Creation over consumption! For our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide we’re highlighting gifts for food lovers that cultivate the creative spirit in each of us. Grow your own food, discover the wonder of cooking, fungi, mealworms and dive into the dark funky world of fermentation. It’s savory enough to guide you into your next year of gift giving: why stop in December when there’s birthdays, weddings, showers and seasonal celebrations year-round?
01. Illusions Tableware Bowls by Zaha Hadid for MoMA.
The carefully-placed lines on this dinnerware will alter the way you see your dishes, allowing you to eat dinner while engaging with a visually stimulating experience.
$175, MoMA Design Store.
02. Little Puzzle Thing by Areaware.
Areaware’s new line of mini food puzzles which include papaya, broccoli, eggplant, a bowl of ramen, pizza slice, Chicago-style hot dog and a slice of birthday cake will look cute on a coffee table, while also keeping guests entertained.
03. Science of the Secondary: Plates by Atelier Hoko.
One of my favorite indie magazines, design studio Atelier Hoko self-publishes these wonderfully insightful, thoughtfully illustrated deep dives into every day objects from eggs to socks, clocks to windows. This 9th edition in the series is all about our interactions with plates.
$19, Atelier Hoko.
04. HIVE Explorer by Livin Studio.
From the creators of the world’s first counter-top mealworm farm, this Explorer kit is the STEM-friendly introduction to cultivating and harvesting insects for a delicious and consistent source of protein.
05. GROW Lamp Table Lamp by Flow & Chaos.
This lamp set gives you the tools to grown your own lamp from mushroom mycelium, yielding a sustainably produced and well designed piece.
$125, Flow & Chaos.
06. Mycologos Fungi Course.
If you’ve ever been curious about the intricate world of fungi, here’s your chance to get grounded in the basics of mycology. Offered by the newly launched Mycologos, an online and physical learning space founded by Radical Mycology’s Peter McCoy, their series of online courses launches this spring. Learn the basics of mushrom identification, medicinal uses for fungi or soil remediation.
10-hour Courses, Mycologos.
07. Acid Trip by Harlan Turk (Abrams Books).
Although this book came out at the end of 2017, I’ve spent much of 2018 digging into its stories about vinegar history, recipes to incorporate vinegar into your everyday (and special ocassion) cooking, and how to make vinegar at home. After going on this adventure with Harlan, you’ll never use store-bought white vinegar in your food again.
$20, Your local book seller or Amazon.
08. Water Lock Crock by Mudslide Stoneware.
I first encountered these beautiful fermentation vessels at Los Angeles’ newly minted destination for all things cooking and cookbooks, Now Serving, in downtown Chinatown. Hand thrown by New Mexico-based potter Colin Dyck, these water lock crocks use a moat of water to seal off ferments from harmful molds and include a four-piece fermentation weight that is perfect for pressing those beautiful juices from homemade sauerkraut, kimchi or pickles.
09. Secret Locker by Marije Vogelzang.
For those die-hard food design lovers in The Netherlands, Dutch eating designer Marije Vogelzang has set up a vending machine outside of her studio in Dordrecht with bespoke porcelain tableware, eating implements and other food design ephemera just in time for the holidays. Grab your coins and head over to get a collectible.
Prices Vary, Dordrecht, Netherlands.
10. Tetra Countertop Dishwasher by Heatworks.
Whether you’re living in Tokyo or New York, Delhi or Dublin, chances are, you don’t have enough space to install a dishwasher. Launched at CES and designed by frog, this compact wonder uses only a gallon of water and doesn’t require plumbing. Plus, the interior environment gets hot enough to sterilize baby bottles…and even sous vide some salmon.
Spring Release, Heatworks.
11. Chef’s Choice Collection by Burlap & Barrel.
Open up your spice rack and chances are, you have no idea about where those delicious ingredients come from. Indie spice company Burlap & Barrel is trying to change that with their ethically sourced, single-origin spices. Co-founder Ethan Frisch frames the company’s mission in terms of social justice and transparency and sources their unique range of spices ranging from the uniquely complex Turkish cured sumac to wild dried Icelandic kelp directly from origin. Ditch those musty spices and start again with B&B’s Chef’s Choice collection featuring six of their most popular spices: 2018 Harvest Turmeric, Wild Mountain Cumin, Desert Fennel, Black Urfa Chili, Cured Sumac and Smoked Pimenton Paprika.
$49, Burlap & Barrel.
12. An Anarchy of Chillies by Caz Hildebrand (Thames & Hudson).
Ratchet up the heat this winter with this beautifully illustrated book covering everything you need to know about 100 different chillies, including preparation, heat level, and how to recognize them.
$21.42, Thames & Hudson.
13. Vegetable Garden Boxed Set by Hudson Valley Seed Co.
Everything starts with a seed. We especially love the heirloom, organic seed selection at Hudson Valley Seed Co. Each variety comes in a beautiful, artist-illustrated seed pack and their boxed set collections are a wonderful gift for the curious and seasoned gardener alike. BONUS! Row 7 Seeds from chef Dan Barber launched this year and their collection is bred by Cornell-based seed scientists specifically for FLAVOR.
$22, Hudson Valley Seed Co.
Prices Vary, Row 7 Seeds.
14. Grow Your Own Tacos by Seedsheet.
Show up at the next Taco Tuesday with a cornucopia of greens grown just for the party. Seedsheet’s Taco kit comes conveniently packaged with non-GMO seed pods for cilantro, radish, mustard greens, arugula and scallions embedded into a weed barrier. Just set the sheet on some organic soil, water and in just a few weeks you can start harvesting greens.
15. Chef Music Mondays by Snacky Tunes.
What do your favorite chefs listen to in their kitchens? Get into the groove with the likes of Massimo Bottura, Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins, Eduardo Jordan, April Bloomfield, Erik Bruner-Yang and Ghetto Gastro.
Free, Snacky Tunes.
16. Nabe O Kakomu Gift Box by East Fork.
This North Carolina-based ceramics company makes my favorite mug—I might be a bit territorial about who can use it and I get great satisfaction from wrapping my hands around it each morning for a warm cuppa. Their Nabe O Kakomu gift box is a lovely curated selection of everything you need to gather a loved one around a warm meal inspired by the art of cooking in clay. Featuring a clay Donabe pot, two East Fork bowls, two wooden soup spoons, a Donabe cookbook and a bag of Dashi, it’s a warm gift with a great return of a homecooked meal.
$196, East Fork.
17. Rice Subscription by Kiki Musubi.
Rice eaters unite! Finally, you can get the beauty and diversity of traditionally farmed, pesticide-free, Japanese rice delivered right to your door. Founder Momoko Nakamura, aka the Rice Girl, creates each blend according to the Japanese concept of microseasons and sources directly from farmers across Japan.
$290, Seasonal Subscription.
18. Dog Eat Dog 2019 Calendar by The Gourmand.
Celebrate man’s best friend with 12 months of canine delights. The proceeds from this calendar—filled with the portraits of 12 culinary-named canines—go to animal welfare charity Mayhew.
$18.95, The Gourmand.
19. NEBL by Studio Rem.
This planter gives a unique look to indoor plants, surrounding them with an opaque glass that mirrors the effect of a foggy morning.
Price Available Upon Request, Studio Rem.