Foodie’s Holiday Wish List

Read this and find the perfect gift for everyone on your list.

As someone who loves and is endlessly curious about food, I can always come up with good gifts to give to fellow foodie friends this time of year because they are things I know I would love to get as a gift myself.

If you have a food lover in your life who you need to shop for this holiday season, I got you. I put in the time, did the research, and have the receipts to ensure that every gift on this list would both delight and surprise a food lover in your life. This wish list goes above and beyond the normal suspects. There are culinary tools, books, food and drink products, and food experiences—a little of everything for you to consider. Feel free to bundle a couple of these ideas together to make your gifts your own.

There are items from small, independently owned shops, restaurants, and businesses located here in Kansas City. If you think about it, how can we say we care about eating locally grown or made food and not care about shopping locally as well. It all supports more good food and drink people in Kansas City.

Finally, if you cannot find anything on this list that will work for your friend in food, consider a gift card from a local brewery, distillery, restaurant, coffee shop, or bakery, or a combination of gift cards to places you love and want to share with others. I know the local businesses would appreciate your support, especially during the holidays.   

Happy holidays, and here’s to a delicious new year.

Charcuterie Class at Salumi Rose

With a cute Waldo storefront where they hold group classes, Salumi Rose is the perfect gift experience for the friend who lives on cheese and cured meats. Learn how to make beautiful, shareable charcuterie trays like you see online at your own home. Owned by two friends, Alice Arredondo and Kris Beckman, its signature workshop is $75 per person and includes a bamboo hardwood board you will burn with your own design along with a box of charcuterie, so you can practice what you learned in class at home. Using a variety of meats, cheeses, fruits, and veggies, your gift recipient will learn how to make their platter the prettiest at any party.

Christopher Elbow Advent Calendar

Let the countdown begin! Christopher Elbow’s annual advent calendar has arrived ready for you to give to the chocolate lover in your life. The beautiful box contains 24 smaller presents, each featuring a different signature bonbon, malt ball, pate de fruit and other confections made right here in Kansas City. Open and eat one per day for a sweet treat every day until Christmas for $150.

Little Dipper Coffee Cupping Spoons

Bon Appetit magazine named it their favorite cult spoon a few years back, and in fun colors like rose gold and rainbow, it’s easy to see why! Specialty coffee veteran Umeko Motoyoshi moved from Oakland, California, to Kansas City in 2020 and brought along a love of coffee and a successful online business selling beautiful coffee cupping spoons. As a professional coffee taster who cups coffee over and over throughout the day, Motoyoshi created a spoon with a deep base and solid weight that fits like a glove in your hand. Sold as individual spoons or in a set of six in colors, you might need to buy the set just so you don’t have to pick. $9 each or $39 for a set of six.

VacMaster SV5 Touch Screen Sous Vide Cooking Immersion Circulator

Kansas City-based VacMaster makes a state-of-the-art water immersion circulator that you’ll see many local chefs using in their restaurant kitchens to cook and hold items at a consistent temperature, resulting in uniform doneness and creating ideal texture and superior flavor for meat, seafood, and much more. Sleek and compact with a user-friendly touchpad, VacMasters were designed specifically with the professional chef and commercial kitchen in mind, but because of its convenient size and ease of use, it’s perfect for a home cook, too. $316  

Tappecue Touch Meat Monitoring System

If you have a barbecue pitmaster in your house, they need Tappecue. Monitor meat in a grill or smoker from anywhere using a cell phone and the Tappecue monitoring system. Invented and brought to market in Kansas City in 2013, Tappecue is used by barbecue and grilling enthusiasts across the country who love the set-it-and-forget-it convenience. Simply purchase the Tappecue device, download the app and monitor the temperature of what you are grilling or smoking on your phone using a wi-fi connection and a probe in your meat. It’s not limited to grills or smokers but is also suitable for ovens, air fryers, and more for $149.

Jude’s Kansas City Rum Cake

For over a decade, Craig Adcock and his wife, Teresa, have been making, quite simply, the best rum cake in Kansas City. Adcock is also the owner of Table Ocho, a private dining experience in Lenexa, Kansas, but this time of year he is a rum cake runner. Jude’s Kansas City Rum Cakes uses only premium ingredients, the finest rum (he’s now making his own), and pecans sourced from a small orchard in Missouri. This rum cake is light and soft, melting like butter in your mouth, with just the right amount of rum and the crunch of local pecans. The cakes come vacuum-sealed and will stay fresh for 15 to 25 days; they also freeze very well. Available in large, small, mini, and teaser sizes that range in price from $27 to $75. Order online.

