The holiday season is gearing up, and already stores across the globe are decked with glittering lights and flame-retardant snow. Instead of giving the foodie on your list this year’s iteration of the fruit cake, try one of these hand-picked gifts, guaranteed to please every appetite.
Slate Cheese Board, $24.00, Brooklyn Slate
When it comes to food, presentation is key. The quintessential host will love this chic slate cheese board, complete with soapstone chalk for labeling the spread. Dark, locally sourced stone makes even a stick of string cheese look gourmet. We love the natural edge on the board by Brooklyn Slate Co., and the DIY-vibe added by the chalk. Make it a package with a set of monogrammed cheese knives, or a small selection of your foodie’s favorite cheeses.
Stripes Abound Apron, $36.00, Anthropologie
For the hostess who always has one foot in the kitchen, this elegant apron will keep their holiday dress mess-free. Classic stripes are complemented by practical pockets and a dramatic blue sash. The solid blue front panel and halter-cut top are flattering on any figure, and will even make packing up leftovers and doing dishes after guests leave look stylish and effortless. Find this, and other designer, aprons at your local Anthropologie.
THE HEALTH NUT
TopChips Chip Maker, $30, TopChips
Everyone, even the healthiest lady on your list, loves a good snack now and then. With the Mastrad TopChips Chip Maker, homemade potato chips, with no fat or oil, are just three to five minutes away. All that’s needed is a microwave, and the fruit or vegetable of choice. Each TopChips Chip Maker comes with a mini mandolin, which thinly slices potatoes, apples, pears, sweet potatoes, and more. Because TopChips Makers comes in a set, we say why not enjoy the guilt-free crunch, too?
Zinnia Measuring Spoons, $10, Pier 1 Imports
Show off your good taste when you gift these hand-painted measuring spoons. For the pal who’s on portion patrol, the playful zinnia design will be an attention-grabbing addition to her kitchen tool-kit. Matching measuring bowls are also available from Pier 1 Imports.
THE HIGH-TECH CHEF
Countertop Induction Cooktop, $70, Bonton
These single-burner portable cooktops are the gadget your tech-savvy chef never knew she needed, until now. Using electromagnetic currents to generate heat, rather than gas or electricity, induction cooktops are safer and more eco-friendly than the standard range. Plus, cooks can set the precise temperature for cooking – so gone are the days of overdone eggs. Especially suited for small apartments or dorms, you can find this affordable model by Sunpentown at Bon Ton.
Belkin Chef Stand + Stylus, $40, Belkin
This sleek Chef Stand allows foodies of the future to flip through digital cookbooks without laying a greasy finger on their iPad. The sleek metallic stand rotates for different viewing angles, and easily washes clean of flyaway food with soap and warm water.
A Work in Progress, $60, Phaidon
Not everyone who loves food loves to cook. But everyone on your list will appreciate this beautifully crafted collection by famed chef, René Redzepi. His three-volume set, A Work in Progress, includes a journal, cookbook, and a flipbook of candid photographs from the kitchen of what many consider to be the world’s best restaurant. With 100 recipes, and a reflective read that contemplates creativity and innovation, this collectible will be a smart addition to any locavore’s library.
Artisan Salt Sampler, $30, Salt Works
You haven’t had salt until you’ve tasted this gourmet selection of sea salts. Known for enriching flavors with their distinct mineral notes, this collection will revive even the most tired palate. Included are Himalayan Pink salt, known for its vibrant hue, the “caviar of salt” Fleur de Sel, Alaea Hawaiian salt, Cyprus Flake, and Murray River salt, with its distinct apricot crystals. Each set comes with stainless salt spoons and serving bowls.
Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker, $30, Williams Sonoma
Raise the bar this holiday season with a classic cocktail shaker featuring a Southern twist. This shaker makes a mean Arnold Palmer, but we think it gives even the most complicated cocktails a laid-back look. Remove the stainless steel strainer and cap, and drink right out of the shaker. Mason jars aren’t just for your mother’s jam anymore.
Small Batch Tonic, $15, Jack Rudy Cocktail Co
If it’s possible to create the perfect tonic, the masters behind Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. have done it. The cocktail queen on your gift list will adore the way the complex tonic brightens her favorite highball. With bitter notes mellowed by botanicals and natural cane sugar, this tonic will be a wet-bar staple. Make this gift even better by including ingredients for Holiday Rosemary-Cranberry gin and tonics. A sprig of fresh rosemary and a handful of cranberries are all you need to elevate the classic spirit to a party-perfect cocktail.
Melanie Taryn Lieberman lives in Brooklyn, NY and works at Travel + Leisure magazine. After receiving a BFA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College, she packed up her Boston apartment – which was primarily food magazines, a Keurig, and a yoga mat – and took to the Big Apple to pursue her career as a magazine writer. Melanie’s work has appeared in Boston Common magazine, The Emerson Review, The Connecticut Review, Lifestyle Mirror, and she has received international recognition for her prose, poetry, and playwriting. Because her greatest passions are writing, food, and wellness, she is happiest when all three happen simultaneously. She can often be found standing at the kitchen counter writing her vegetarian food blog, Little Word Bites, while watching the Food Network and roasting spaghetti squash. Find Melanie at Little Word Bites and follow her food and fitness adventures on Twitter, @LittleWordBites.