Looking for the perfect gift for your favorite gourmand? Houston has a buffet of options as the home of James Beard Award-winning chefs, nationally acclaimed restaurants and one of the most diverse culinary landscapes in the country.
While we'd all love a set of shiny cookware, restaurant gift certificates and a bottle of California red or white, infusing a local touch into gift-giving is all the more meaningful. Check out our list of the best gifts for Houston foodies.
For the Whiskey Aficionado
Austin-based Swift Single Malt Texas Whiskey has taken the local spirits scene by storm. Run by Houston natives Amanda and Nick Swift, the Texas whiskey captures the traditions and flavors of authentic Scottish whisky-making. In fact, you may have sampled their Scottish libation in eateries like Coppa Osteria, Mark’s American Cuisine, Peska Seafood, Boheme, Sparrow Bar + Cookshop and Cook and Collins. Pick up a bottle ($52.26) at Spec's or one of the many other retailers in town, listed here.
For the Locavore at Heart
For years, Monica Pope has been a leading figure of the local food movement. Throughout her decades-long career of cultivating farmers markets, supporting Texas farmers and opening influential restaurants, Pope’s persona has grown ever more prominent. Through her Midtown restaurant Sparrow Bar + Cookshop, Pope offers a wonderful cookshare ($50-$150 per week), which allows subscribers to purchase prepared or unprepared foods, as well as cooking classes or meals at Sparrow.
For the Blade Master
Russell Montgomery of Serenity Knives is a godsend for chefs. The knife maker's stunning custom blades (from $225) are used in restaurants like Oxheart, and Montgomery also offers a list of pre-made knives available for purchase. Chef’s knives, boning knives, paring knives, steak knives—if you dream it, Serenity can build it, but check the backorder before planning your seasonal giving.
For the Beer Label Connoisseur
If you’ve stepped foot out of your house, you’ve likely spied the work of Burning Bones Press. The local printmaking studio has designed logos for Saint Arnold, concert posters for the likes of Arcade Fire and Kings of Leon and a slew of captivating custom etchings, lithographs, woodcuts, screenprints and monoprints. Find an affordable print (from $20) in Burning Bones artist Carlos Hernandez's Etsy store.
For the Anti-Vegan
Go ahead and cross any meat fiends off your Christmas list. 44 Farms produces some of the best black angus meats we've ever devoured, making them a popular source for Houston restaurants. Pick up a family pack ($103.95), which includes a selection of choice sirloin, NY strips and boneless ribeyes, or splurge big time and hit up the Yeti prime rib holiday pack ($299).
For the Cookbook Queen
Even though Diana Kennedy's new edition of Nothing Fancy: Recipes and Recollections of Soul-Satisfying Food, hasn't yet hit shelves, that hasn't stopped us from reveling in ridiculous excitement. The legendary chef is one of the most prominent figures in Mexican cuisine, and her updates to this legendary tome will no doubt prove to be mouthwatering. Pre-order a copy ($20.07) for your favorite chef to start cooking from in April 2016.
For the Culinary Adventurer
Learn more about H-Town's culinary landscape with a chef-led tour from your favorite culinary figures, including Matt Marcus, David Cordua, Lyle Bento, Brandi Key and more. 2016 dates have already been announced, so pick amongst a number of themes including wine and pizza, girl power and meat lovers.