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Dec 06, 2016
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for your food snob

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

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According to David Kamp and Marion Rosenfeld in their snarky Food Snob’s Dictionary, a food snob is someone “who has taken the amateur epicure’s admirable zeal for eating and cooking well to hollandaise-curdling extremes.” Here are a few holiday gift ideas to distinguish your food snob, experienced or aspiring, from the amateurs.

 

1. Acorns & Cattails
Most chefs know how to forage without poisoning themselves. For the rest of us, St. Louis native Rob Connoley’s smartly written, beautifully photographed cookbook provides inspiration and instruction for gathering and preparing food. We hope Connoley serves some of these recipes in the restaurant he plans to open in St. Louis next year. $35. Kitchen Conservatory, 8021 Clayton Road, Clayton, 314.862.2665, kitchenconservatory.com

2. VAIN Vanilla Sampler
Regular vanilla extract is so, uh, vanilla. VAIN Foods of Kansas City, Missouri switches out the standard neutral grain alcohol in favor of more interesting spirits to make its vanilla. Try Mexican vanilla in Kentucky bourbon, Indonesian vanilla in ginger spirits, Ugandan in orange spirits and Madagascar vanilla in both cane rum and vodka in this five-pack sampler. $40. Larder & Cupboard, 7310 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.300.8995, larderandcupboard.com

3. Wine Wands
Sometimes even the most conscientious don’t have time to chill their wine to the proper temperature. In such dire straights, the hoi polloi use ice cubes, a practice eschewed by any self-respecting food snob. Keep this set of two stainless-steel wine chillers in the freezer to cool down a glass of wine in a hurry, preempting such an embarrassing situation. $40. Williams-Sonoma, Plaza Frontenac, 1701 S. Lindbergh Blvd., Frontenac, 314.567.9211, williams-sonoma.com

4. Anova Precision Cooker Sous Vide WiFi
While rash enthusiasts bought aquarium-sized sous vide immersion circulators, food snobs knew something better had to be in the works. Like cell phones, sous vide technology has produced a manageably sized device. It’s lightweight, attaches to any pot and connects to a smartphone so you can cook remotely and receive temperature notifications. $199. Crate & Barrel, 1 The Boulevard, Richmond Heights, 314.725.6380, crateandbarrel.com

5. Halcyon Knives
Halcyon Forge is a one-man show in which Joseph Schrum makes beautiful, high-carbon steel knives in his backyard work shed in Sedalia. Schrum uses reclaimed materials like old saw blades and wood scavenged from riverbanks. Buy his designs or order custom knives made with, say, a resin laminate handle incorporating a memento. But prepare to wait six months for the custom gift to arrive. He’s that good. $140 to $425. Bertarelli Cutlery, 1927 Marconi Ave., St. Louis, 314.664.4005; halcyonforge.com

 

More Holiday Gift Guides
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for the person you have to shop for
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts to stock a starter kitchen
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for your boozehound
• Holiday Gifts 2015: Gifts for the Food Snob

 

Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for the person you have to shop for

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

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It’s not easy to shop for people who have everything or about whom you know nothing, but that doesn’t take them off your gift list. From sweets to splurges to simply pretty things, these are elegant and thoughtful choices that will please just about anyone.

 

1. Flowers to the People
A kitchen bouquet is doubly appreciated during this season of entertaining. Request colors and types of flowers if you’d like, or simply tell the florist the occasion and watch as she swiftly spins together something magical as you watch. Each is a unique work of art, making an elegant and lovely-smelling gift. Bonus: The shop delivers. $25. Flowers to the People, 2317 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314.762.0422, flowerstothepeople.biz

2. Masala Chai Tea Concentrate
Village Botanicals (formerly The ReTrailer Tea Co.) recently started bottling this wonderfully spiced Extra Special Masala Chai Tea Concentrate, made with cardamom, ginger and a five-spice masala blend of cinnamon, star anise, allspice, clove and peppercorn. $9. Larder & Cupboard, 7310 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.300.8995; villagebotanicals.com

3. Nordic Ware Egg Waffle Pan
This pan produces fluffy, crispy, eggy mounds that melt in your mouth, like an inverted waffle. Eat them by the bubble or roll them up like a waffle cone and fill with ice cream. Either way, the topping possibilities are endless. These waffles will liven up Sunday morning breakfast for anyone on your gift list. $45. amazon.com

4. Mila, Sweets Macarons
It’s difficult to resist delicate, colorful, full-flavored cookies that fit perfectly into a chic little box. With flavors like chocolate sea salt or raspberry elderflower, these macarons will give someone a taste of Paris at home. Half dozen: $9. Whisk: A Sustainable Bakeshop, 2201 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314.932.5166, milasweets.com