Gozney Roccbox Gas Pizza Oven

After winning a Gozney Roccbox portable, gas-run pizza oven in an online contest, Jhy Coulter has become one of their biggest fans, even serving as a brand ambassador for them. She recommends the Roccbox as the perfect portable outdoor pizza oven for its quick cook times and consistency. She’ll be upgrading next year into a full-fledged restaurant space called Orange by Devoured, which will be located on 31st Street in the Made in Kansas City flagship building. Coulter has plans to upgrade from her Roccbox pizza oven to a Gozney Dome S1 restaurant grade, gas-fueled, one. Get a Gozney Roccbox for $499 at The Kansas City BBQ Store, a local shop owned by Jeff and Joy Stehney. The Stehneys also own Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que.

Kansas City: A Food Biography by Andrea Broomfield

As a professor of English at Johnson County Community College, Andrea Broomfield, a culinary historian and author, has written several books about the dishes served in the Victorian era in Great Britain. Yet she’d never written about the food that came from a place much closer to home—her hometown, to be exact. From its earliest days, Kansas City was in the business of provisioning pioneers and traders headed west, and later supplying the nation with meat and wheat. The new book also explores how politics, race, culture, gender, immigration, and art have forged the city’s most iconic dishes—from chili and steak to fried chicken and barbecue. You won’t be able to put it down. $42 on Kindle or $47 for a hard copy on Amazon.

Fresh Mozzarella Classes from the Mozzarella Madam

Fresh mozzarella is creamy, silky, and darn delicious, but it can be a little tricky to learn how to make it yourself. That’s why you need the Mozzarella Madam to show you the tips and tricks it takes to make fast and consistent fresh mozzarella at home. Kamille Rouser made a name for herself pulling mozzarella tableside at Lazia restaurant inside the Crossroads Hotel, but now she’s taking her skill to the people, by hosting two-hour long mozzarella classes for at least six people starting at $650 at your home or office to teach what she has learned. The packages include an assortment of meats, sweets, and treats, in addition to a flavor station where you’ll create your own cheese flavor using a variety of balsamic vinegars, extra-virgin olive oils, and seasonings. You and your guests will also leave with your own cheese ball to enjoy throughout the week. She can also add wine or cocktail packages to any class. Makes a great foodie family gift that you can all do together. Email her to plan your own cheesy gift at:

Le Petit Chef Experience at Hotel Phillips

Gift the cutting-edge culinarian in your life with tickets to Kansas City’s first animated dining experience. Le Petit Chef is a new dining experience at Hotel Phillips that has also been popping up at restaurants and event spaces across the globe entertaining diners from Dublin to Dubai. Using state-of-the-art 3D mapping technology, guests will follow Le Petit Chef, the world’s smallest chef, an animated character who brings you a world of flavor projected right onto your own dinner plate. Choose between the classic five-course menu or a vegetarian menu for $139 per adult plus tax and tip. There is also a kid’s menu (for ages 6-12) for $99 per child. Note that the animation is built around the classic menu and will be the same for all three menus.

PopCulture Popcorn

Justin and Melody Woo are the couple and flavor masters behind Popculture popcorn. A chef and a dietitian respectively, they bought an existing popcorn business in 2017 and have since then been using their collective culinary talents to create almost 50 flavors of popcorn, all of which can be sampled from their “tasting wall” located inside their storefronts in Parkville and downtown Overland Park. Pick your favorite holiday container and have them fill it with your favorite flavors, such as caramel apple, cinnamon toast, and sour cream and cheese, or mix and match colors and flavors to create your own signature blend. 

D.I.Y. Kansas City “Bottled-in-Bond” Straight Whiskey Tasting

The term bottled-in-bond has been around for more than a century in American distilling, but it recently has taken on a new meaning in Kansas City. We now have three different distillers in Kansas City making a straight whiskey with this craft designation, and that calls for a little DIY taste test for your favorite whiskey lover. For a whiskey to be labeled bottled-in-bond it must be aged for four years, bottled at precisely 100-proof, and it must be made by one distiller at a single distillery in one season and aged in a bonded warehouse. Create a three bottle gift pack by shopping at a local liquor store near you for a bottle of Union Horse Distilling Co. Reserve straight bourbon whiskey, Rieger’s straight bourbon whiskey from J. Rieger & Co., and Ben Holladay Missouri straight bourbon whiskey from Holladay Distillery in Weston.

Kufukaa Aprons

An apron is an important part of the uniform when working in a restaurant. Anita Koul understands that, which is why she is obsessed with making them, with help from her army of refugee immigrant creators she hires in countries like Kenya, Taiwan, and Qatar. She started her Kansas City-based online business to focus on making premium restaurant-kitchen aprons that can now be seen in professional restaurant kitchens across Kansas City. Recently available to the public, these attractive aprons feature a modern cut and colorful patterns printed on a durable poly-cotton fabric that won’t wrinkle. Kufukaa (pronounced kuh-foo-kuh) is a Swahili word that means “evolving” in English, and that is exactly what this program is doing. Aprons range from $55 to $65 each.

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