Gourmet Gifts for Chefs, Cooks and Food Lovers

Explore these amazing gift ideas for the fabulous foodie in your life

Explore these amazing gift ideas for the fabulous foodie in your life

If there’s something positive that’s come out of the past two years, it’s that many have become better cooks. For those on your list who continue cooking, we’ve got some great ideas that will elevate their kitchen game. And, for those who’ve already had enough of the prep work, we’ve also unearthed some delicious items to eat and drink… that come ready to enjoy!

Here are our favourite finds…

1. Staub Snowflake Cocotte, from $299.99

This gorgeous cast iron French oven from Staub appears in white truffle and has a 24-centimetre rim diameter, making it perfect for that beef Bourguignon, or coq au vin. (It would definitely be Julia Child-approved!) A wonderful seasonal centerpiece for the festive dining table and something your favourite foodie certainly won’t have yet. This piece is induction, stovetop and oven-friendly too.
Available online

2. Snacking boards curated by Yours Truly at Spud.ca

Why not send out all the items one needs in a recyclable grocery box to whip up a delicious charcuterie, cheese or sea-cuterie board from Spud.ca to those friends you may not get to over the holidays. These ship overnight if ordered by 10 p.m. the day before, and I’ve curated these items personally for Spud, so you know the selection is top notch! For the sea-cuterie board, I’ve proposed Scout canning products, salmon pinwheels, prawns and more, the charcuterie board includes Pickle’s Pantry duck pate, Two Rivers salami, a variety of cured meats and cheese, and the Just Cheese Please plate has my favourite cheeses: Golden Ears, Little Qualicum and selections from Les Amis du Fromage. Pick and choose from these suggestions, and I’ve listed crackers, pickles, nuts, mustards and more to complete your spread. The actual board/platter is not included, but most people should have a few a home. Bonus? Find a great selection of hostess gifts.
Available online

3. De Buyer Steak Lover Box, $189

The De Buyer carbon steel Mineral B round fry pan sears without synthetic coating thanks to a natural non-stick surface. This set comes with a pepper mill and tongs, and works on all cooktops including induction. A great addition to anyone’s pots and pans collection.
Available online

4. Biota Fermentation Products, from $5.50

We’re allowed to visit again after a long wait, so we’ll need hostess gifts! Bottles of wine are great, but for the real foodie on your list go for Biota Fermentation pickled carrots, a jar of grapefruit mostarda or charcuterie mustard for those holiday cheese and meat plates, or some kimchi or curried cauliflower. You’ve just upped someone’s entertaining game!
Available online

5. Sous Vide from Zwilling, $249.99

Sous-vide cooking doesn’t have to be complicated. Zwilling offers a simple sous-vide product that makes vacuum-sealing simple. Zwillings’s ‘Fresh and Save Sous-Vide Starter Set’ contains a powerful and space-saving sous-vide stick with an intuitive LED touch display, heat-resistant vacuum bags and a battery-powered vacuum pump. Quite the treat for the up-and-coming chef on your list.
Available online

6. B.C. wine from Time Winery, The View, O’Rouke Peak Cellars and Winemakers Cut, from $75

Who doesn’t want to sip on some local B.C. wine this season? From Time Family of Wines, their seasonal gift boxes are handy. The four-bottle bubble collection ($129) has the Chronos Brut, Time Brut, Evolve Effervescence and Pink Effervescence or go for a duo of Time Red ($75) that includes their Fourth Dimension (red blend) or cabernet franc. Further north at O’Rouke Peak Cellars in Lake Country, the Skin Kissed pinot gris, Terraces dry riesling and pinot noir make great holiday dinner tablemates for a wide range of dishes. Kelowna’s The View Winery has a wine club membership that ranges from $100 to 300 for wine, and they have a cider version for cider lovers. You’ll be remembered every time a shipment is received! The View’s sparkling wines are also just what you need to celebrate and include the Pearls Brut, a dry riesling, and the Distraction Frizzante, a pink-kissed pinotage. Winemakers Cut produces their Cut collection, a line of lower alcohol wines made especially for food pairing. Grab a bottle of the rosé, sauvignon blanc, syrah or gruner veltliner and you’ll be the dinner guest that is always welcomed back.

