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Birthday gift for super-foodie friend??

My friends b-day is coming up, and he is waaaaay into food, restaurants, celebrity chefs, etc...Not so sure how much he is into actually cooking, though. Any great present ideas??

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  1. You may want to post a query on the Cookware board which is where every tool or appliance that would appeal to a home cook would be discussed, and the Food News & Media for book recommendations, and the local regional board (e.g. San Francisco) if you would like to find a nice restaurant for your friend to visit, or the Wine and Beer boards respectively.

    This board will be a good source for information about web order shopping sources.

    1. i like ChinoWayne's idea of a book - if you're not sure about your friend's cooking skills or habits, you can always get him one or more books in the genre of "food writing," as opposed to a cookbook.

      a subscription to a high-end food or wine magazine would also be a nice gift.

      or you could find out of there's a particular restaurant he's really been wanting to go to, and either treat him to dinner there or get him a gift certificate.

      1. If your friend is really into food but not so into cooking, then I'm with the other posters. There's lots of books and magazines out there for just about any type of foodie. Also consider some of the recent shows on PBS that are now out on DVD. My personal current favorite is the show, "Made in Spain." If you know his favorite types of food, cuisine, chefs, etc., it should be an easy-do. I personally think you're a truly considerate friend to do this for him. The passion that courses through the veins of the typical foodie for all that is food is insatiable. Your thoughtful gift - what ever it may be - will be well appreciated. Good luck!

        1. You guys rule, great suggestions! Only, I'm not sure if he can (or does) cook. If I had the cash, I'd get him a gift certificate (made for 6 months from now!) to French Laundry. Since that's not in my budget, and I'm not sure of his cooking skills, I ned something equally impressive. Thanks!

          3 Replies
          1. re: schrutefarms

            I've heard that the book from the Shopsin's guy -- Eat Me: The Food and Philosophy of Kenny Shopsin -- is excellent. You can also get him a magazine subscription (ie, Cooks Illustrated or Food & Wine) for a relatively small amount.

            There are also several items I've seen this year (at Fairway, for instance), that I wouldn't buy for myself but that would make good inexpensive gifts for others: lemon-infused olive oil comes to mind, for a whopping $14.50 per bottle.

            This year, I'm also cooking/baking for lots of people -- seems like the thing to do this year. Will also probably make the lemoncello on this site for several friends . . .oh, and Alton Brown's hot cocoa mix from the Food Network site, as well as chai mix. And spiced nuts.

            My third and final edit: one perfect cheese is always nice, and actually quite inexpensive. My favorite this year: the raw-milk camembert from Herve Mons at the cheese cave at Whole Foods (Houston St. store here in NYC). $10 gets you the whole thing, and it'll forever change the way you (or your friend) thinks about camembert.

            1. re: schrutefarms

              In addition to books or a high end magazine (love the food porn of Art Culinaire), I think a class/tasting (not cooking) on wine or cheese may be nice. Or perhaps a ticket to a food tour or a celebrity chef engagement.

              1. re: Passadumkeg

                Ooooooooooooooooh, yeah. If you're going to drop some bucks, I vote for a truffle or two as well. You don't have to be much of a cook to take advantage of those, either.

              2. I second Chinowayne's suggestion of posting on your regional board. Someone recently posted a query on SF board for foodie hostess gifts for holiday parties. Suggestions were locally made chocolates, olive oils, etc.

                1. http://www.dailycandy.com/washington_... ?
                  or organize a themed progressive dinner or make some special food item for him (pumpkin bread, for example?) or (if he hasn't already read it) a book like Michael Pollan's Botany of Desire?

                  1. For my birthday a dear friend booked an olive oil tasting. It was so different and a great deal of fun. A few bottles of olive oil later, I'm dying to go back and try a few others.
                    Depending on offerings in your area, I agree that a tasting or class can be a lovely gift for two foodie friends to share. Good luck!

                    1. A bouquet of multi-colored beets? Seriously, what about some really great olive oil or aged balsamic vinegar?

                      1. OMG I would love either a Rao's gift basket or some hard to find spices like hickory smoked salt. Oh sorry, you didn't mean me.

                        1. Maybe hire a private chef to cook him dinner in his home? If that's outside your budget, then perhaps the others who would be dining (besides the birthday boy, of course) could chip in.

                          1. Take a red eye flight from LA to NYC of Fri. Book hotel close to #7 subway line. Take train 3 times on Sat. and 3 times on Sun. to Queens. Get off a different stop each trip and explore this ethnic culinary wonderland. Fly red eye back to LA Sun night. Unforgetable.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                              Ummm.....yeah,no. Definitely unforgetable, but. Not going to happen. Although if anyone would like to do that for me... :)