2011 gift guides: food and entertaining

Like Santa, I’ve listened closely all year to friends and acquaintances as they spoke passionately about objects and experiences they really loved. What struck me most about their stories was that many of them never expected to derive such enjoyment, personal enrichment, and/or utility from the items/experiences they spoke about, such as a beautiful platter, a piece of artwork, a useful cookbook or a great food/wine course.  This year I’ve compiled a gift guide of the items that made my friends and acquaintances smile from ear to ear. All are food related except one, and they range from $1.99 to £3000 in price, but mostly they are under $50! Happy Holidays! — Kristina

1. Something sweet from Gilt Taste: Holiday Cakewich Box, $56.95; 2. A cooking course for your favorite type of food: Pad Thai and Other Thai Stir Fries Course by Pim Techamuanvivit (photo by Pim), or try a course at The Cook’s Atelier during your next trip to France (check sites for availability and pricing); 3. Platter from Elephant Ceramics (see site for availability and pricing); 4. A wine tasting course: In New York City, try Harlem Vintage, or on your next trip to Italy, try VinoRoma (visit sites for availability and pricing); 5. Support your favorite gallery or museum: Commissioned Portrait by Bettina von Zwehl in support of the Photographer’s Gallery in London, £3000; 6. Platter from Fifty One and a Half (see site for availability), $42; 7. Original food-themed artwork: “Macarons” by Chris Chun, AU$3500; 8. Le Creuset Signature Oval Dutch Oven in Ocean from Williams Sonoma, $240

9. Paletas by Fany Gerson, $11.55; 10. Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson, $13.53; 11. Bill’s Everyday Asian by Bill Granger, £10.39; 12. Short and Sweet by Dan Lepard, £12.50; 13. The Inspired Vegan by Bryant Terry, $12.79 (released in January 2012); 14. A cooking app like Jamie’s Recipes ($1.99 per 10-recipe pack), Eat Fish with Mitch Tonks ($4.99) or magazine subscriptions for tablets, such as Donna HayAustralian Gourmet Traveller or Jamie Magazine; 15. Indochine by Luke Nguyen, £15.50; 16. On A Stick! by Matt Armendariz; 17. Umbrashopper Made from Natural Rubber and Recycled Leather by Riesenthel, €24.90


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.