Tastemakers 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays are just around the corner, and finding the right gift can be a challenge. But don’t stress, your Tastemaker friends are here to help give you some ideas for the foodies in your life. No matter if you’re shopping for your gourmet, vegan bestie, a boba-tea fanatic or an aspiring chef — these food connoisseurs have suggestions for goodies you can get locally or presents you can send to loved ones across the country.

Five local Tastemakers — @alwayshungry.boston, @jordansplate_ , @foodforkash, and @lifeasamaven — share their ideal holiday gifts for the gourmands in their lives, everything from cooking classes, quirky tableware, essential culinary tools, to photography backgrounds that’ll help any foodie photographer during the dark winter months. Peruse through all the options below and surprise your loved ones with a tasty treat this year.

Editor’s note: Curious what other influencers are eating (and drinking) around town? Check out the Meet the Tastemakers series to hear the stories of those contributing to the conversation on Boston’s food scene.

@Alwayshungry.boston : Ketan Gajria and Meher Makda

Chocolate Gift Box from Serenade Chocolatier. This shop has been a Brookline favorite for the past 22 years! They have the cutest gift boxes with 60 different kinds of chocolates and chocolate-filled advent boxes, santas, snow angels, menorah, and dreidels. Some of our favorite flavors are: pistachio butter crunch, Thai truffle, and pecan turtle. See all the selections through their website, they even have vegan-friendly options too.

Calamityware has to be our favorite spot for tableware! Not only are the products beautifully made, but a funny twist on traditional porcelain includes robots, zombies, UFOs, dragons, sea monsters, and scarecrows! They have a “Things Could Be Worse” mug set and troll bowls with “trolls, goblins, lawyers, and worse” all designed by a local PA artist! Check out all the options here

Helpful holiday tip: Use brown paper bag and pine needles to make environmentally friendly and festive gift wraps!

@Jordansplate_ : Jordan Brocklesby

Self Up Boston Cooking Classes. This culinary activity is extremely immersive and fun to participate in. They have a wide variety of cuisines to choose from and they’re located right in Boston! From tiramisu finales to making authentic Japanese sushi this is a great gift idea for aspiring chefs, foodies, or someone who just enjoys a fantastic meal! They offer in person or virtual classes, check them all out here.  

Eataly Holiday Gift Collection. Get the taste of Eataly Boston right from your home! Eataly is not only a restaurant filled with an amazing selection of Italian dishes, wines, and cocktails but they have a market and wine shop filled with goodies. The holiday gift baskets have already launched and they are perfect gift for a food-lover! The baskets can be purchased online and have a wide variety of unique flavors and boxes to choose from. See all the gift bundles available here.

Helpful holiday tip: Check out the brunch crew neck from Tatte Bakery & Cafe. This crew neck is adorable, fun and great for shooting the ultimate brunch content. Order it through their website here

@FoodForKash: Kashma Evelyn

Cast iron skillet. A cast iron skillet is a must have in every foodie/chef’s kitchen. I currently have four skillets, all of different sizes and I just pull one out depending on my mood and the meal I am hoping to make. Cast irons are dependable cookware that can be passed down from generation to generation. The last thing I cooked in my skillet was a baked Jalapeño Mac & Cheese! A cast iron skillet can make any novice cook, feel like a well seasoned (pun intended) chef! Buy one here or have it shipped to your loved one

Boba Kit. If you’re a boba love like I am, then an at-home boba kit is ideal. During the pandemic, I was craving boba milk tea, but of course my favorite shop was closed down, and not easily accessible. So I did the next best thing and ordered a Boba Kit. I was able to follow the easy instructions and create a tasty Brown Sugar Boba Milk Tea! Get everything you need here

Helpful holiday tip: Photography backgrounds. I love Replica Surfaces! These are perfect for foodies who need backgrounds for flatlay or any type of food styling. They are portable and easy to assemble, and create that professional look for your photos, especially during winter when everyone is taking photos indoors. 

@lifeasamaven: Timna Nwokeji

Swag from Urban Grape. Urban Grape has a plethora of options for this holiday season, from wines to accessories and more. Check out their BIPOC produced wines! Shop all their goodies here

Cheese and sweets basket from Lowell Culinary Collaborative. The perfect combination of sweet and savory, Sweet Lydia’s combined with Mill City Cheesemongers and now you can have the best of both worlds! See all the options here

Helpful holiday tip: For the fashion person in your life check out Bobble & Lace or for skincare fiends Krio Skincare , Gloryscent Beauty or Lujo Skin.

Meet The Tastemakers is a monthly column that shares the stories of those contributing to the conversation on Boston’s food scene.

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