Looking for creative gifts for the food nerds in your life? We’ve got you covered with our top product, app, book and tasting box picks. These gifts are perfect for a variety of budgets and should keep your favorite makers, hackers, and food lovers alike happy. We will be updating this list over the next couple of days, so please feel free to leave tips in the comments below.
Windowfarms newly designed hydroponic growing systems make growing your own food in the city a cinch. They also come with a built in social network, so windowfarmers have a support network to share about their own growing experiences and to learn from others. Windowfarms are perfect for teachers, gardeners, foodies, and makers. Prices for newly design growing systems start at $199 for a one-column starter bundle. Order your’s here by Dec. 19th to have it by Christmas.
This Beer Making Kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop comes with your choice of mix – Rye PA, Jalapeño Saison, Smoked Wheat, Everyday IPA, Bruxelles Black, Chestnut Brown Ale, Grapefruit Honey Ale, Choc. Maple Porter, Coffee & Donut Stout – a 1 gallon glass fermenter and all the additional tools you need to brew 1 gallon of beer. Bottling supplies are not included, but a bottle capper and caps can be purchased separately through the website. Kits are $40 and bottle capper & caps are $20.00, both of which can be ordered here.
Brooklyn Homesteader’s Online Farm-Based Workshop is now offering gift certificates for any of their online or farm-based workshops, including beekeeping, sustainable gardening, backyard poultry, mushroom foraging and cultivation, raising dairy goats and intro to herbal medicine. Buy your year-long passes ($225/ 12 months) and couples certificates (half off for partners) here.
Belle Chevre’s DIY Goat Cheese Kit is a great gift your for favorite DIYer. The kit comes with all of the supplies you need to make delicious cheese, except for the goat milk, and step-by-step instructions. The kit is available on Food52 for $22.
“The Better Bacon Book” from Tom Mylan and Open Air Publishing, is a how-to guide for bacon lovers who truly care about food. Tap, swipe, and slide your way through 20 video tutorials on how to make your own bacon, as well as 31 original recipes from the top bacon-obsessed chefs in North America. Learn the history of bacon, then cure, smoke, and fry your own delicious cured pork. The app is available through iTunes for $3.99.
FOOD52’s new Holiday Recipe & Survival Guide features 75 curated recipes from home cooks and is easily one of the best cooking iPad apps on the market. Designed to help anyone host a holiday dinner, brunch, or cocktail party, the app offers event and execution planning, from menu design to shopping to serving the meal. There are also 100 minutes of expert video tutorial from FOOD52 co-founders Amanda Hesser and Merril Stubbs, including a chocolate ginger bread house making tutorial for the adventurous. The app is available through iTunes for $3.99.
Wine Simplified is an iPad-based book that offers common sense guidelines to understanding what you like and how to get it. Skip the memorization and build the confidence to conquer any wine list or store. Wine Simplified is made for iPad and iPhone and includes 90 minutes of video tastings and tutorials, dozens of interactive guided tours and infographics, and 240 audio pronunciation guides. The app is available through iTunes for $9.99.
OXO’s user-friendly Food Scale with Pull-Out Display is perfect for weighing all ingredients. Weigh items directly on the platform, on a plate or in a bowl, and pull the display away from the base to prevent shadowing from large plates and bowls. Accurately measure ingredients when cooking and baking or stick to a diet by weighing portions. A weight indicator shows the capacity left on the Scale before maximum capacity is reached. Available on amazon for $29.99 here.
The Belkin Kitchen Stand and Wand for Tablets is an ideal accessory for chefs who keep recipes on their tablet device. Designed for use in home kitchens, this stand fits neatly on your countertop and allows for several viewing orientations so it’s easy to watch your favorite cooking channel or any other show while you’re in the kitchen. It also comes with a magnetic-tipped stylus, which lets you use your tablet’s touchscreen even when your hands are messy. Available here for $39.99.
Disposable Sleeves for iPad Chef Sleeve for iPad is the ideal solution to messy situations including spills, batter, powder and messy fingers. Simply slide your iPad into a sleeve and close the sticky strip.Available here for $19.99.
Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen – Instant Read Thermometer has been a favorite among restaurant chains, health inspectors and quality managers worldwide. The clever fold-away probe and the simple pocket design replace more costly and bulky handheld thermometers while using the same professional thermocouple technology. Available here for $89
iSi Brushed Stainless Steel Gourmet Whip Plus is a favorite among the modernist cooks. The multifunctional cream whipper has been designed to prepare both hot and cold creams, sauces, espumas, soups or whipped cream and other desserts. Let your imagination run wild – you’ll be amazed at the range of products that you can create with this essential kitchen tool. Available here for $108.
