Looking for some last-minute presents for the foodie on your list? The Charleston Wine + Food Festival has a special running this week on tickets to the King Street Sip and Stroll. The event is basically a high-end boutique walk (Berlin's, Cynthia Rowley, etc.) with gourmet food from Whole Foods and wine from producers featured in the festival. Buy tickets for the event this week, between Dec. 16 and 23, and receive $5 off per $40 ticket. Use redemption code "sipandstroll2010" on checkout to get the discount.
Another great gift is Holly Herrick's newest cookbook, The Charleston Chef's Table, a book written "to celebrate beautiful Charleston and her extraordinarily talented chefs from restaurants small and large, simple and fancy." The recipes kick off with one of my favorite starters, the refrigerator pickles at Jestine's Kitchen, and then go off to explore dishes from all over the city, like John Zucker's chinese chicken salad at Cru Café to the lima bean soup at Alluette's Cafe. You'll also find recipes for classic Charleston fare like okra gumbo, she-crab soup, frogmore stew, and (of course) shrimp and grits. Despite the fact that chefs have moved on (Aaron Deal from Tristan, Kevin Johnson from Anson) and several restaurants have closed (Lombardi's, Amuse), this cookbook promises to be a good addition to any Charleston-lovers bookshelf, whether they cook or not. Herrick will be signing copies tonight at Social.
In the print version of the City Paper this week, several places advertise gift cards, including TBonz/Pearlz/Liberty Tap Room (buy a $100 gift card, get $25 bonus card), which is never a bad gift item.
For avid cooks, the Olive Oil Shop on King Street has a huge selection of EVOO from Spain, Italy, Greece, Australia, and California, and I don't know any foodie who would turn down a bottle of 18-year-old balsamic.
Another great gift item is beer. Seriously. I'm not talking a case of PBR either. I'm talking real, good beer. Last year, I made my staff very happy by giving them each a growler of beer from the Charleston Beer Exchange. Right now, the growler station has COAST 32/50 Kolsch, COAST HopArt IPA, COAST Rye Knot Brown Ale, COAST Porter Smoked, Terrapin SunRay Wheat, Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster, Foothills Total Eclipse Stout, Great Divide Hibernation Ale, and Stone Sublimely Self Righteous Ale (Black IPA). A very cool gift for under $20.
Or you could walk into Ted's Butcherblock and throw together a gourmet gift basket, or make it easy on yourself and order up a bacon-of-the-month club membership.
Jeff Allen, the biggest foodie I know, has put the first home sous vide appliance ($449) on his list. As for me, I'm hoping someone in my family picks me up a 12-inch nonstick saute pan from Berlin's Restaurant Supply — hint, hint — and maybe an oven, since mine crapped out the day before Thanksgiving.
What about you? Are there any great foodie gifts in town that I neglected?