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Cooking Present for Foodie??

Can anyone recommend a bday present for a foodie who just happens to be a caterer? Last year we took a course at ICE together and it was great fun. I would be open to events where chefs do a demo and then we have a meal but I don't know where to start. Macy's has a few but I'm not sure how they'd rate.

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  1. go to dean and delucca and purchase:
    truffle oil or truffle salt
    hawaiian red salt
    fennel pollen
    a dry sausage
    glass jar of italian tuna in olive oil
    a beautiful wooden spoon

    1 Reply
    1. re: anita_cocktail

      You don't mention your budget or if you know what the caterer's preferences are so it's a little challenging to make suggestions. I agree with anita cocktail that truffle oil is a good idea. An upscale olive oil or balsamic vinegar might also be a good choice. These are items almost any foodie or cook would appreciate. You could consider a gift basket of a few items (perhaps with a theme?). There is a new organic olive oil shop (Stonehouse from Calif.) near me on Front Street in Manhattan and they have blood orange olive oil and some gift items. Restaurant or cooking shop gift certificates are also a good idea, but less personal. What about a really nice bottle of wine or gift certificate to their favorite wine shop?

    2. What kind of catering does your friend do, do you know what he/she would like that he/she doesn't already have, and what is your budget for this gift?

      1. Alice Waters is going to be signing copies of her new cookbook at William Sonoma next Thursday, I think. You could get that and then pick up some other stuff while there.

        1. I would take your friend to a fantastic dinner at a restaurant he/she's never been to. When my fiance, who is now a caterer, graduated from the CIA someone gave him a gift certificate to Picholine and it was a fantastic idea.

          1. Hi All--
            Please keep your suggestions focused on Manhattan-based presents. Thanks!

            1. No enthusiast ever has enough olive oil. Dean and Delucca's is great. If people just brought me olive oil and wine, I would have a permanent smile.

              1. Please skip Dean and Deluca and their extortionist prices. If you want to buy anything remotely Italian (olive oil, truffle oil, etc) go to Di Palo in Little Italy. It'll be exactly the same for half the money.
                Penzey's (online) has some amazing spices that always come in handy... by far the best saffron I've ever had.
                And then there are always gadgets... ISI foamers (if your friend is into that), a nice mandoline etc.

                2 Replies
                1. re: snaporaz

                  Do you know how the prices at the Italian shop in Chelsea Market compare? I'm a big fan of Alleva in Little Italy. p.s. Haven't been to D&D in over 10+ years and stopped going to Gourmet Garage. Can still remember when GG was on a corner with that barbed wire fence and it was a find/less expensive!

                  1. re: snaporaz

                    I second the Di Palo recommendation. They've even steered me away from more expensive items to cheaper ones (canned tomatoes).

                  2. Since you didn't mention budget I may be way off here. But there is an overnight cruise out of NYC on Norwiegen Gem in December where Chef Bobby Flay is cooking. It leaves in the eve and returns at 8am. It looks great and I was thinking about going myself. If I remember correctly it is $450 for two. American Express is the sponsored host. They have info on the web.

                    1. How about taking one of those cheese classes at Murray's Cheese store? I think they even have something about wine pairing with cheese and such. Fun if you like cheese and even better if you or your friend get some inspirations on cooking with cheese. Those classes certainly are not "cheesy" classes! LOL
                      You can view them on their official website.

                      1. Thanks everyone! These are great ideas. Its actually a bday present for my mom so I was leaning toward something we could do together rather than a physical present. That cruise could be a great option. And the cheese classes sound great too.