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Jan 23, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘holiday gifts’

4 last-minute bottles for your beer nerd

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

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If you spent the past three weeks pa-rum-pum-pum-pum-ing and not shopping like most, than you’re probably in need of some last-minute gifts for the host with the most or your Secret Santa. ’Tis the season for vibrant, bright flavors and bubbles (all the bubbles!), but not just in the form of sparkling wine.

Many beers come in large-format bottles, and just like wine, they are meant to be shared. To recreate the festive nature that comes with brut and bubbly, opt for lighter-bodied, tart and funky beers served in a wine glass or Champagne flute. They’re best accompanied with friends, yuletide cheer or a New Year’s Eve countdown.

1. Side Project Rose du Blè
The base, Saison du Blè, showcases lovely tartness and mild funk with an exquisitely fluffy texture from the loads of wheat in the malt bill. Brewer Cory King took this Missouri oak foedre-aged saison and racked it onto Missouri chambourcin grape skins for several months. It not only altered the straw-yellow hue, but also it also produced earthy funk, fruit and a light tannic note. $25. The Side Project Cellar, thesideprojectcellar.com

2. Crooked Stave Nightmare on Brett
More like a dream come true, if you ask me. Loads of roasted malt and tart cherry on the nose wake up your senses. This dark sour ale is complete with layers of fruit, chocolate, Brettanomyces funkiness and wood and whiskey from the Leopold Bros. whiskey barrels it slept in before bottling. $21.50, Fields Foods, fieldsfoods.com

3. Goose Island Gillian
One of my first true loves in the sour beer world, this wine barrel-aged farmhouse ale is delightful. A high level of carbonation exudes deliciously juicy notes of ripe strawberry and stone fruit up front, underlined by notes of white pepper. An adequate amount of honey allowed this beer, as fruit forward as it is, to finish dry with just a touch of oak. $24. Friar Tuck in O’Fallon, Missouri, friartuckonline.com

4. Rodenbach Caractère Rouge
This Flanders red ale is aged on raspberries, cherries and cranberries to give it an incredible fruit-forward character that eloquently pairs with the style’s rich malt bill. Funky floral notes, yogurt, light vinegar and fruit dominate the aroma, while a rich berry character evolves across the palate. Bright acidity all the way through leaves the drinker wanting sip after sip. $25. The Wine & Cheese Place in Clayton, wineandcheeseplace.com

Photo courtesy of Side Project Brewing

Katie Herrera is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine and account manager at Craft Republic. 

Related Content

• Drink This Weekend Edition: 3 Big Black Friday Beers

• Drink This Weekend Edition: Schlafly Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout

 Sauce Magazine: Guide to Beer 2017

Sauce Gift Guide: When money’s no object…

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

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Significant other always out-gift you? Never sure Mom knows just how much you appreciate all she does to keep you sane? We gotchu. When it’s time to spare no expense, order one of these gifts goals to put your money where your oh-so-grateful mouth is.

1. Farmbot
What’s better than giving someone a garden? Giving one they don’t have to tend. Farmbot is a farming machine operated by your phone that works day and night to plant, weed, water and grow food in a raised bed according to your preferences. It optimally cares for each plant, so you can grow a variety without having to remember all the details. Just harvest and eat!
$2,595. farmbot.io

2. June Intelligent Oven
If I told you there was a convection oven and computer in one that bakes, broils, toasts and roasts your food, and then sends you a push notification to let you know it’s done, would you want it? Same. A camera, a scale and presets mean she knows what you’re cooking and how to cook it without telling her a single thing. If that special someone has ever wanted a personal sous chef, here’s your chance to make their dream come true.
$1,500. juneoven.com

3. Wine Club Membership
Wine club memberships are the gift that keeps on giving. Every month, your loved one gets two thoughtfully selected bottles that fall in line with that month’s theme. Let the folks at Parker’s Table make you look like a star by gifting the perfect bottle again and again and again.
$360 to $900 per year. parkerstable.com

4. Staub Oval Cocette
What makes this particular Staub line seriously special is the eternally chic gold-and-white color combo. We love this size for searing then braising meats or even roasting a chicken. Yes, please.
5.75-quart: $325. shop.goop.com

5. Officine Gullo Professional Refrigerator
Made of handcrafted metal by artisans in Florence, this Lamborghini of refrigerators has a stainless-steel interior with wooden shelves and a temperature- and humidity-controlled wine cellar to keep your bottles in pristine condition. This is so much more than a machine to keep your food cold – it’s a work of art.
Price upon request. officinegullo.com

Meera Nagarajan is art director at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• Sauce Magazine: 2017 Guide to the Holidays

• Sauce Gift Guide: $25 to $50

• Sauce Gift Guide: $50 to $100

 

Extra Sauce: 4 gifts on Heather’s holiday wish list

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

From kitchen workhorses to elegant barware, here’s what print managing editor Heather Hughes wants this holiday season.

