Ask The Chef: Locally Grown/Made Gift Ideas?

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They follow food blogs daily, are the first in line to try new restaurants, and can be found at the farmers market every weekend. What to give your foodie fanatic for the holiday? Last week we brought you tools for the chef; today we'll share a suggestive sampling of locally grown/made goodies.

follow the jump for local food gift suggestions and where to shop

The freshest gift to give is a weekly supply of locally grown vegetables and other fresh farm products. CSA pick up points are found throughout the valley, at local farmers markets, neighborhood retail stores, churches, community centers and schools. For an additional fee, some farms offer home delivery. CSA subscriptions are by the season. Click on the CSA name to take you to their website for information on seasons, products available and pricing. Nothing tastes better than just picked. Crooked Sky Farms, Desert Root Farms, Green Bee Produce, Love Grows Farm, Maya's Farm.

A Build-It-Yourself Gift Box from Queen Creek Olive Mill
Locally grown? Olive Oil? If you haven't heard, Queen Creek Olive Mill is a local olive farm and mill. Products include their Arizona grown and produced olive oils, as well as aged balsamic vinegars, stuffed olives, signature tapenades and spreads. Visit the mill and marketplace (take a break for breakfast or lunch at their del Piero cafe) and put together your own gift package or find Queen creek products at local farmers markets and specialty food stores.

Specialty Chocolates and Baked Goods
For gifts to send and gifts to pass around your holiday gathering, everyone with a sweet tooth will enjoy these locally made sweets and treats.

Tracy Dempsey Originals has been cranking out candy cane and hot cocoa, a variety of brittles (pepita-cranberry-chili, nothing but peanuts, apple wood smoked bacon,) fleur de sel caramels, macaroons, and marshmallows for holiday gifts. Find them at Smeeks, Changing Hands Bookstore, Urban Grocery, and The Farm Kitchen, or order online. Julia Baker Confections Boutique at Montelucia What could be better than a box of chocolates? Julia Baker Confections sophisticated chocolates packed in a red hatbox! Customize your own chocolate choices form the menu or pick up a box of holiday-designed sweets. Also available at A.J's and online.

GoodyTwos Toffee Company
Mother and daughter team Donna Gabrilson and Stacey Barnes work magic with toffees from traditional to contemporary combos. This holiday season, they've added Comfort and Joy (with mint and white chocolate) to GoodyTwos line up. Toffee selections can be mixed in a gift pack, no need to choose between traditional and twisty (w/lime and tequila) have them packed together. Stop by Goody Twos North Scottsdale location or order online.

Other hometown favorites for sweet gifts to give in person or send far away: Fairytale Brownies, Urban Cookies, and The Bakers Daughter.

A Subscription to Edible Phoenix Magazine

Edible Phoenix is a local food publication part of a greater community of regional food magazines connecting farmers, growers, artisan food producers, chefs, restaurateurs, and consumers. In depth articles reflect local food traditions and trends in support of a sustainable food system.

A Gift Certificate for a Cooking Class

Surprise the beginner who wants to learn basic technique or the gourmet cook who wants to expand their repertoire with a cooking class. Choose a venue with formal instruction or a laid back in-home class. Click on the name to take you to their class listings. ABC Baking Supply, Andy Food, Chefs Loft, Classic Cooking, Les Gourmettes, Les Petites Gourmettes (kids), Luci's Healthy Marketplace, Simply Impressive, Sur La Table, Sweet Basil, and Whisked Away.

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