Foodie Gift Guide
The perfect holiday gifts for the food lovers in your family.
Clothes are nice. Gift certificates are cool. But why not get your loved ones something that they can really sink their teeth into this holiday season? From cookbooks to local foods to the coolest kitchen gadgets, we’ve come up with a list of perfect presents for the foodie in your life—locally sourced when possible.
• Anchor Steam Christmas Ale Each year, the SF brewery comes out with a holiday beer offering a new, unique, and delicious recipe. Available in festive, double-sized magnum bottles. anchorbrewing.com.
• Steven Kent, Lineage If you’re just looking at getting one special bottle for the wine-lover in your life, make it this stunning Bordeaux-style red from the Livermore Valley. $125, lineagewine.com.
• St. George Terroir Gin The first-ever gin from the artisan Alameda distillery is inspired by Mt. Tam—and with strong hints of coastal sage, Douglas fir, and bay laurel your first taste will take you back to the North Bay landmark. stgeorgespirits.com/gin.
Read up Looking for a great gin cocktail recipe for that Terroir gin? The American Cocktail from Chronicle books offers modern twists from top mixologists across the country on 50 classic American cocktails. Also included: tips on cocktail tools, techniques, garnishes, and glassware. $19.95, chroniclebooks.com.
• Holiday Dinners with Bradley Ogden, Bradley Ogden The legendary chef and co-founder of Lafayette-based Lark Creek Restaurant Group is putting out his first cook book in years and it's packed with 150 recipes of the food that made him famous: souped-up takes on classic American comfort food. $30, chefbradleyogden.com.
• Forty Years of Chez Panisse, Alice Waters The Chez Panisse grande dame looks back on four decades of ground-breaking cuisine at her timeless Berkeley restaurant. $55, chezpanisse.com/store/books.php.
• The Italian Baker, Carol Field Twenty years after breaking new ground by revealing the artisanal doughs and techniques used by generations of Italian bakers, SF-author Carol Fields has revised her beloved book for a new generation of bakers. $35, randomhouse.com/crown/tenspeed.
Bonus Read Mission Street Food provides the fascinating history behind one of the most unorthodox restaurants in San Francisco history. $30, sold at Moe’s Bookstore in Berkeley, store.mcsweeneys.net.
• Happy Girl Kitchen One of the founders of the DIY canning revolution, Happy Girl offers a fun mix of gift sets (from Marmalade Madness to the Pickle Tickler) available online and at their new Ferry Building store. Monthly workshops offered in Oakland. happygirlkitchen.com.
• We Olive This Walnut Creek store carries a huge selection of extra virgin California olive oils, including from local growers like Shadowbrook and Hillcrest farms, and offers customizable gift pack options. Look for fresh, just-harvested olio nuevo in December. walnutcreek.weolive.com.
• Boccalone For the meat-lover in your life, these Oakland-based meat-makers sells gift boxes like the salami sampler and a “Salumi Society” meat-of-the-month club, and offers a one-pound black truffle mortadella through the holidays. boccalone.com.
Read up Take your meat knowledge to the next level with Whole Beast Butchery, a D.I.Y. guide to butchery by Ryan Farr, owner of 4505 Meats butcher in San Francisco. $40, chroniclebooks.com.
• Chocolatier Blue Chocolates Pick up this sleek artisan purveyor’s new holiday line of chocolates (candy cane, eggnog, gingerbread) online, at one of their two Berkeley stores, or the new Blackhawk Plaza location. chocolatierblue.com.
• Duarte’s Ollalieberry Pie A unique regional treat between a blackberry and blueberry, experience ollalieberrys in delicious pie form courtesy of the classic Pescadero restaurant, Duarte’s. $19.95, sold at Draeger’s, Gene’s Fine Foods, and Piedmont Grocery, duartestavern.com/stores.html.
• Auberge Torte au Chocolat Thus multi-layered, ultra-decadent chocolate torte from Wine Country’s Michelin starred Auberge du Soleil will satisfy the sweetest of teeth. $57.50, shop.aubergedusoleil.com.
• Recchiuti Chocolate Bars This ain't your father's Hershey bar. The San Francisco-based artisan chocolate maker's redisigned line of bars are made with a dark and milk chocolate blend, and includes eight flavors including the Almond: pieces of partially toasted almonds stirred into burnt caramel syrup with a pinch of fleur de sel, hand added to semisweet chocolate. Trust us, it's good. $6 per 3 ounces, recchiuti.com.