 

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1. Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor
The last time I had to dice mirepoix by hand convinced me that there’s no excuse not to own a big food processor. Every kitchen should have one.
$180. Kitchen Conservatory, kitchenconservatory.com

 

HeatherWishList_Decanter

 

2. RBT Decanter
Rabbit went Gatsby with its new RBT line of glamorous black and gold bar accessories. This swanky decanter, complete with filter, aerating funnel and coaster, is my favorite.
$100. Neiman Marcus at Plaza Frontenac, neimanmarcus.com

 

HeatherWishList_Bowls

 

3. Eshelman Pottery Handled soup bowls
Paul Eshelman’s ceramics combine thick, solid glazes with exposed red stoneware for a bold color blocking effect on clean, modern shapes. I would love a whole set of the smooth handled soup bowls.
$55 each. Available to order from Craft Alliance, craftalliance.org

 

HeatherWishList_Glass

 

4. Yarai large mixing glass
Though I want all the beautiful vintage glassware at this new shop, this elegant mixing glass is what I actually need to complete my bar. Stirring in a shaker is just wrong.
$45. Intoxicology, Facebook: Intoxicology

 

 

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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
• Extra Sauce: 4 gifts on Meera’s holiday wish list

 

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

Sauce Holiday Countdown: Chemex Glass Coffeemaker

Friday, November 29th, 2013

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If you haven’t seen your college-aged friends lately, it’s most likely because they’re hammering out papers and cramming for finals at Sump, Blueprint or another great St. Louis coffee shop. Let’s face it: Their pour overs and private-label coffees just can’t be replicated with a Mr. Coffee and a scoop of generic grounds. Enter the Chemex Glass Coffeemaker. This stylish, easy-to-use vessel will turn biology majors into baristas in no time. $39, amazon.com

Like what you see? Check back every day through Dec. 24 for more great gift ideas in the Sauce Holiday Countdown. And beginning Monday, Dec. 2, keep an eye out for great giveaways!

 

Need a gift idea for the foodie in your life? We’ve got just the thing.

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

110111_monarchA lawyer by trade and a kosher cook at home, Andria Simckes always wondered what was cooking behind the scenes of some of St. Louis’ busiest restaurants. Last week, she found out.

Simckes’ husband, local fertility specialist Dr. Elan Simckes, surprised his wife with a Chef for a Day experience at Monarch in Maplewood for her birthday. And last Thursday, executive chef Josh Galliano and his team created an informative, hands-on experience for her in the kitchen of the New Orleans-style restaurant (pictured).

So, did Galliano really let the newbie have a hand in preparing the evening’s meal? Actually, he did. Andria helped prepare seafood entrées like lemongrass-steamed clams with Lacinato kale, saffron beurre blanc, roasted turnips and sweet potatoes; as well as poached Maine lobster with gnocchi alla Romana, grilled broccoli, almondine sauce and Marcona almonds. And according to Galliano, she was a natural. In a new kitchen, particularly one in a bustling restaurant, most can feel “like a fish out of water,” he explained, but Andria remained strong through the hustle and bustle of meal preparation, making pasta and ravioli filling, cooking clams and even cleaning lobsters.

As anyone who has ever worked or staged in a professional kitchen can atest to, the experience is sure to send the cook home with sore feet and more than a few new culinary tricks up his or her sleeve. For Andria, the lesson came in the form of making pasta from scratch – a technique she can’t wait to replicate in her own kitchen. The “chefs” also gain bragging rights to share with their dinner guests, Galliano noted, from how certain foods are prepared to how a restaurant’s kitchen runs. At the end of the day, Andria and her husband enjoyed the rest of the evening dining in the restaurant’s cozy sky box, which gives a bird’s eye view of meal prep in the kitchen.

Wondering if you have the chops to bust your butt in one of the city’s busiest kitchens? Here are the details: For $150, one to two people can take part in a three- to four-hour Chef for a Day cooking experience at Monarch. It typically runs from 1 to 4 p.m., on a specified date (excluding holidays and special events at the restaurant, of course). Those at any cooking level can reserve the experience by calling the restaurant’s reservations desk at 314.644.3995. Think this may be better suited for a fellow foodie? Sounds like you just found one more gift option for the food snob in your life.

— Photo by Ashley Gieseking

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