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We all have that one friend: the one who’s always telling you about that cheese they tasted recently that you just have to try, the one with the kitchen that’s filled with specialty olive oils and weird kinds of culinary tools you didn’t even know existed. Yep — the foodie friend. This gift guide is for them but more importantly for you, as you’ll no doubt benefit the next time you visit. Happy nibbling!
1. THE GAIJIN COOKBOOK
Founder of the iconic Ivan Ramen in NYC and self-proclaimed “gaijin” (a Japanese term for “outsider), Ivan Orkin’s newest cookbook serves up every day and approachable Japanese recipes. Bookmark the Japanese curry recipe as a nice starting off point for your foodie friend.
The Gaijin Cookbook: Japanese Recipes from A Chef, Father, Eater and Lifelong Outsider, $30 at Amazon
2. YOU’RE HOT AND YOU’RE COLD
Blend smoothies and soups (on their own, not together) with this innovative and high powered blender. Think of all the time they’ll save by being able to simultaneously slice and sautee veggies, all with one easy press of a button. We won’t blame you for wanting to keep this for yourself.
Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender, $158 at Walmart
3. BURNT TOAST, BE GONE
Yes, there’s a sense of novelty to a clear toaster, but who doesn’t like knowing just how toasty their toast will be? The extra long slot means you’re not limited to your standard loaf and can crisp up a wide variety of breads and baked goods too. Happy toasting!
Dash Clearview Toaster, $70 at Indigo
4. A LITTLE GUIDANCE
Last minute steak dinner for 8? No problem! Cookbook author, New York Times columnist and Bon Appetit contributor Alison Roman’s newest book Nothing Fancy is the ultimate guide to no fuss, maximum praise entertaining and cooking.
Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over, from $31 at Amazon
5. A FANCY PANTS POT
Are you even a foodie if you don’t own a french oven that rhymes with Cre Leuset? Distributing just the right amount of heat and locking in all the moisture, this pot is a welcome addition to any chef’s pantry. Best of all, you can find one discounted at Homesense.
Brand Name French Oven Pot, $70 in store at Homesense
6. FUNCTIONAL, BUT MAKE IT CHIC
A true foodie will already have a mortar and pestle in their arsenal but will they have one this beautiful? Probably not. As stunning as it is functional, this hand-made duo is not only perfect for homemade pesto, it also acts as the perfect countertop accessory.
A + J Métissage Blown Glass and Cermaic Mortar and Pestle Set, $104 at Simons
7. THE FRESHEST PASTA
Fresh pasta is an art yes but it doesn’t need to be complicated. Give the gift of hand pulled and pressed linguine, spaghetti and pappardelle and you may find yourself the recipient of many dinner invitations featuring said pasta.
Marcato Atlas Pasta Machine, $100 at Amazon
8. SPEAKING OF PASTA…
Celebrity Chef Stefano Faita has bottled up his homemade, all-natural, all-delicious sauces. Coming in hot with pasta, classic breadsticks and Tarallini, this is sure to be a hit with Italian food fans everywhere.
The Stefano Faita Collection, $75 at Pusateri’s
9. WHAT YOU GONNA DO WITH ALL THAT BREAD?
Fact: the amount of fresh bread consumed by a foodie is 2 x that of the average person. Okay that’s not an actual fact so much as it is an observation taken from personal experience. Handmade in Quebec, this bread knife is the perfect excuse to cut into a baguette or two (or three).
Artisan Bread Knife, $34 at Etsy
10. NEXT LEVEL CHOCOLATE FLAVOURS
We’ve all heard of chocolate (and the good stuff is never a bad gift), but even your foodie friend will be impressed with this Chocolate Mousse Halva, best enjoyed with fruit, crumbled on ice cream, spread on breads or as a charcuterie board sensation. Up your gift giving game by adding a Dark Chocolate Tahini to the mix. Ooo-la-la.
Dark Chocolate Tahini Squeeze and Chocolate Mousse Halva, $11 each at Halvana
11. TO STIR OR NOT TO STIR?
That is the question…or is it? With this bad boy, you don’t need to do anything. It does the stirring for you. With 18 cooking modes (think: risotto, breads, pasta, slow cooked ribs, stews, soups, chili, yogurt, donuts), the ActiCook & Stir will make your foodie friend’s life a whole lot easier (and more delicious).
TFal ActiCook & Stir, $170 at Amazon
12. FOR THE HOT ONES
If you’ve been on Youtube at all in the past year, you know about Hot Ones. It’s a show where celebrity guests are subject to hot questions, while they eat even hotter wings. The sauces are always on rotation but your foodie friend will appreciate the Hot One Trio of original sauces. They’ll thank you – their stomachs might not – but you’ll still get major props.
Hot Ones Trio Pack, $53 at Heatonist
13. SNACKS ON SNACKS
Bokksu is a subscription service that partners with local Japanese snack makers to deliver carefully and thoughtfully selected Japanese snacks monthly. Each month has a theme, with past themes including Autumn in Kyoto and Traditional Flavours of Japan. Each box also includes a tea pairing to complement each month’s flavours. Sign us up!
Bokksu 3 Month Subscription, $39 per box at Bokksu
14. PACKED LUNCHES FOR THE WIN
For the friend that plans their day around lunch – give the gift of a multi-tiered and insulated bento box. This useful little box (that separates food into three compartments) keeps food warm up to four hours and even comes with a handy spoon and fork container box. Nothing gets you through the day like the thought of a carefully curated packed lunch.
Stainless Steel Square Insulated Lunch Box Bento Box, $36 at Amazon
15. DO YOU EVEN OLIVE OIL?
Brightland olive oils are made from hand-harvested heirloom olives from California and stored in UV-protected glass to protect the oil from damaging light. The best part about these custom blended oils is they’re created to be paired with different types of food. AWAKE is meant for heartier dishes, think stews and roasted veggies while ALIVE is best paired with lighter options, say salads or in dressings and dips. Plus, it’s Gwyneth approved which means it’s probably the fanciest olive oil known to humankind.
Brightland Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $102 at goop
16. A FOODIE EXPERIENCE
Offer to be your foodie friend’s date at cooking class. If you live in Toronto, the Tiramisu Cooking Class at La Scoula located inside the new Toronto Eataly location is a good choice. Learn how make the traditional Italian dessert and how to pair it with a bevy of wines with the help of a wine expert. This one is a win for you too.
Tiramisu Cooking Class, $60 at Eataly
17. SLEEK AND SUSTAINABLE
Have you ever seen such beautiful straws? The HAY Swirl Glass Sip Straw Set comes in a pack of 6 uber cool hues (and a cleaning brush too) and since they’re reusable your friend will thank you for letting them sustainably sip on their drink of choice for years to come.
HAY Swirl Glass Sip Straw Set, $34 at Urban Outfitters
18. IF ALL ELSE FAILS
Hear us out. We know, gloves are a cop-out present. But would you really let the elements get in the way of your foodie friend’s snacking habits? The correct answer is no. Outdoor Christmas market plus a raclette grilled cheese sandwich? No prob. These Snack and Go Flip Mittens (a collab between two Canadian brands, Kombi and Beavertails) will make winter snacking a breeze.
Snack and Go Flip Mittens, $25 at Beavertails