Gifts for Food Fiends!

Gifts for Food Fiends!

I’m all about getting those I love good Christmas or Hanukah presents. Knowing someone listened to you or better yet knows you well enough to shop for something special is a great feeling. I’ve gotten plenty of presents that make me wonder, WTF! So in the spirit of not having to pretend the sweater grandma got you that seems bedazzled is AWESOME, here are some ideas for timely holiday gifts!

Class is in Session!
There are some great places and people offering classes around town.  Dirk the Fish guy and his wife Terry ( are such nice people and know a ton about fish. Their classes run often and you get to eat a ton of food - definitely check out their sushi class. A non-food related class could be all about cocktails and mixology get in touch with Revae Schneider, Femme du Coupe ( She can create a drink just for you, tell you how to stock your home bar or just enjoy a class with others that she’s offering.

Markethouse and Mercadito also offer monthly classes that are fun and filling. Both chefs have great personality and keep the dinner/class lively. Call the restaurants for more details for class schedules.

Gift Certificates, AGAIN!
These do come in handy especially if someone lives in another city. The Zagat Smartbox allows you to buy a dinner for two across the US at various Zagat rated restaurants. The swag comes in a nice container and it’s a bit more fun than just opening an envelope! Get all the details at

It’s all about the GEAR, baby.
I’ve got a few ideas here so I’ll bullet this.
- The definite top of the charts - HOLY CRAP you spent WHAT? on my gift! - is the new Michel Bras knives at William Sonoma. These Japanese crafted knives look bad ass and cost enough to prove it. Santa I’ve been a good boy, promise! (
Trannon Culinary boasts a huge catalog of stuff but their bags are what excite me most since they’re built for kitchen stuff! (
- If you have a budding Molecular Gastronomist, Polyscience has all the sous vide, anti-griddle gear you could want…they also do gift cards. (
- Closer to home you can buy Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar from Spiaggia. They taste great and if you spend $80 or more you’ll get a $25 gift card to Spiaggia – that you don’t have to give away, I wouldn’t! Best way to order is by calling 312.280.2750 or stopping by the restaurants.
- Another local biz, Glunz Beer is a great place to start for those who love small brews or global seasonal flavors. They have a huge selection of beer and to find out where to buy it go to their website, and enter in your zip code.
- Last but not least – you’re going to have parties and you need something cool to serve drinks in. SushiSamba has a cocktail tree that is the equivalent of a drink lover’s tea stand! Lots of options and ways to make this fun and it looks good to. The tree is sturdy so it won’t tip easily. Check this one out at -

I hope this helped. I know the second I post this I’ll get 15 emails telling me to include someone’s great product in another post! If I do see something cool, I promise to pass it on.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah.

 Joe Campagna is the Chicago Food Snob. A former restaurant General Manager, Server and Chef you can find him on twitter @chifoodsnob. You can reach him through email at Joe is retained as a compensated blogger by Pei Wei Asian Diner and also contributes to Eater Chicago.

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