5 great gifts for foodies

Categories: 'Tis the Season

Christmas + foodies = delicious gifts
Got a few foodies on the list of people to shop for this Christmas? Turn off QVC. I promise they don't want a juicer. The Hot Dish is here to help you come up with the perfect gift for as many foodies as you have on your list. This will be the first of a series of posts with ideas ranging from gifts for the burgeoning mixologist in your life to some great books for folks who love to read about food. Read on for the first five ideas on our list.

1. A class at Kitchen Window
Perhaps the quintessential gift for food-lovers in the Twin Cities, it's impossible to go wrong with a gift certificate to the class of your recipient's choice. With options ranging from dim sum to espresso to cooking basics, Kitchen Window is sure to have a class that speaks to the interests of even the most seasoned home chef. Students can learn about baking bread, making sushi, proper knife technique, European cakes and tortes, or the finer points of winter grilling. And perhaps they'll thank you by letting you eat the fruits of their new knowledge.

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2. Ratatouille
Look, it's cold outside. We're just at the beginning of the long months when Minnesotans lock themselves in their houses and get into their pajamas at 5:45 p.m. If the foodie in your life is going to be sitting on the couch by the fireplace for the next four months, you might as well give her something fun to watch. If this movie were a food, you'd never stop eating it. It's colorful, sweet, rich, and somehow also good for you. And with used copies available on Amazon for a little over $5, it's easy on the pocketbook too.

3. Dinner at a chef's table
If anyone out there is reading this list for ideas on what to get for me, you can stop right here. This is my dream gift. Imagine opening up a small envelope under the Christmas tree and finding the words "good for one meal at the chef's table at Heidi's Restaurant." This Star Tribune article does a pretty good job of explaining why the chef's table is one of the sexiest experiences a foodie can have. Local restaurants that offer this unique and, let's face it, very expensive option include Corner Table, Cosmos, Vincent, Heidi's, and Cafe Levain. If you know of others, post them in the comments section below.

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4. Shefzilla cookbook
OK, so the chef's table isn't in the budget. We're in a recession, I get it. The next best thing to hope for is that you can transform your lover into Stewart Woodman. What better way to start than by getting him or her Woodman's cookbook, Shefzilla: Conquering Haute Cuisine at Home. Maybe pair this one with a nice new chef's knife, and watch the kitchen magic unfold.

5. Penzey's Spices gift box
There's nothing worse for a cook than looking through mountains of recipes, settling on one to make for dinner, getting halfway through the cooking process, and realizing you don't have the tablespoon of chipotle-anise-curry-whatever that it calls for. Penzey's gift sets to the rescue! Choose from a long list of four-jar, eight-jar, or crate-size gift sets. Some are specific to baking, grilling, salads, or for people watching their sodium intake, and some are great for general kitchen stocking. But they're all sure to inspire some imaginative and flavorful kitchen experiments.

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How can you forget Heartland's chef table? My dream dinner!

E in MN
E in MN

I agree with 1 and 3, but not the rest, especially 5.  Any decent foodie already has an overstocked spice rack (probably Penzey's, too), so more of something they already have is not helpful.  Something that turns over faster is a better idea.  A gift box from Fischer Farms was featured on this blog last year, and made many family members quite happy.  Enough so that they are getting them again this year. :-)  Some charcuterie or snooty wine or cheese should go over well, if you are knowledgeable enough about your foodie friend or loved one's tastes.  If you are not, just don't go there!


#5 is a great idea. Spices need to get switched out frequently for freshness. I'm sure everyone has spices that are getting stale. Plus they have some fun kits for BBQ or baking. I just wished they made more of the 1/4 size.

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