Holiday Gifts for Food Lovers

Locally sourced gift ideas for Cincinnati’s culinary cravers

click to enlarge Grateful Grahams’ S’mores kit is a warming holiday gift for fans of local food.
Grateful Grahams’ S’mores kit is a warming holiday gift for fans of local food.

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opefully, by now the ridiculous fervor over the red Starbucks coffee cup is over and we can get down to the real meaning of the holiday season: gift giving! Seriously though, we know you’ve got some food-frenzied folks on your list, and while it’s easy enough to appease them with a restaurant gift certificate, try getting a bit more creative this year with these ideas.

Knife-sharpening gift certificate paired with a cutting board or magnetic knife block from Cincinnati Wood Collaborative: Preparing your food with a dull knife is a sure-fire way to sustain an injury, and a once-a-year professional sharpening is the best way to keep your most important kitchen tool in tip-top shape. Chris Weist at Cincy Sharp, his water-stone knife-sharpening business, is the same guy all the top chefs entrust their knives to, and so should you. And while you’re at it, gift your favorite people one of David Bach’s hand-crafted wood beauties from his Cincinnati Wood Collaborative — which, by the way, are also seen in the finest professional kitchens in town. Who says a tool can’t be a work of art? Cincy Sharp, 831 Sunderland Drive, Anderson, 513-240-8130, cincinnatiknifesharpening.com; Cincinnati Wood Collaborative, 11262 Sebring Drive, Forest Park, 513-309-4539, facebook.com/cincinnatiwoodcollaborative.

Cooking class gift certificate from Cooks’Wares: Imagine learning how to make sauces from top local chef David Cook of Daveed’s, pies from Northside’s Happy Chicks Jana Douglass and Jessica Bechtel, or Italian favorites with Cincinnati culinary legend Marilyn Harris. Cincinnati’s independently owned kitchen store features classes from an incredibly impressive roster of top local talent, as well as nationally known cooking celebs. They also carry all of the top kitchen equipment you’d find at the nationally owned chains. Cooks’Wares, 11344 Montgomery Road, Harper’s Point, cookswaresonline.com.

Sweet stuff from The Chocolate Bee: Head over to Northside and satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to the brand new brick-and-mortar home of both Chocolats Latour and Bee Haven, The Chocolate Bee. You’ll find delectable chocolates and all manner of honey-related goodies. If there’s someone on your list worthy of a splurge, sign them up for Chocolats Latour’s Chocolate Club, which features a box of eight delicious assorted chocolates available as subscriptions of either three, six, nine or 12 months. The Chocolate Bee, 4037 Hamilton Ave., Northside, chocolatebeecincy.com.

S’mores kits from Grateful Grahams: Crank up your fireplace or throw on a coat and light the outdoor grill. Just because the calendar says fall doesn’t mean you can’t make s’mores, and Grateful Grahams’ custom kits are perfect for year-round ooey-gooey goodness. Choose from either milk chocolate or dark Endangered Species chocolate squares and either Dandies Vegan Marshmallows or handmade bourbon marshmallows. The kits come in a three-pack for $6 or a six-pack for $12 and can be ordered at gratefulgrahams.com.

Smoked cocktail ice from Bauer Family Farms: Fancy cocktails have been all the rage, but what about the ice that goes in your craft cocktail? Enhance your favorite beverage with ice cubes that “bring the campfire to the glass” with flavors like Apple Wood, Cherry Wood, Maple Wood and even Corn Cob. The cubes make the perfect addition to your bourbon, rum, tequila, scotch or vodka. The farm even includes a silicone ice cube tray with your purchase. 5688 Mellie Ave., Milford, facebook.com/bauerfamilyfarms.

Locally curated snack basket: With the Bengals doing as well as they are, we’re spending a lot of time gathered in front of the television, slamming our pie holes full of delicious, locally made snacks. Treat the discriminating nibblers on your list to a gift basket chock-full of carefully cultivated treats. Hit up OTR’s Park + Vine for potato chips from Hen of the Woods, cookies and brownies from Peace Street Bakery and granola from Grandola Granola. Stop by Sunflower Sundries in Mount Olivet, Ky., for their own jams made in-house from local fruit and organic sugar, coarse grain mustard (available in Balsamic, Sweet & Savory, Hot Garlic and Sherry) and heirloom corn meal and corn chips made from Sunflower Sundries’ own non-GMO pollinated white corn. Park + Vine, 1202 Main St., OTR, parkandvine.com; Sunflower Sundries, 434, Dividing Ridge Road, Mount Olivet, Ky., sunflowersundries.com.

Beef-cutting and sausage-making classes at Avril-Bleh: Fancy learning the art of beef cutting and sausage making from the best in town? Avril-Bleh has been supplying the Tristate with the finest meat products since 1894, so it’s only natural that they’re the ones to teach you how to cut and prepare your own. Eight to 10 serious meat-lovers spend four to five hours tackling a whole side of beef, learning blocking and how to cut the meat down to roasts, flanks and ribs, with each participant taking home about 30 pounds of meat each, plus a bonus tenderloin. Sausage students learn to grind, mix and stuff between 10 and 15 different varieties of Avril-Bleh’s signature recipes in just under four hours, leaving with between one and one-and-a-half pounds of each sausage they make. Bonus: Lunch is provided. $250 beef-cutting class; $125 sausage-making class. Contact Len Bleh at 513-241-2433 for dates and availability.


CONTACT ILENE ROSS: [email protected]


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