Vitamix 1732 TurboBlend VS Blender is great for anyone whether they’re a seasoned veteran or turning over a new raw, vegan, or vegetarian leaf, the TurboBlend VS is just the tool for them. Your loved ones will thank you for this one. Available here for $449.
The Modernist Cuisine At Home – Sous Vide Professional™ CREATIVE Series Kit bundle from PolyScience is everything you need to get started cooking sous vide at home. The easy-to-store immersion circulator simply clamps to a stockpot or tank up to 20 liters (5.3 gallons), transforming it into a precisely controlled bath capable of preparing a meal for up to 12 people. Combined with the 2-book Modernist Cuisine at Home series, this is a pretty good deal at $599.95.
Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking is the ultimate gift for the very special nerd in your life. This six-volume, 2,438 page cookbook uncovers the the science and technology behind cooking through thousands of step-by-step, illustrated instructions, original photographs and diagrams. Available for $450 on Amazon.
Cooking for Geeks is a must for the hackers and geeks in your life interested in learning how to cook or who want to experiment in the kitchen. The book features interviews with researchers, food scientists, knife experts, chefs, writers and more.Available for $23.09 on Amazon.
The Clean Plates Cookbook offers sensible, sustainable, and healthful home cooking for anyone interested in integrating good foods into their lives. It shows readers how to shop for the best ingredients no matter what their diet (omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans can all “eat clean”) and how to prepare food that’s simple and delicious. Available for $13.32 on Amazon.
Twenty distills Michael Ruhlman’s decades of cooking, writing, and working with the world’s greatest chefs into twenty essential ideas from ingredients to processes to attitude that are guaranteed to make every cook more accomplished. Whether cooking a multi-course meal, the juiciest roast chicken, or just some really good scrambled eggs, Ruhlman reveals how a cook’s success boils down to the same twenty concepts. Available for $25.13 on Amazon.
Primal Cuts: Cooking with America’s Best Butchers is the modern meat bible.Butchery was nearly a dead art, until a recent renaissance turned progressive meat cutters into culinary cult idols. Marissa Guggiana, food activist, writer, and fourth generation meat purveyor traveled the country to discover 50 of our most gifted butchers and share their favorite dishes, personal stories, and cooking techniques. From the Michelin star chef to the small farmer who raises free-range animals–butchers are the guide for this unique visual cookbook, packed with tons of their most prized recipes and good old-fashioned know-how. Buy your copy here.
(Editors Note: I’ve only included boxes I have actually tasted. There are a number of wonderful boxes on the market.)
With Craft Coffee Tasting Boxes you can send coffee aficionados 12 ounces of premium coffee from three different small artisan roasters delivered right to their door. Choose between a one-month box for $29.99 or a 1,6, or 12 month subscription, starting at $19.99/month for the annual plan.
Annual INNA jam Subscription offers 3 seasonal collections of local, organic, fresh jams each spring, summer and fall. As result of their small-batch production and relationships with local farmers, INNA jam is able to offer limited edition jams that are not available anywhere else. For example, a farmer they know might have only a couple trees of a certain type of fruit – just enough to make jam for their subscribers. Subscriptions range from the $66 demi annual subscription with 6 jams to the double annual subscription with 24 jars of jam for $264. They also offer single jar starting at $14.
Joyus Food Artisan Boxes are an easy way to help any food-lover discover small-batch, artisan food products. The boxes are delivered straight to your giftees doorstep. Boxes start at $18.50 and can be purchased here.
Heritage Foods USA Gift Packages offer breed-specific variety packs that give the sustainable meat-lover in your life an opportunity to taste the difference between endangered heritage pork breeds. Heritage Foods believes that consuming a breed helps keep it alive, and these gift packages support farms who maintain variety in their harvests. Choose between Porterhouse pork chops, Boston butt shoulders, and Frenched five-rib racks. Learn more about these and other packages here.
Fare Trade NYC is a collective of New York artisans who are offering gift sets that feature compatible products from members. Choose between a Spicy Holiday Set and a Savory Holiday Set and receive a curated selection of sauces and condiments to fit any discerning palate. Select a set and purchase here.