Stumped for what to buy those special someones on your list? Let Chow Bella do the shopping -- or at least the browsing -- with our 2014 gift guides. Today: gifts for the food lover.
Seats at an Upcoming Blank Space Dinner $75 per person Call 602-358-8666
With an impressive lineup of guest chefs and a very limited number of seats, a ticket to Crudo's mystery dining series sure to make any true food enthusiast squeal with joy. The monthly events are held on the first Monday of each month with upcoming dinners featuring chefs such as Paul McCabe of T. Cook's, Josh Hebert of POSH, Gio Osso of Vitru, and Kevin Binkley of Binkley's Restaurant. The chefs get free reign on what to serve during the cocktail/wine-paired dinners, meaning you're sure to get a one-of-a-kind dining experience. Each event is limited to 30 diners and spaces have filled up fast. Call the restaurant to check the availability of upcoming dates.
Subscription to Lucky Peach $28 for four issues lky.ph/subscribe
If you like food or just excellent print publications, then it's pretty much impossible not to like Lucky Peach. The quarterly food magazine comes from McSweeney's and chef/author David Chang of Momofuku fame, which basically makes this the epitome of culinary cool. Each of the year's four issues explores a different theme (for example, street food or the seashore or holidays) through "essays, art, photography, and recipes." Individual issues cost $12 a pop or you can hook up your favorite food lover with a one year subscription for $28. If you're feeling really generous, we suggest considering the Lucky Peach Super Fan Pack, which includes four back issues and a one year subscription for $48. Oh and in case you're wondering how to present this gift since the first issue won't arrive until February, just sign up to have David Chang give the recipient a ring.
Limited Edition Craft Chocolate from Brazen Chocolate $21 - $300 squareup.com/market/brazen-chocolate
For a sweet holiday gift that won't have a food
snob lover rolling his or her eyes, try Scottsdale's Brazen Chocolate. This chocolate maker specializes in "American craft chocolate" or bean to bar chocolate making, which means sourcing single-estate and heirloom cacao from all over the world. You can gift a monthly subscription that will deliver three limited edition chocolate bars with themes such as Bourbon Barrel Infused Nib Crunch or Hibiscus and Friends. One month of chocolate delivery costs $21, three months for $75, or six months for $150. Subscriptions can also be picked up at a local farmers market. For more information check the Brazen Chocolate website and Facebook.
Moleskine Restaurant Journal $19.95 shop.moleskine.com
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For the passionate diner with OCD tendencies the Moleskine Restaurant Journal is a must-have accessory. This handy little notebook offers sections for logging restaurant experiences (complete with areas for grading ambiance, service, and, of course, the food), as well as separate templates for jotting down notes on bars, cafes, take-out places, and more. In traditional Moleskine style, there's a double pocket in the back for saving menus, business cards, and receipts and set of color-coded stickers for noting likes and dislikes. Now your favorite food lover will never forget a meal.
Eatalian Gift Set from Eatly Prices vary www.eataly.com/gifts
Though you might not be able to send your food-loving gift recipient to New York or Chicago for the holidays, you can at least deliver a taste of Eatly, the high-end Italian food market/food hall that's pretty much a temple to Italian cuisine. For the holidays you can order a variety of Eatly gift sets with themes such as Mario's [Batali] Kitchen ($29.80); Eat Better, Live Better ($59.80); and The Everyday Italian ($148.80). There are also options to create a custom gift box stuffed with important Italian goodies.