Read up From lemon meringue to chicken chile relleno, the fun Handheld Pies offers recipes and instructions for crafting perfect, pint-sized pies. $19.95, chroniclebooks.com.
• Zoku Single Pop Maker Make popsicles in as little as seven minutes with this colorful, kid-friendly little gadget. $24.95, sold at Draeger’s, William Sonoma, and Sur La Table, zokuhome.com.
• Le Creuset Two-in-One Pan This well designed piece actually serves as two pans in one, with the shallow fry pan doubling as a lid for the deeper sauce pan. $149.95, sold at Sur La Table, lecreuset.com.
• SousVide Supreme Take your culinary skills to the 21st century with this device designed for slow-cooked, on-so-tender results. $399.95, sold at Draegers Market, sousvidesupreme.com.
Read up Modernist Cuisine, the exquisitely illustrated, oversized six-volume set released this year, is as ambitious as it is large, establishing itself as the go-to source for modern cooking. $625, modernistcuisine.com.
Here's a round-up of several more just-released cookbooks that would make great holiday gifts...
• Ying’s Best One Dish Meals, Ying Compestine This Lafayette mother uses her experience at Martha Stewart’s Body + Soul magazine to gather quick, healthy, and tasty recipes for busy families. $18.95, yingc.com.
Kokkari: Contemporary Greek Flavors, by Erik Cosselmon and Janet Fletcher San Francisco's Kokkari is deservedly praised as an elegant, contemporary restaurant serving food that combines farm-fresh California ingredients with traditional Greek recipes. Filled with beautiful photos of both the restaurant and its food, as well as the owners' native Greece, this new cookbook offers up plenty of those recipes in addition to providing an introduction into the basics of Greek food and culture. $40, chroniclebooks.com.
Cooking my way Back Home, by Mitchell Rosenthal with Jon Pult Restaurateur Mitchell Rosenthall is one of the partners behind the anticipated Corners Tavern project coming to Walnut Creek early next year. In the meantime, you can whet your appetite with this book of recipes from Rosenthall's celebrated trio of San Francisco restaurants Town Hall, Anchor & Hope, and Salt House. The food is souped-up American comfort food, including fried oysters with spinach salad and herbsaint dressing, Italian sausage sandwich with peppadew peppers, and black pepper and coriander crusted pastrami. $35, crownpublishing.com.
Bi-Rite Market's Eat Good Food: A Grocer's Guide to Shopping, Cooking, and Creating Commmunity through Food, by Sam Mogannam and Dabney Gough More than a cookbook, this long-titled treatise from the owner of the popular family-owned San Francisco grocery serves as a sort of Food Shopping 101 for the conscientious eater, including tips on identifying the best ingredients, deciphering food labels, and what to stock for a great pantry. $32.50, tenspeed.com.
Finally, here are several reccomendations from Stanislaw Sobolewski, the lead cookbook buyer for Moe's Books in Berkeley, which carries the largest selection of cookbooks in the Bay Area.
→ Mission Street food, by Anthony Myint (McSweeney's)
Coolest book in the store! Great design, food stories, and the best hamburger recipe ever.
→ Odd Bits, by Jennifer McLagan (Ten Speed press)
From the author of Fat and Bones, a new book on using more adventuresome parts of animals—all to delicious effect.
→ 40 years of Chez Panisse, by Alice Waters (Clarkson Potter)
This book celebrates the 40th anniversary of Chez with a wealth of photos, menus, stories.
→ David Chang's "Lucky Peach" magazine, Issue 2. (Mcsweeney's)
Issue No. 1 was a runaway bestseller—second issue arrives in time for the holidays, from the wild and wise David Chang.
→ Best Food Writing 2011, ed. Holly Hughes (Da Capo)
Always an in-store bestseller, this smorgasbord of articles covers the pleasures of food from every direction.
→ Miette - Recipes from San Francisco's Most Charming Pastry Shop, by Meg Ray (Chronicle Books)
This book is truly charming—its pages are cut to resemble a decorated cake.
→ Mourad: New Moroccan, by Mourad Lahlou (Artisan)
Mourad Lahlou (of San Francisco's Aziza restaurant) provides a luscious blend of Moroccan cooking with fresh Northern California ingredients. Beautiful photographs, too.