Shopping for a picky food lover this Christmas? Forget about fancy baskets and restaurant vouchers and get inspired by this selection of alternative food and drink gift ideas.
Food, but make it fashionable
The phrase “you are what you eat” has never been more apt as food continues to have its fashionable moment. From Prada banana prints to Chanel grocery store catwalks, top designers love food references and more recently Moschino has been at the service of looks. Their Womenswear Resort 22 collection is all about being head-to-toe tasty with outfits like this Ice Cream Sundae number. Or maybe a hamburger or coffee bag could be enough? You will have to wait until January, however, when the full menu will be available on moschino.com.
For a Christmas fix, it’s worth checking out Anya Hindmarch, another designer with a penchant for fried eggs and other culinary delights. Her Anya Brands sequined evening tote bags are inspired by food brands we love, like this Kikkoman number and kitschy After Eight charm.
Or how about the food fan t-shirt? It’s no longer about wearing your favorite band on your chest. These days you can show off your favorite bakery or brunch. Check out Dublin’s own Scéal Bakery for a Pastry Bae t-shirt designed by artist Conor Nolan or brunch favorite Kai in Galway for this bright design by Fuschia MacAree.
And of course, there’s always the classic stocking filling – the socks! The Irish Sock Society has a myriad of fun designs, food lovers might enjoy their veggie or Irish socks full of jazz.
you are gas
It’s always a challenge to buy a gadget for a kitchen connoisseur, they probably have everything they need, but these gas related gadgets are the kind of add-ons you might feel frivolous buying for yourself. -same but delighted to get as a gift.
Wine lovers will have seen the Coravin in action at upscale restaurants. It’s a wine preservation system that lets you pour from a bottle of wine without pulling on the cork – perfect for opening those precious, fancy bottles and enjoying them for a few days without the pressure of finishing the bottle. Coravin is available from Brown Thomas starting at € 139.99.
Sparkling water is another of the luxury food lovers that tend to be enjoyed, so a home carbonator could be the perfect solution for adding a little sparkle to someone’s Christmas. Aarke’s smart selection of stylish and compact carbonators is sure to please even the pickiest of kitchen pots. Available from Arnotts and Brown Thomas.
And it could be the perfect stocking filler – if you can get hold of one – Guinness’ nifty Nitrosurge, a handy new device that lets you pour a perfect pint at home every time.
Another drink? No wine
As if discovering wines wasn’t breathtaking enough, did you know that there is a whole world of glassware designed for different styles and vintages – it’s not just red, white and champagne. Ultra light and delicate mouth blown crystal glasses, they are not made for heavy hands, but any true wine lover will appreciate the addition of some of these stems for Christmas.
Zalto glasses made in Switzerland are the glasses you will find on many Michelin starred tables across the country. Their universal glass is a good place to start, or you can of course be more varietal specific. You can find Zalto Universal glasses (€ 35 each) at Searsons Wine Merchants, Monkstown, Co Dublin or online at searsons.com.
The new kid on the block among the chicest bars is Grassl, also mouth-blown and designed in Switzerland. Their Grassl Liberty is the all-rounder “created to be an option for any wine during any phase of its life”.
For the stocking filler? Any wine enthusiast will appreciate the no-frills bottle openers from the waiter’s friends, with a classic design that works well every time and the Le Creuset version is about as sturdy as it gets.
If someone is picky about their food, chances are they are picky about their candles as well. Especially nowadays when the olfactory seems to be the word of the day in the kitchens. (For the rest of us, it just means smell). But not all candles are created equal – true cooking enthusiasts will no doubt check candle ingredients as they would anything else, so here are a few options that should gain you some approval.
Irish brand Clean Slate offers natural soy wax candles, with chic apothecary-inspired packaging and offering plenty of scents suitable for foods such as the delicious Tuscan grove or warming espresso and coconut.
For total luxury, look no further than Loewe’s latest home fragrance line which includes a selection of candles that smell like they’ve just been picked from the greenhouse. Presented in chic terracotta pots, you can choose from eleven scents of vegetable essences including coriander, beetroot and an intense divine licorice.
For stocking fillings, you can’t go wrong with Helen James Considered Candles, they are both affordable and adorable. Choose from cooking-friendly smells like root ginger, lemon balm, and spicy quince.
A class act
Choosing a cooking class for someone who you think could teach their own classes can be a little intimidating, unless it’s one of those much-coveted specialty classes led by absolute experts in the field. their domain.
Passionate bakers who you know want to take things to the next level might appreciate the 4-week online French Pastry Master Class from award-winning pastry chef, Aoife Noonan. Choose from beginner, intermediate and advanced, starting in February.
Forget about giving someone a smoked salmon side this year, why not teach them how to smoke their own fish instead? One of the country’s leading authorities on all smoky (and sustainable), Sally Barnes, offers unparalleled masterclasses in her quaint smokehouse in West Cork.
Bread fans might enjoy a glimpse into baking their own sourdough, and Bread 41 has some of the best classes around. Buy a voucher now for their introduction to the bread classes they run quite frequently throughout the year.
For a stocking filling you can also gift a regular Bread 41 voucher for any amount, I mean who wouldn’t be thrilled with the prospect of a butter croissant in January?