As a self professed food lover, I'm always coming across items that I can easily see fitting in my home and kitchen. I've collected a few of my current favorites to help you figure out what to buy the foodie in your life this holiday season.
1. Nopi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully - Newest cookbook from the incredible Yotam Ottolenghi and the head chef of his high end London restaurant Nopi. Recipes are supposed to be more challenging than previous books but well worth the effort and its the perfect way to for foodies to test their chef skills at home. Plus, it's pretty.
2. Indie Ingredients 3 Month Subscription Box from Mouth - I'm not sure what part of this concept is more exciting, getting a package in the mail everything month for three months or getting new ingredients to test out every month for three months. Pretty much my dream present and a great way to find new food favorites.
3. Horchata Soap by Etta + Billie - Anyone who loves food enough will definitely want to have reminders in every part of their daily routine. Bathing in organic rich rice milk based soap that smells like sweet cinnamon sounds like a great way to start the day. Bonus: It's great for the skin too.
4. DIY Chevre Kit from Belle Chevre - Best kind of DIY kit out there because you get to consume the fruits of your labor and share it with others.
5. Banh Mi Sandwhich Print from Drywell Art - Any true food lover must have food art. Alyson's unique take on food diagrams are detailed, interesting and beautifully done. Perfect for decorating your entire kitchen, or living room, or where-ever.
6. California State Cutting Board from A Heirloom - Perfect present for pretty much anyone. Cutting boards acts as a serving platter or a fun way to prep dinner. All 50 states available.
A few more gift ideas, sans photos:
7. Fancy Cheese Knives - these are pricey but so beautiful.
8. Cork Tea or Grain Canisters by Melanie Abrantes - These would look pretty stellar in a kitchen.
9. French Ceramic Butter Keeper - fluffy spreadable butter that lasts for days, sign me up!
10. San Francisco Lovers Tea Towel by Noteify - a foodie can never have too many tea towels.
Every fall I make my way up to Sebastopol for some quiet time away from the studio. Sebastopol is an adorable little town about an hour north of San Francisco. Although it’s small, it’s far from sleepy- there are plenty of fun things to do and a surprising number of great places to eat while you are there.
What to do
If you are heading to Sebastopol on a fall weekend, you should definitely be picking some apples. There are lots of places for apple picking in the area, but my favorite is Gabriel Farm . It’s a true family farm- the family lives on the property- and an organic farm to boot. In addition to apples, the farm grows raspberries, blackberries, tomatoes and flowers. They also grow delicious Asian pears- although these are not available for picking, they offer tastings of a wide variety of Asian pears and you can also purchase them to take home with you.
Once you’ve picked all of your apples, it’s certainly time for some wine tasting. Grape vines abound in Sebastopol, and there are beautiful wineries and tasting rooms to visit. I hear that Freeman Winery offers some truly remarkable Pinot Noir- I haven’t visited yet, but am definitely marking it down as a stop on my next trip.
If you are visiting on a Sunday, make sure to stop by the Farmer’s Market in the Sebastopol Plaza. You’ll find live music, good prepared food, and some truly gorgeous produce. Whenever I visit, I can’t help but return with my arms loaded down with tomatoes, greens and beets.
Another great place to wander around is The Barlow. A relatively recent development, The Barlow offers coffee bars, pastry shops, and restaurants as well as small shops featuring independent and local designers and artists.
Where to eat
Speaking of restaurants, The Barlow has lots of great options to eat. For the carnivores, Zazu is the place to go. The menu is very pig-centric, but there are still options for those who prefer fowl or fish (in fact, I had one of the best pieces of trout I’ve ever had there).
There are also choices for the beer lovers. Woodfour Brewing Company in The Barlow is well known for their sour beer, but offers many other options in addition to tasty small plates. Another beer garden, Hopmonk Tavern, offers outside dining and live music. After your dining experience, make sure to stop by Screaming Mimi’s for some great house made ice cream or sorbet.
Hope you enjoy your trip to Sebastopol as much as I always do!