.
($15-20) Not to say that all graduate students or professors are geeks, but Cooking for Geeks is likely to be appreciated by people who care about detail. It contains a lot of basics, but also some great “cooking hacks” along with cooking-related interviews with many well-known geeks of the world.
($25-35) Sure, it’s a regular 8-inch chef’s knife, but it’s probably the very best kitchen blade for the price, especially compared to most of the junk knives that come in sets. Don’t forget a KitchenIQ Knife Sharpener to go with it.
($25-35) Cast iron is becoming more and more popular in the kitchen and Lodge is top of the line. The skillet is virtually indestructible and incredibly versatile, since it can be used on the stovetop, in the oven, or over a campfire (be aware that these are heavier as a result) This also comes with much-needed handle grip.
($5-10) Nobody makes custard anymore, but these “custard cups” are scientifically the perfect size for a bowl of ice cream bowl or a baked fruit tart. Whoever owns these will use them a lot, guaranteed.
($50-90) Lodge makes beautiful enameled Dutch ovens. These are probably better suited for the kitchen than a campout though. They are great for evenly distributing heat throughout the contents of whatever you’re cooking and many people even use them to bake bread in.