Holiday Gift Guide: The food snob

For more gift ideas: The Baker, The Home Cook, The Locavore and The Merrymaker


Is he a food snob? Or just someone with incredibly good taste? There’s a fine line between snobbery and high standards, and we’re sure the gourmand on your list falls firmly into the latter. Someone who knows the latest ingredients, techniques and buzzwords may make gift-giving a challenge, but we’ve come up with some ideas for your food snob, errr, connoisseur.

1. Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine
He’s been named best chef in the world; his restaurant, Copenhagen’s Noma, rated best in the world – René Redzepi is the hottest chef going these days. And that makes his new cookbook a no-brainer for any gourmand on your list. $49.95. Barnes and Noble, multiple locations.

2. Portable induction burner
Electricity and gas are so 2009. These days, all the cool kids have induction burners, which use an electromagnet as the heat source and allow for precision and speed in the kitchen. A single portable burner avoids a full kitchen renovation. $199.95. Sur La Table, 295 Plaza Frontenac, Frontenac, 314.993.0566.

3. Cepa Vieja Vinegar de Jerez
Rich, complex and somewhat mysterious may describe your food snob, but we’ll also apply those descriptors to this sherry vinegar from Spain’s “sherry triangle.” Made from a 40-year-old “mother vinegar” and aged in oak barrels, it offers a depth and acidity to rival a balsamic. $24.95. Extra Virgin, an Olive Ovation, 143 Carondelet Plaza, Clayton, 314.727.6464.

4. Molecular gastronomy class
What’s the use of buying all the toys if you don’t know how to use them? Register your food snob for L’École Culinaire’s spring class, which will demonstrate all the latest techniques in molecular gastronomy. Even better? Proceeds benefit Operation Food Search. $75. Class held on Fri., April 8, 2011 at L’École Culinaire, 9811 S. Forty Drive, Ladue, 314.587.2433.

5. The Smoking Gun
Chefs around the world prize the complex taste of smoke, whether in cheese, fruit or chocolate. This nifty little tool allows you to lend a puff of smoky flavor in just a few minutes’ time. $99.95. Williams-Sonoma, 260 Plaza Frontenac, Frontenac, 314.567.9211 and 227 Chesterfield Mall, Chesterfield, 636.536.4370.