All we want for Christmas is a standing Saturday reservation at Komi and keys to the Citronelle wine and cheese cellar. Alas, we have no chimmney and its been years since Santa showered our stockings with champagne wishes and caviar dreams. Our wish lists and shopping targets need to stick to the budgets of mere mortals.
For your holiday shopping convenience, we compiled helpful suggestions for the foodie on your shopping list. Some of these items are our personal favorites. Others we are drooling over ourselves (hint, hint). And yes, while I think we can all agree that a luxury gastro-tour of the Spanish countryside a la Mario Batali would be super, we’re keeping the price range of this list within our own galaxy.
Suggestions and links after the jump!
Foodie Games: For the social foodie who likes to entertain at home, check out food-related board games and dinner party conversation starters. We received Foodie Fight, a trivia game, a few years ago and have enjoyed testing our knowledge. Wine Smarts and Beer Smarts may please a more libation-focused recipient (Itty Bitty Boozy Betty, are you reading this?). There are a number of wine tasting kits on the market. Most of these are simply wine bottle bags and notepads for thoughts on each sample, so you creative types can take this on as a DIY project if you’re into that kind of thing.
Food Charity: Let’s face facts. If we have the luxury to be picky about what we eat, we’re better off than many other folks out there. Consider a donation in someone’s name to a worthy ‘food for the less fortunate’ charity. Donations may benefit local needs via So Others Might Eat (SOME), Martha’s Table, or DC Central Kitchen. Or share the love with those living farther away with Heifer International, which serves families in need in America and abroad.
Tasting and Cooking Classes. What better gift to a foodie than a helping hand toward more food knowledge? Not only can your gift recipient learn more about a favorite food or wine, they get to sample the goods while they’re at it. If you play your cards right, you may even reap the benefits of their learning. Mike and I have gifted wine tasting courses from the Washington Wine Academy and come away with some great education and new favorite wines. We’re also huge fans of Cheesetique’s cheese courses taught by proprieter and cheese goddess Jill Erber, and we can certainly recommend cocktail classes at EatBar. For those looking for a more hands-on experience, try one of the dozens of cuisine-specific cooking classes at L’Academie de Cuisine (former school of Top Cheftestant and DC local Carla Hall) or newcomer CulinAerie (where she has recently taught some classes).
Kitchen Gadgets and Accessories. This is a personal choice. Some people like a well-edited kitchen where every tool has multiple functions (no cherry pitters here!) while others scoop up every catalogue offer Williams-Sonoma sends their way. A few items we can’t live without? Good knives, a Microplane grater, and our aerolatte. I’m also kind of a sucker for those overpriced, cutesy aprons that are all the rage these days.
Hey, how about actual food? Of the gifts we’ve given, few have been more warmly received than a tin of baked goodies. Mini loaf pans can come in especially handy this time of year. Contents of your own box of deliciousness depend on your tastes and expertise. Three chefs have shared their favorite food gift recipes here.
No matter what you decide to give, the more important thing to remember is this: the quality and flavor of food is only increased with the company of good friends. Perhaps the best foodie gift of all is a genuine invitation to dinner in your home.