The Best Local Gifts For Your Favorite Foodie
Shopping for a food enthusiast for the holidays? Whether they like to be in the kitchen, stock their larder with gourmet goodies or craft unique cocktails, we've compiled this list of local gift items found in and about Los Angeles.
Emily McDowell's Tea Towels
Local artist Emily McDowell spent the better part of a decade as an advertising art director, writer and creative director, and decided to quit her full time agency job to pursue her love of illustration. Now she's crafting some of the cutest and most clever representations of L.A. we've seen on things like silk scarves and tea towels. Her tea towels are designed with DIY how-tos on things like taking good food photographs and making a proper kale smoothie. They would make the perfect gift for any aspiring home maker. They are $20 each and can be found on her site.
"The Best Cookbook Ever" by Max and Eli Sussman
The Sussman brothers might not live in L.A. any longer, but their new cookbook is perfect for an Angeleno home cook looking to take their meals to the next level. The book includes recipes for real-life scenarios, like hangover cures and how to prepare for the ultimate dinner party. Their tongue-in-cheek humor is peppered throughout, with chapters titled "Just Because You Don't Have Friends Doesn't Mean You Can't Make Dinner" and "Daddy Needs a Snack." It also has a chapter written just for vegetarians, which includes a way to meat-ify the recipe if you absolutely have to have some animal protein in the mix. We can't wait to try out their recipe for salty, spicy roasted chickpeas after a night of drinking, or to recreate the hearty chard salad with fried artichoke hearts in a kalamata vinaigrette that we enjoyed so thoroughly at the cookbook's launch party. The book is $25 and can be purchased online here.
Fancy Boyz Cookies
Coffee and donuts and cookies all in one bite. Need we say more? Fine, if we must, we'll say that Fancy Boyz made one of our favorite sweet treats this year. Their Coffee & Donut cookies are a unique hybrid. But it was their delightfully chewy and boozy Drunkard's Oatmeal cookie loaded with pecans and rum-soaked raisins and a citrus rum glaze that really rocked our world. The couple's goodies—which also include biscotti and naturally-sweetend nut brittles—make the perfect stocking stuffer or hostess gift. You can find out more about the Boyz on their site, and place orders through Good Eggs L.A.
Photo courtesy of Hedley & Bennett
Hedley and Bennett Aprons
You might have noticed that pretty much every server and chef at L.A.'s uber-hip restaurants are sporting similar aprons lately. They're crafted by chef Ellen Bennett of Providence in her Downtown L.A. studio, and your loved one can rock them too. They come in a variety of colors, from herringbone to bright red, and all of the pockets are made with American canvas. She also does custom orders. Sadly they don't guarantee the wearer will be able to cook like Josef Centeno, but even if their Christmas ham is a flop, they'll be lookin' hot. Prices range from $58-$90, and they can be purchased on their website.
"Home Bar Basics (And Not-So Basics)" by Dave Stolte
Local cocktailian Dave Stolte's updated "Home Bar Basics" book is the perfect swag for an aspiring-bartender—or someone who just wants to up their tippling game. It's a mini-sized pocket book, and the pages are liquid- and tear-resistant, which is great considering how many drinks you'll be downing after learning the ropes from this SoCal cocktail guru. At $12.99, it makes for a perfect stocking stuffer, and can also be paired with a great bottle of booze or amaro from the Bar Keeper in Silver Lake to make for a complete gift. You can order on their site here.
Photo courtesy of Tonx
Vegan Chocolate Making Class at Café Gratitude
Cafe Gratitude's pastry Chef Sarah Engelhart will be teaching a Chocolate Making Class on Saturday, January 18, where she'll be demoing how to make the restaurant's raw chocolate recipe, a simple tempering process, and their brazil nut ganache truffles. Buy a pass to the class for $50 per person, which includes samples and all other supplies. Hey, if it's good enough for Jay and Bey, it's good enough for your loved ones. For reservations call (424) 231-8000.
Tonx Coffee Club
Know someone who is obsessed with single origin coffee and is spending far too much money at the coffee bar each week? Get them geared up with a gift set from Tonx, a local roaster/delivery program based in Los Angeles that's gained the appreciation of chefs like Andrew Zimmern and Hugh Acheson. Gift packages start at $39, which will get you a 6 oz subscription and a limited edition mug. There are larger kits too, which include Chemex, filters and the like. You can order your gift sets here.