From a Chef’s Perspective: Gifts for the Foodie Friend or Family Member
I don’t know about you guys but the holiday season kinda snuck up on me this year! The twinkly lights, the trees, the warm holiday beverages – I appreciate a lot about this time of year. However I find myself struggling to get out to the stores to Christmas shop during the month of December. Because I work in the service/hospitality industry, I really love my peace and quiet on my days off. The thought of dodging in-a-rush drivers, waiting in long lines and being a witness to what I refer to as “aggressive shopping” does not particularly excite me or get me in the holiday spirit. Luckily there are many alternatives these days that make gift-giving a little easier. (Thank you, internet.) Being a professional chef and wino, most of my gifts will either be edible, drinkable or useful in the kitchen. Here are some of my favorite “foodie” gift recommendations:
For the perpetual entertainer: A unique tableware item from Unicef Market
If you don’t already know about Unicef market, it’s an amazing place to shop. Purchases benefit children in need around the world and they have some seriously amazing items in the housewares section. Next time you’re in a perpetual entertainer’s home take note of their style and color scheme, and I’m sure you’ll be able to find something right up their alley. If they seem to have everything already, it doesn’t hurt to get a nice serving dish or decorative snack bowl. As someone who entertains, I can never have enough of those. These items are very unique, and give back- what’s not to love about that.
Bottom, left: Eggshell mosaic centerpiece, ‘Time Origin’
For the locavore: A North Fork foodie set from Lieb Cellars
I will totally own this shameless self-promotion here. This is a solid kit for the foodie who appreciates good wine and who is always on a mission to support local businesses. It includes a bottle of Lieb Cellars Reserve Cabernet Franc (a medium-bodied Cab Franc with aromas of roasted plum and baking spices), a bag of Fork & Anchor spiced nuts (if you haven’t had them, beware, they are incredibly addicting) and a small box of North Fork Chocolate Co. truffles.
For the utilitarian chef: Dependable silicone spatulas, wooden spoons and tongs
I can cook a 6 course meal using just a pot and these three essential cooking tools. Silicone spatulas don’t have to be fancy, the best ones are easy to clean (read: one solid piece) and usually come in a set of a few different sizes. The best kind of wooden spoon to gift is the kind with a flat edge so you can safely “scrape” the bottom of a pot while stirring the Sunday gravy (any Long Island Italian moms out there?). Regular wooden spoons are great, too, but I think that flat-edged spoon will see much more action. As for tongs, it’s nice to have one long pair for reaching that dinner roll you dropped in the way way back corner of the oven and a shorty pair for turning things on the stove. Again, always look for the versions that are easiest to clean, not too heavy, and won’t seem too precious to use on the daily.
Right, top: GLOUE Silicone Spatula Set – 4-piece
Right, bottom: Kitchen Tong Set Stainless Steel – 3 piece set
For the college grad: The Bridge Lane holiday gift set
They’re finally 21 and you know they are starting to like wine – but you’re not sure springing for a $30 bottle of wine just yet. After all, the wine you buy may very well be used for a spritzer or sangria. Well, we have a gift for that. This gift set has two bottles of Bridge Lane wine: Red Blend and Sauvignon Blanc (as un-pretentious as a selection can be!), a pair of branded sunglasses and a “Drink Local” tote which my younger siblings tell me is very hip. To seal the deal it all comes in a wooden crate which we know they will put to good use in their apartment.
For the foodie know-it-all: Foodie Fight board game
Let’s see how much they REALLY know! This game is pretty tough, but the amount you learn in one round is quite impressive. The best is if you can pin two foodies against eachother to a game and then sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy the show.
Happy shopping and happy holidays!
Tasting Room Director