Chopped Canada judge Eden Grinshpan picks the perfect presents for the foodie who eats everything.
1. Saveur: The New Classics, $45, Indigo
With more than 1,000 recipes and handy tutorials covering everything from brunch to pizza, meat to desserts, this new tome from the trusted culinary magazine is reminiscent of the holy bible itself: The Joy of Cooking. There’s enough in here to keep hard-core home cooks and part-time dabblers happy.
2. Le Creuset Rectangular Bakeware, $250, The Bay
Just as jewellery lovers squee! at the sight of a blue Tiffany box, no cook can contain their delight at seeing the cheery hues of Le Creuset bakeware. This trio of dishes is versatile enough for roasts, baked pastas and whatever else the recipient owes the person gave them these dishes.
3. Marble and Wood Pedestal, $45, Indigo
Elevate the treats the avid baker on your gift list makes from the simple to the sublime with this elegant pedestal. Bonus points if you load it up with brownies or cupcakes before gifting it.
4. Lucky Peach Subscription, $48 for 8-issue Holiday Collection, Lucky Peach
The quarterly magazine from Momofuku chef David Chang offers an inside look at chef culture around the world with insightful essays, gorgeous photography, cheeky illustrations and—of course—recipes. An anti-gourmet mag, the food is often messy, the kitchens less than gleaming, and the restaurants loveable holes-in-the-wall.
5. Toronto Cooks, $38, Indigo
Food writer Amy Rosen compiled dozens of recipes from the city’s most popular restaurants in a beautiful coffee table book that also serves as a yearbook capturing 2014 in Toronto dining. It’s heavy on the burgers, donuts and bacon. And that’s all right by us.
6. Gyokuro Yamashiro Tea, $39/100 Grams, DAVIDsTEA
This is definitely a splurge item, but the buttery richness of these leaves will ruin the drinker for all other green teas. Excellent on a cold morning or as a palate-cleanser after dinner, gyokuro leaves also do surprisingly well in baking, ground in a coffee grinder and added to shortbreads and cakes.
7. Susur Lee’s Happy Holiday Basket, $60, Susur – Lee
Toronto’s original celebrity chef, Susur Lee has put together a basket containing a bottle of ice syrup, signed chopsticks, a cranberry-raspberry-lemon compote, a jumbo fortune cookie and a spice mix called Golden Sand. Perfect for Lee groupies out there.
8. Soma Truffles, $2 Each, Soma Chocolate
The gold standard of chocolate-making in Canada, you can always count on Soma for unusual and innovative flavours (Douglas Fir truffles, anyone?). This season, they’re releasing new worldly flavours such as mulled wine, Vietnamese coffee, Thai iced tea and a spicy Mexican Chamoy.
9. Dropp! Bowl, $80, Bergo
Add a literal drop of whimsy to the kitchen counter with this adorable fruit bowl (why yes, it is a Scandinavian design, how’d you guess?). Made of dishwasher-safe silicone, you can splash the bowl all you want and it’ll bounce back.
10. Macaroons, $38 for Box of 16, Nadège Patisserie
These candy-coloured confections are as delicate and pretty as glass-blown ornaments, and will be a hit either passed around a party or put under the tree on Christmas morning. A box of 16 from Toronto patisserie Nadège come in beautiful boxes designed by Canadian artists (the box by illustrator Brandon James Scott is shown below), letting you bypass gift-wrapping.
Market Edit: Karon Liu.
Get more holiday recipes and tips here: The Kit Holiday Issue.