Our enjoyment at the thought of receiving gifts is generally tempered by the stress of giving them; how is one expected to track down perfect, highly personal presents for childhood best friends, office colleagues, tax attorneys and cousin Mary? Thankfully, food just happens to be the great equalizer, making the following selections go-to gifts for practically anyone on your list!
Mah-Ze-Dahr’s Heaven in a Box: If these baked goods won over the likes of Tom Colicchio (who’s a primary investor), they’re sure to please any sweets-loving giftee. But instead of drawing the line at a tin of cookies, go the extra mile by purchasing packages like the “Heaven in a Box” ($60 for an assortment of brownies, shortbread, peanut brittle and brown butter salted caramel bars) or the $65 “For the Love of Chocolate;” an apt description of chocolate chip cookies, chocolate explosion cookies, chocolate sable cookies, mocha marshmallows and chocolate-covered toffee.
The Gift of Wine: What better way to pass the winter than home on the couch with a goblet of wine in your hand? Check out the California wine club for a wine subscription for your nearest and dearest. You can gift anything from a signature series with highly rated California wines to a Pacific Northwest series with terrific bottles from Washington & Oregon. So gift the gift of wine this year.
Loring Place Apron: There’s no guarantee you’ll be able to score a table anytime soon at Dan Kluger’s long-anticipated debut restaurant, Loring Place. But you can certainly prepare your very own farm-to-table fare in style, by rocking his collaborative apron with designer Todd Snyder. Named after the eatery (and worn by both the chef and his staff), the 100% Cotton Chambray cover-up retails for $98, and sports a utilitarian elegance with contrast stitching ‘X’ bar tacks, and herringbone twill tape straps.
Verve Wine: Master Sommelier (and former Eleven Madison Park wine director) Dustin Wilson recently teamed up with veteran wine merchant, Derrick Mize, to introduce an entirely new way to buy and discover wine. This elegant online platform allows visitors to search and shop for their ideal vino by scouring a range of categories, including price point, occasions and food group. Need a fun hostess gift? The $40 Yann Bertrand, Fleurie ‘VVV’ 2014 is a glossy, gulpable Gamay that pairs perfectly with Chinese takeout. Want to impress the in-laws? The $100 Arnot-Roberts Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Clajeux’ 2013 is an old-school, classic Cab, possessing both style and substance.
Brooklyn Seltzer Boys Egg Cream Kit: Want to send friends and family a true taste of NYC? This old fashioned seltzer company has put together an adorable Egg Cream Kit for the holidays, comprised of Fox’s U-Bet syrup, long-handled spoons and glasses, and of course, plenty of their namesake fizzy water, delivered in traditional siphon bottles.
Culinary Classes at ICE: The newly refurbished Institute of Culinary Education features a bean-to-bar chocolate lab, an indoor hydroponic garden and more; but you don’t need to go for a degree in order to scope out the state-of-the-art facility. Recreational classes run the gamut from a Buche de Noel-making workshop to Cooking for Couples to “A Spanish Christmas,” taught by staff instructors and Michelin-starred chefs, like Bar Jamon’s Anthony Sasso.
Brooklyn Butcher Blocks Cutting Boards: No matter how big or small one’s space, a durable cutting board is a kitchen must-have. And there’s no reason they shouldn’t be uncommonly beautiful too; especially if you go through this Brooklyn-based woodworker. Choose from artisan, hand-carved items like walnut and mahogany cutting boards (with design inspired by historic brownstones), meat serving boards crafted from reclaimed lumber, and even a maple or cherry iBlock; a cutting board that also holds your tablet!
Mouth.com is a foodie’s online paradise any time of the year, but come the holidays it’s a full blown bonanza for scoring presents for food lovers. If it’s Hanukkah gifts you’re after, they’ve got an entire section, filled with everything from kosher gift boxes to Christmakkah gifts. And if you celebrate Christmas, the sky’s the limit with stocking stuffers, like coasters, whisky, cookies, cocktail kits, monthly boxes & more.