If you ask me, a Martha Stewart wannabe is the easiest person in the world to buy for. Give them something beautiful to display, something they can use at their next party, or something they can drink at this one, and you’re done. Trust me: tote along any of these surefire hostess gifts, and you’re guaranteed a repeat invite.
For the friend who reads cookbooks like they’re novels, thinks Dean & Deluca is the mother ship, and is always dragging you to the new fusion restaurant in town or making you her guinea pig for the secret ingredient du jour (this month, I hear it’s harissa).
- Foodies rarely need an excuse to party, but a subscription to a champagne club should secure your seat at his next dinner party. Henri’s Reserve champagne club, from $600
- Who isn’t chasing the next best caffeine fix? For tea drinkers, Harney & Sons makes my favorite holiday blend – warm and cozy, with just a hint of holiday spice. And for coffee lovers, choose a bag or two from Ristretto Roasters (based here in Portland) – it’s simply the best I’ve had. Holiday black tea blend, Harney & Sons, $15; Ristretto Roasters, from $14 for 12 oz
- Nothing transforms ordinary cooking faster than good salt and great olive oil. Get them one of each, and they’ll eat well all year (or until they run out). Olive Oil – 2011 Blend, McEvoy Ranch, from $22; Finishing salt starter set, The Meadow, $38
- I’m always looking for rectangular bakers in just the right size – this set gives you all the options you’ll need. 3-piece potluck baker set, Crate & Barrel, $30
- Maybe more of a stocking stuffer than a full-fledged gift, but I’m on a perpetual quest to find the perfect spoon. These two are high on my wish list this year. Silicone batter whisk, Tovolo, $12; Acacia wood paddle, Michael Ruhlman, $25
- Vosges Haut Chocolat is the gold standard for foodie treats. Their exotic truffles are perfect for a gourmet, but my heart belongs to the Toffee Trifecta hat box, packed with 3 varieties (including bacon caramel!). Vosges Toffee Trifecta, $58 and Exotic Truffles, from $26
- A cookbook is a no-brainer gift for a foodie, but you need one that suits their style to a T. For casual home cooks, I love me some Paula Deen, but hardcore food lovers will be more enamored of Michael Ruhlman’s latest. Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible, $17; Ruhlman’s Twenty, by Michael Ruhlman, $22
- Hands down, the most stylish way I’ve ever seen to BYOB. Felt wine tote, Graf+Lantz, $79
- Adapted from an illustration in a 1927 Parisian book on wine appreciation, this apron is the perfect addition to any foodie’s kitchen. L’Art du Vin apron, The Met Store, $30
- Foodies are forever chasing the “next big thing” in culinary creativity. A set of exotic spices will get their creative juices flowing, and keep them ahead of the pack. Spice kits, Williams-Sonoma, from $40