7. Emile Henry crème brûlée ramekins 5-piece set with torch, $74.74

These authentic Emile Henry French crème brûlée dishes insulate the crème, keeping it cool as the sugar is caramelized allowing for that perfect texture. They’re stackable and resistant to temperature changes, going from the fridge to the oven. Perfect for the home pastry chef on your list.
Available online

8. Tayybeh holiday boxes, from $20

Tayybeh seasonal boxes are filled with delights from the world of Syrian cuisine. There’s a Tayybeh Treasures holiday box ($80) with their most popular products, including Mhammara red pepper spread, pita chips and their special seasonal cookies, the Damascus Delights holiday box ($55), the slightly paired down version, and the Tayybeh Treats holiday box ($20) full of their delicate sweet treats. Diversify your holiday flavours with these Middle Eastern gems.
Available online

9. Kafka’s Coffee and a Cuisinart coffee grinder

Fresh ground coffee lovers will adore you if you simplify their life with the Cuisinart Touchscreen Burr Mill coffee grinder with 18 different grind settings and a countdown timer you can set for one to 14 cups. The container holds enough coffee for 32 cups. We’ve got one of these slick numbers, and we fill it with Vancouver’s Kafka’s Coffee, now sourcing and roasting their own coffee. There’s a coffee blend for everyone, including espresso, Ethiopian, Guatemalan and the Simpler Times blend, which goes great with chocolate chip cookies. (Cookies and coffee would also be a great stocking stuffer!)
Coffee grinder available online; Kafka’s at various locations and online

10. Spirit Lovers Odd Society Peat and Smoke whisky 

Peated whisky from Odd Society is sure to make spirits bright this holiday season. These rare locally crafted peated whiskies will impress. The new Peat and Smoke series is available for purchase now with two whiskies available: Scottish and Washington. The Washington whisky is very lightly peated with a lick of campfire smoke and a touch of brininess—it’s the taste of the Pacific Northwest, while the Scottish is much more phenolic and viscous with classic Islay whisky characteristics. Packaged in 375 mL bottles at 46 percent ABV and sold individually for $40.
Available online

11. Abbott Tight Optic glassware, $49.50

Give the gift of gorgeous dinner party-ready glassware with Abbott Tight Optic glassware. Crafted out of optic glass with intricate line detailing, this glassware is sure to be the star of any entertaining occasion.
Available online

12. Mon Paris bûche de Noëls and holiday chocolates, from $23

Sweetening the season with her impeccable treats, Mon Paris Pâtisserie owner and pastry chef Elena Krasnova has gorgeous chocolate creations, cookies, cakes and pastries, and is located just behind Burnaby’s Metrotown. Who doesn’t love a yule log? These bûche de Noël need to be ordered ahead for pick up on December 23rd and 24th. The pistachio raspberry has pistachio crunch and mousse with raspberry jelly and cream ($45); chocolate speculoos are made with spiced vanilla crémeaux, ginger biscuit with dark chocolate mousse ($45) and the chocolate mango passion fruit is complete with fresh mango and crémeaux, chocolate brownie biscuit and passion fruit mousse ($55). We’re also in love with the chocolate snowman ($25) and the chocolate poinsettia flowerpot made with milk, dark and ruby chocolate ($23).
Available online

13. Acclaimed cookbooks

This was an outstanding year for cookbooks, with a whole shelf of recommendations to be had. If you’d like to keep it local and get to know the food scene on Vancouver Island better, Island Eats: Signature Chefs’ Recipes from Vancouver Island and the Salish Sea by Dawn Postnikoff and Joanne Sasvari is an excellent resource, and Acorn: Vegetables Reimagined Seasonal Recipes from Root Stem from Shira Blustein and Brian Luptak of Acorn Restaurant on Main Street, covers off any vegetarians on your list. For bakers, Dorie Greenspan’s Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty and Simple is an accessible guide to sophisticated baking or check out Baking for the Holidays: 50+ Treats for a Festive Season from Sarah Kieffer, who covers everything one needs for a festive holiday. (You may want to give that one early!)

Everyone’s favourite cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi has just released a guide to getting dinner on the table with less fuss, Ottolenghi Test Kitchen, co-authored by Noor Murad, and pasta lovers will spend hours poring over Pasta: The Spirit and Craft of Italy’s Greatest Food by Missy Robbins and Talia Baiocchi. A great gift for families who cook together would be Jamie Oliver’s newest, Jamie Oliver Together, as each chapter features a meal with a menu to prepare ahead, and Nigel Slater’s A Cooks Book: The Essential Nigel Slater is a quintessential read for those who are fans of both food writing and delightful recipes.

14. Kukki Jar cookies

It’s not just Santa that loves cookies and milk! Locally-made Kukki Jar’s chef Leslie Steh has a holiday box that will please a wide range of cookie lovers. It includes spiced ginger pine cones, gold meringue, black sesame praline thumbprint cookies, raspberry rose shortbread, black forest fudgy cookies, matcha pistachio sandwich cookies and brutti ma buoni, an Italian almond-flavoured biscuit.
Available online