In a year where we can't agree on much else, let's agree that food makes a great holiday gift. Whether you're looking for a basket of meat products or cocktail mixers in which to drown your sorrows, we've got you covered with 12 creative ways to please your favorite Phoenix food lover.
A Kick-Ass Chocolate Santa
Country and Sergio Velador of Super Chunk Sweets & Treats will stuff your stocking with only the finest treats, including house-made popcorn and candies, as well as imported confections like "Father Christmas," made of 60 percent dark milk Ecuadoran chocolate "hand-poured from bean to bar at Pump Street Bakery in Oxford, Suffolk."
A Gift Basket of Schreiner's Fine Sausages
Family-owned, and making great products since 1955, Schreiner's crafts more than 60 varieties of handmade sausage. Stop by the small red and white shop to put together a meat-tastic gift basket of linguisa, bangers, chorizo, frankfurters, brats, and more.
Or, have Schreiner's make a custom batch of sausages from a treasured family recipe. There's a minimum order of 25 pounds for custom orders — plenty to give to the extended family. Prices on custom orders vary depending on ingredients. Call proprietor Nancy Schiller at 602-265-2939 for more info.
A Gift Card to Chris Bianco's Restaurants
Let someone feel like they're the honored guest at a really great dinner party — warm, welcoming, celebratory, delicious — with the gift of a Bianco gift card. Whether the recipient uses it at James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Bianco's newest restaurant, Tratto, the sandwich shop Pane Biano, or the original Pizzeria Bianco, foodie bragging rights come along with the gift at no additional price.
SincerelyBecca Tea Towels
For the hostess with the mostest to say, how about a tea towel from Phoenix-based artist/attorney Rebecca Masterson, whose company catch phrase is "I think I lost my filter." These tea towels are screen-printed, 100 percent cotton, and washing machine safe at $16.99 a pop. Other sayings include "Simmer Down" and "Talk Dirty To Me." Available at the SincerelyBecca Etsy shop; free shipping till December 31.
Tickets to Andrew Gooi's movie premiere for Kakehashi: A Portrait of Chef Nobuo Fukuda
Local filmmaker Andrew Gooi is passionate about food stories. His upcoming culinary documentary is a portrait of a James Beard Award-winning chef, Phoenix's own Nobuo Fukuda, whose dream has been to be the "kakehashi," the bridge between Japanese and American culture through his cuisine. Don't miss the lushly shot movie's premiere on Thursday, January 19, at 7:30 p.m. at Harkins Theatres Scottsdale 101 14. Tickets are $11.50. You can watch the movie's trailer here.
Paul Porter French Rolling Pin
Coveted by amateur and pro bakers alike, artisan Paul Porter's turned wood French rolling pins are made from local mesquite trees naturally felled by storms or cleared from property. Like picking a magic wand, each one is unique and crafted to last. Find a selection of Porter's palm-pleasing rolling pins at Practical Art in central Phoenix, $45 each.
Iconic Cocktail Hand Crafted Mixers
Stay merry and bright with small-batch cocktail mixers from Iconic Cocktail Hand Crafted Mixers. Available in signature flavors Spiced Honey, Ginga Syrup, and Kaffir Lime Tonic and a seasonal special, Cranberry Thyme. Perfect for craft cocktails at home and available in two sizes: 17 ounces for $30, or the mini four-ounce size (makes about four cocktails) for $10. Made in Arizona, just add your spirit of choice. Find them at Frances.
A Hand-Embroidered Doughnut
Cindy Dach's hand-embroidered canvases feature everything from swinging girls to pots of cactus — and sweets: whimsical donuts with sprinkles, a stack of doughnuts with jelly filling plopping out the side, a frosting-covered cupcake, and more. These one-of-a-kind contemporary embroidery art pieces range from 4"x 4" to 5" x 7" and cost between $40 and $50. Find them at MADE art boutique on Roosevelt Row.
Cloth & Flame's Desert Dinners
Want to pull out all the stops? Purchase tickets to the next Cloth & Flame's Desert Dinner — a dining experience in the Sonoran Desert that includes round-trip transportation from a designated meeting point, a four-course chef prepared dinner, craft cocktails, and wine. Cost is approximately $90 per ticket. Brought to you from Desert Dinners, which bills itself as a bespoke dining experience, under the retreat brand Cloth & Flame. For future dinners available, check here, or RSVP for the next general reservation dinner or book a private dinner with Matt Cooley, at Cloth & Flame, 480-256-8695.
Swing by Garage-East, the new winery at the Barnone project at Agritopia in Gilbert (which officially opened Nov. 22), to enjoy a glass of Arizona-produced wine and pick up a bottle of Garage-East Rose, or a big 1,000-milliliter can, yes can, of Carbonic Maceration Aleatico (try saying that three times, fast) which is the beloved rose, with the addition of sparkling bubbles.
Bar Flies Eating Christmas Edition
Grab tickets, $5 a pop, then bring a friend, or the whole squad, to Bar Flies on December 8 at Valley Bar for the Eating Christmas edition of the monthly storytelling event. Drink some beers, listen to true stories of holiday food mishaps and triumphs, then drink some more beers.
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Cook Korean! A Comic Book With Recipes
This stylish book is a combination of cookbook and graphic novel. Learn to make Korean food with brightly colored illustrations by author Robin Ha; dishes include easy kimchi, snacks and street food, intro to Korean barbecue, and more. Perfect for beginners or aspiring chefs with easy-to-follow recipes. Available online or at Changing Hands in Phoenix and Tempe. Both locations of the local indie bookstore have a selection of cookbooks and kitchen items.