5. Tasting menu at Elaia
A handful of places around town provide tasting menus, but few have the ambiance and style of Elaia. The quiet Botanical Heights restaurant has wonderful service, and with inventive dishes like tartare of lamb, each of the 10 courses is meant to be savored. It’s a splurge, but you’re giving an experience one will never forget. $120; $220 with wine pairings. Elaia, 1634 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, 314.932.1088, elaiastl.com

 

More Holiday Gift Guides
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for your food snob
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts to stock a starter kitchen
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for your boozehound
• Holiday Gifts 2015: The Obligatory Gift

Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts to stock a starter kitchen

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

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Everyone has a list of kitchen must-haves, but gifts for new cooks require a little more finesse. They should be practical, yet inspirational; something to not only set them up for success, but also get them excited about cooking for the first time or in a new place. Give these long-lasting tools, amped-up basics and fun ways for new cooks to learn in the kitchen.

1. Kitchen Conversions Art
Nothing’s worse than dousing a phone in sugar trying to look up how much is in an ounce. This chart eliminates guesswork when it’s time to convert teaspoons to tablespoons or cups to pints. With many colors available, it also makes great kitchen decor. 8½-by-11-inch: $20; 13-by-19-inch: $25. Etsy: SweetFineDay

2. Victorinox 9-inch bread knife
A proper bread knife is essential. This serrated knife slices through the softest brioche or the crunchiest country loaf with ease, and the raised handle keeps knuckles from scraping on the cutting board. Bread knives are also great for slicing ripe tomatoes and leveling cakes. $28. amazon.com

3. Knife & Flag Apron
Want to cook like a rock star? Dress for the part. Knife & Flag Core Aprons are built with a cross-harness strap design to ensure they won’t get in the way in the busiest of kitchens. Stylish, comfortable and made to last with heavy denim or canvas, these aprons are for the serious cook – or those who want to look like one. $70 to $80. knifeflag.com

4. Twelve Recipes
A great cookbook is the total package: delicious recipes that work, beautiful photography and writing that inspires. Twelve Recipes is just that. It’s a versatile book of the basics, and variations are encouraged. It will get new cooks into the kitchen with the confidence to gather friends around the table. $27. Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 314.367.6731, left-bank.com

5. Eat, Drink and Learn
Even if they think the oven is a place to store shoes, developing cooking skills can still be fun. Arm your new cooks with a gift card to Dierbergs School of Cooking, and they can choose a class that fits their interests from mastering basic knife skills to baking cupcakes. $35 to $50. Dierbergs School of Cooking, various locations, dierbergs.com/school

 

More Holiday Gift Guides
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for your food snob
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts to the person you have to shop for
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for your boozehound
• Holiday Gifts 2015: The Starter Kitchen

Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for your boozehound

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

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These can’t-miss presents will wow even the most cosmopolitan drinker. From classes that inform and entertain to home bar must-haves sure to impress, here are gifts for the boozehounds on your list.

1. Skull Barspoon
More than just a pretty face, this tiki-inspired stainless spoon is well-balanced in the hand and comfortable to work with – making it one of Público bar manager Nick Digiovanni’s favorite tools. The conversation starter is also available in gold and copper-plated finishes. $25. cocktailkingdom.com

2. Bitterman’s Field Guide to Bitters & Amari
Bitter is in. Along with instructions for DIY bitters and cocktail recipes, these pages are packed with tasting notes and essential information to make the most of ubiquitous and obscure bitter bottles. $25. Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 314.367.6731, left-bank.com

3. Cocktails Are Go! Class
Check a dozen or so off your list with a group gift. Matt and Beth Sorrell teach classes with themes like Cocktails 101, Pre-Prohibition or Farm to Table. You buy the booze, and the Sorrells bring the glassware, mixers and know-how to up your friends’ bartending game. $25 per person. 314.406.2777, cocktails-are-go.com

4. Blood & Sand Membership
No secret handshake required, just a monthly membership fee to give the wine, beer and cocktail quaffer access to one of the best bars in town. With its extensive and carefully curated wine list and cocktails ranging from whimsical to brooding, there is no shortage of ways to unwind. $15 per month. Blood & Sand, 1500 St. Charles St., St. Louis, 314.241.7263, bloodandsandstl.com

 5. World of Wine Gift Basket
Take your favorite wine snob around the world in six bottles. Specialists hand-pick a motley crew of red and white wines from near and far. Order this no-brainer basket online or at any location, then have it delivered locally for a festive holiday surprise. $100. The Wine & Cheese Place, all locations, wineandcheeseplace.com 

More Holiday Gift Guides
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for your food snob
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for the person you have to shop for
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts to stock a starter kitchen
• Holiday Gifts 2015: Gifts for the Boozehound

9 Foodie Gifts for Father’s Day

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Celebrate the foodie fathers in your life with these unique gifts sure to make him feel like the next Iron Chef, Grill King or Master Bartender – whatever his persuasion. Don’t forget that his special day is this Sunday, June 15, so read on, and don’t forget that Father’s Day card!

