We all have that one person in our life—or many, if you’re lucky—who loves to eat more than anything. These people appreciate just about everything you put in front of them, whether it’s a simple roasted chicken, super fancy tasting menu, or a plate of $2 dumplings you can only find in the depths of Chinatown. We love these friends because they expose us to new cuisines and experiences, encouraging us to open our minds and our taste buds. So this holiday season, treat your favorite chowhound to one of these stellar gifts, and give him or her something new to chew for once with The Manual’s food lover’s gift guide.
Misen Skillet – $65
We fell in love with Misen two years ago when the company released its first product—an excellent chef’s knife that costs way less than other knives of its caliber. And now Misen is back with versatile, stainless steel and aluminum cookware. This essential skillet features an ergonomic, stay-cool handle, rounded edges for drip-free pouring and evenly conducts heat for perfectly cooked food. This timeless skillet is an essential for beginners and pros alike.
Quality Eats Zebra Wood Steak Knives – $50
Quality Eats knows their beef—the everyday steakhouse has two Manhattan locations where they serve under-appreciated cuts of the juiciest sustainable meat. And now the restaurant is selling gear that every home-cooking carnivore will appreciate. We’re partial to this handsome steak knife set, made with a serrated stainless steel blade and polished zebra wood handle. The four-piece set is a thoughtful gift for the grillmaster in your life.
Carnivore Club Subscription Box – $39-plus
Everyone knows a cured meat fanatic that’s always looking for the newest small-batch purveyor or seeking out the most respected, old-school salumeria. For them, there’s no better gift than a Carnivore Club subscription. Every month, Carnivore Club features a new artisan, whether they’re making the finest French charcuterie or specialize in South African Biltong, and delivers a box of four to six premium meats for your enjoyment. If you can’t commit to a subscription, you can send a single box as well.
Man Crates Dutch Oven Kit – $100
For the guy who loves to camp, this gift set can’t be beat. Man Crates has stocked the perfect cooking set for the outdoorsman in your life, so he doesn’t have to subsist on trail mix and cold canned beans in the wilderness. The kit comes complete with a trusty Campmaid seasoned cast iron dutch oven, chainmail scrubber, cast iron conditioner, pit mitts, and the Man Crates dutch oven cookbook—which includes hearty recipes like jambalaya and cobbler to keep him nourished on the go.
Mother in Law’s Kimchi DIY Kimchi Kit – $20
Kimchi can be intimidating to make yourself if you’ve never tried it before, but this DIY set from Mother in Law’s Kimchi makes the process easy peasy. It comes complete with a swing top jar, Red Boat fish sauce and Korean red pepper flakes—all you have to do is add Napa cabbage. If your guy is into pickling and preserving but has never made this healthy probiotic snack, he’ll love this adventurous gift.
Kimera Koffee Starter Pack – $65
Turbocharge your brain. Kimera Koffee’s tagline says a lot about the product itself—these are not your average coffee beans. Not only will each cup of Kimera Koffee give you a much-needed dose of morning caffeine, it’s infused with things like Alpha GPC, Taurine and L-Theanine to improve concentration and athletic performance. Perfect for the coffee fanatic, this starter pack includes two types of Kimera brew, Kacao Booster, a ceramic mug, and to-go mug.
Mantry Subscription – $59-299
For the guy who loves to cook but doesn’t always know where to source the best ingredients, Mantry is our favorite go-to gift. Each box has a theme, like Pizza Party and Bourbon BBQ, and is curated with products from America’s best artisan foodmakers, along with easy-to-follow recipes. You can purchase a single Mantry box, or subscribe to get a new box every two months for an entire year. Each bundle arrives in an American-made wooden crate, which makes for handsome storage when you’ve used up the contents.
The NYC Kitchen Cookbook – $17
Brooklyn-based food journalist Tracey Ceurvels was constantly inspired by the ethnically-diverse bounty of NYC’s ethnic markets, so began experimenting with exotic ingredients and dishes in her home kitchen. She shares her tasty adventures in The NYC Kitchen Cookbook, a collection of recipes that are actually easy to make any night of the week. Think dishes like Clam, Saffron and Chorizo Stew and Banana Bourbon Cardamom Bread that are both adventurous and crowd-pleasing, whether you’re familiar with NYC’s diverse culinary landscape or want to get acquainted.
Nando’s PERi-PERi Sauce – $8 for pack of 2
Anyone who’s familiar with South African PERi-PERi chicken know how addicting the tongue-numbing flavor can be. And if you’ve never had the spicy dish, now’s the time to get acquainted. The chicken is marinated for 24 hours then grilled over an open flame for a spicy, smoky flavor that’s downright addicting. Even if you don’t have a Nando’s nearby, you can give the gift of their lip smacking sauce to die hard spice fans. Available in flavors like Hot and Garlic, it makes for the perfect stocking stuffer.
Curtis Stone Dura-Bake 2-Piece Pizza Pan Set – $25
Everyone loves pizza, but the age-old questions endures: thin crust or thick? With this double pan, you don’t have to decide. The perforated pan is perfect for making thin crust pies, while the deep dish pan will turn out crispy thick crust pizza. Both are made from durable carbon steel and finished with a non-stick coating. The dishwasher-safe materials make for an easy clean-up when the last morsel is gone.
La Tienda Spanish Pantry Basics Gift Box – $95
We always turn to La Tienda when it’s time to stock our pantry with Spanish goodies like chorizo or cecina, a jamon-style cured smoked beef. Lovers of the cuisine will go gaga for this gift box, which includes all the basics to kick off a feast. The collection includes La Mancha saffron, intensely smoky pimentón de La Vera paprika, Marcona almonds, wood-fire roasted piquillo peppers, sweet-tart membrillo quince preserve, solera-aged sherry vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
Aida Full Snack Set – $48
The owners of Lois wine bar in New York’s East Village neighborhood makes their own breads and crackers to complement their menu of small plates, and earlier this year, they decided to take their snack business to the next level by launching Aida. This line of addicting crackers and nuts not only taste heavenly, the packaging is the most beautiful we’ve ever seen. The full set comes with Aida’s five essentials: Currant Turmeric Crisps, Sourdough Crackers, Rye Crackers, Lemon Candied Pepitas and Szechuan Candied Pecans.
Manuka Honey Chocolates – $11
Manuka honey isn’t just delicious—it’s really good for you, too. Not only does the natural stuff provide essential minerals like calcium and magnesium, it supports good bacteria in the gut to promote a healthy digestive system. These delicious dark chocolates are the best way to get your manuka honey fix, whether you choose spiced ginger or refreshing mint.
Snake River Farms American Wagyu Beef Box – $285
There’s nothing better than a juicy steak. At Snake River Farms, where their cows are treated humanely in a system partially recommended by Temple Grandin, great meat is prized above all other things. Give the food lover in your life a truly welcome box of beef, with their Jamie Bissonnette’s Selections, which includes: one American Wagyu culotte (2 lbs), one American Wagyyu Teres Major, four American Wagyu Bone-in Filet Mignon, and Jacobsen Black Pepper Infused Salt.