A Culinary Celebration: 7 Gifts for Foodies
Here are some gift ideas that are a celebration of all things food. Photo: Svetlana Voroshilova/Getty Images
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt” —Charles M. Schulz
From the tastiest stocking stuffers to a festive cooking tray to elevate your pizza night, these gifts for your favourite gourmand (or yourself) feed the body and soul.
The Nice List
Sink your sweet tooth into these decadent artisanal chocolates, proudly made in Canada. For stocking stuffers or hostess gifts, choose from a range of Belgium dark or milk chocolate, including Sea Salt and Carmel Milk Chocolate ($2), Candy Cane Popcorn ($7) and Carmel-filled Snowmen ($4). A wrapped gift box of assorted Carmel Chocolates is priced at $13.
There’s good reason why sheet pan cooking is considered the ultimate food hack: using only one — or maybe two — pans means preparation and clean up is a snap. But this no-fuss method isn’t just for weeknights. Sheet Pan Everything: Deliciously Simple One-Pan Recipes ($30, currently on sale for $19.80) by Quebec food writer and TV host Ricardo Larrivée is filled with effortless dishes that are also dinner party worthy. Another personal go-to for whipping up delicious everyday meals is Conveniently Delicious; How to Cook and Eat With Spontaneity and Joy ($31.25) by Canadian Food Network personality Devin Connell — which, by the way, contains a unique take on turkey just in time for the holidays (it’s brined in dill pickle juice) served with roasted potatoes, as well as a treasure trove of ideas for the salad lover.
Perfect Pizza (and Veggies, Too)
Level up your pizza night, with this ceramic cooking tray that creates a golden crispy crust just like a traditional pizza oven. During barbecue season, take it outside and throw it on the grill — and cook up fish and veggies on it, too. It’s pretty enough to use as serving dish, with the added benefit of keeping food warm on the table. Available in an assortment of colours, including festive red, $78 (but at the time of writing on sale at $58.50).
Elevate everyday food prep with these award-winning knives from Kilne. This sleek three-piece collection — chef’s knife, bread knife and paring knife along with a beautiful acacia wood magnetic strip — is a perfect gift for people who have limited kitchen space, are downsizing or for the cottage. Designed in Canada, with a lifetime guarantee, $165 (currently on sale for $148.50).
Slow-cooked, one-pot meals become a thing of beauty in this midnight blue, flame ceramic tagine from Emile Henry. The cone-shaped cooking vessel — a method traditionally used in Morocco — locks in aromatic steam and continuously bastes foods in their own juices. Unlike an electric slow cooker, you can sear your meats and vegetables on high heat before simmering, making for an easier, one-pan clean up. Handcrafted in France, $211.50 (at the time of writing on sale for $158.63).
Make It Easy
For the busy gourmand in your life, consider gifting a subscription to a meal delivery kit service. There are a number of them in Canada — GoodFood, Hello Fresh and Chefs Plate to name a few — that save you from grocery shopping and measuring ingredients, which makes whipping up a homemade meal a snap. While menus change weekly, Chefs Plate, for example, offers a holiday Turkey Thyme-Rubbed Scallopini With Apple-Bacon Stuffing for those who want to go the traditional route. Or, for tastes more in keeping with an international theme, there’s Cajun Shrimp Tacos and Middle Eastern-Spiced Chicken. Daily, weekly or monthly subscriptions available, check websites (above) for pricing information.
Want to do your bit for the environment and get rid of the smelly green bin on your counter? Now you can transform all your organic food waste (including animal products) into dry fertilizer right on your countertop. This Canadian innovation comes from two Quebec City-based friends, Elizabeth Coulombe and Valerie Laliberte, who were frustrated that the city had no municipal compost program. Design students at Laval University at the time, they did their research and came up with a concept that drew a huge Kickstarter funding response. The finished iteration of the product is now available across Canada, from $595.
— Leanne Delap