Christmas is coming, and your presents aren’t going to buy themselves, but don’t worry — we’ve travelled the length and breadth of the internet to bring you the best buys for the foodie in your life.
The hamper is having a renaissance, and quite right too. What’s not to love about a basketful of favourites delivered to your door on Christmas day? They’ve long been the domain of department stores and delicatessens, but recently, restaurants have hopped on the trend, with everyone from Ottolenghi to St John offering their take. Whether you’re after a stocking-filler style pack of letterbox scotch eggs or a wicker trunk packed with the highest calibre of treats, you can find pretty much anything online. We like this Spanish tasting box and this selection of smoked meats and fish for two.
Despite the pandemic, many cookery courses are still taking place online, and there’s little more exciting than the gift of a culinary learning journey. London-based Leith’s is offering its essential certificate via app, and even iconic Parisian school Le Cordon Bleu is running a series of web-based modules, where you can brush up on food writing or photography. Jamie Oliver’s school has a huge choice, too; opt for how-tos on pasta-making, Mexican street food or the perfect Thai Green Curry.
If you’re looking to elevate a specific skill set, Oxford’s Jericho Kitchen has a vast range of courses to suit all budgets and abilities. There’s even one where you can learn how to make edible Christmas presents. Meta!
Few presents are more thrilling to a committed foodie than a beautiful set of Japanese knives, or a chef-style handheld grater. Unusual kitchen gadgets can often become the gift that people are not sure how they ever lived without.
If you’re thinking of going all out, perhaps for a child who’s moving out, or the newlyweds in your life, opt for a set of high quality, long-lasting pans. Ours come with a lifetime guarantee, so you genuinely will be setting up your loved ones for happy cooking, forever.
If you have an adventurous home cook to buy for, splash out on Phaidon’s international cookbook collection. These ten beautifully designed hardbacks traverse the globe’s cuisines and make a stunning, thoughtful gift. Elsewhere, books like Larousse Gastronomique and the Joy of Cooking are like culinary encyclopedias, packed full of recipes and tips on everything from butchering meat to whipping up a cheese soufflé.
Buy your foodie friend ingredients that they can’t pick up in their local supermarket. If they love Mexican cooking, opt for a tin of tomatillos or chipotle peppers in adobo sauce; if Japanese flavours are their favourite, grab a kimchi-making kit or these authentic buckwheat soba noodles. Expensive ingredients — the sort people might be reticent to buy themselves — also make fabulous gifts. Truffle oil, saffron and smoked water are all luxurious store cupboard essentials that will earn you big points with creative kitchenistas.
Are you already buying your Christmas gifts? Picked up any foodie favourites we should know about? Tell us on Twitter @CirculonUK