 

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-Mwanzi photo by Carmen Troesser

Sauce Holiday Countdown: Piccione Pastry Holiday Treats

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

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Didn’t your mother ever tell you it’s rude to arrive without a gift? Show up with homemade Italian pastries and cookies from Piccione Pastry in the Delmar Loop. For only $10, you can get a 1-pound tin of delectable Italian cookies. Or if they’re the pastry type, treat them to our personal favorite, the pannetone: candied fruits wrapped in soft, billowy brioche topped with sugar crumbles. Three muffin-sized cakes are just $8. Piccione is open until 3 p.m. today, so swing by on your way to the party. The treats will be the hit of the night (as will you).  Piccione Pastry, 6197 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314.932.1355, piccionepastry.com 

And now…

For our last holiday giveaway, we have a $10 gift certificate to Piccione Pastry so you can pick up some goodies for yourself, too! Click here to enter!

 

 

Sauce Holiday Countdown: Painting with a Twist

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

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Looking for a gift for your friends? At Painting with a Twist, paintbrushes and pinot converge to guarantee for one helluva girls’ night. An instructor uses a featured painting to teach the class how to replicate it all, while the participants enjoy their wine – BYOB style. Don’t worry if you have no artistic talent; the classes are aimed at novices. Plus, after a few glasses of zin, who cares what your picture looks like? $35 for a 2-hour class, $45 for a 3-hour class. Painting with a Twist, 12623 Olive Blvd., Creve Coeur, 314.434.7928; 3004 Winghaven Blvd., O’Fallon, Mo., 636.625.7928, paintingwithatwist.com 

 Today we’re giving away a two-hour private party for 12 people at Painting with a Twist’s Creve Coeur location. Click here to enter.

 

 

 

Sauce Holiday Countdown: Nudo Adopt-An-Olive-Tree Program

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

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What to get the gourmand who has everything? We’re willing to wager that he doesn’t own his own Italian olive tree. With Nudo’s Adopt-An-Olive-Tree program, pick a tree from one of 14 groves located throughout eastern Italy and Sicily. Then your special someone will receive a year’s supply of olive oil from his very own tree delivered right to his door. The numerous groves and sundry soils can please even the pickiest oil connoisseur. $69, nudoadopt.com/italia

 And now …

Today we’re giving away a gift box from Nudo containing a jar of capers and anchovies pâté, a jar of basil and tomato pesto, and three specialty olive oils – extra-virgin cold pressed, extra-virgin with Sicilian chiles, and extra-virgin stone ground with lemons. Click here to enter!

 

 

Sauce Holiday Countdown: Lékué Steamer Cases

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

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Dorm room dinners will never be the same. Lékué may be hard to pronounce, but its versatile steamer cases make it easy to create entire meals in the microwave – and healthy ones to boot. This 22-ounce, BPA-free silcone case also comes with a cookbook to help that college student on your list become the chef de cuisine of the dormitory. That is, if you can get him to buy fresh vegetables. You’re on your own with that one. $30. Sur La Table – Plaza Frontenac, 295 Frontenac Forest St., 314.993.0566, surlatable.com

And now…

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Spruce up your meal with the decedent French Tower from Vom Fass. We’re giving away this stack of oils and vinegars featuring the flavors of France, along with a recipe for hazelnut duck confit. Click here to enter!

 

 

 

Sauce Holiday Countdown: Bottle Slumpings from The Painted Pot

Friday, December 20th, 2013

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Reduce. Reuse. Regift. The Painted Pot in St. Charles offers bottle slumping, a gift more beautiful than its name implies. Bring your old wine bottles to the shop, and the staff at The Painted Pot melt them down into stylish spoon rests, decor or cute olive oil dipping trays. So gather up all those empty wine bottles hiding around your house (Don’t be ashamed; we have them, too.), and turn them into works of art. $10 per bottle. The Painted Pot, 3772 Monticello Plaza, St. Charles, 636.300.2665, thepaintedpotstl.com 

And now…

We’re giving away five bottle slumpings from The Painted Pot in St. Charles! These fun, personalized gifts only require that you polish off five bottles of your favorite wine (tough job, we know), and bring them to the shop to give them new life in your kitchen. Click here to enter!

 

 

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