Wednesday, December 22, 2010

honey gift files...for the foodie

foodies can be hard to buy for because they tend to be so in the know and generally so well-stocked that it's hard to find something unique. rather than trying to find the very best of something they probably already have a favorite of, i say go the route of a clever token or a pretty accoutrement to go with what they have.

if you're in new york, an easy score would be a gift certificate to eataly, the marketplace for all things italian from lidia and joe bastianich and mario batali. let me say this...i saw many shoppers sipping large glasses of wine while perusing the selection of fresh cheese and produce, handmade pastas and imported sauces and seasonings. if this sounds like someone you know, look no further. your lucky recipient could use the credit for any of eataly's delectable and hand-picked merchandise, a class or a special meal. you could also go with one of the pre-designed eataly boxes.

i love the beer and wine journals from pastoral artisan cheese, bread & wine. perfect to give on their own, with a bottle of beer or wine, or with a pretty pen or pencil to go along with it.

i love the colors and design of laguiole steak knives and the very special box they come in. if you can't wait for shipping, william sonoma has a nice collection of their boxed sets as well. this is a nice gift because laguoile is known for quality and they're a timeless item to have in your eating and entertaining arsenal. for the william sonoma selections, i love the ivory cheese knife set pictured at the top of this post.
for the gourmand on the go, my sister discovered this totally awesome box appetit lunch container with separate sections for every imaginable component of a meal. this puts ziploc and tupperware to shame.
also from moma, how bright and novel are the rainbow chopsticks? i love the idea of giving these to a sushi lover along with a bottle of sake.
in the cookbook world, i've heard great things about ratio: the simple codes behind the craft of everyday cooking and the flavor bible.

here's what alton brown has to say about ratio:

"cooking, like so many creative endeavors, is defined by relationships. for instance, knowing exactly how much flour to put into a loaf of bread isn't nearly as useful as understanding the relationship between the flour and the water, or fat, or salt . that relationship is defined by a 'ratio,' and having a ratio in hand is like having a secret decoder ring that frees you from the tyranny of recipes."

and the flavor bible organizes things by what they go well with - such a good idea:

"an alphabetical index of flavors and ingredients, the book allows readers to search complimentary combinations for a particular ingredient (over 70 flavors go well with chickpeas; over 100 are listed for oranges), emphasizing the classics (chives with eggs, nutmeg with cream, sardines and olive oil, etc.). entries for ingredients such as chicken, beets and lamb span multiple pages and feature menu items from chefs such as grant achatz of alinea, alred portale of gotham bar and grill and le bernardin's eric ripert."

i also think from seed to skillet is a lovely gift for anyone who appreciates good food and good health. the sentence on the front cover of this book really says it all: "a guide to growing, tending, harvesting, and cooking up fresh, healthy food to share with people you love."

if that's not what holidays and the gifts that punctuate them are about, i don't know what is.

check out entries from the honey gift files from last year for some more great cookbook ideas and plenty more foodie gift ideas.

eataly image, all other images from linked sites

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