Foodie: food·ie /ˈfo͞odē/ noun INFORMAL ; a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food and who eats food not only out of hunger but due to their interest or hobby and is passionate about food. (Merriam-Webster)
We all have that foodie friend or family member. They love to try new dishes, restaurants, or recipes. They believe no visit with friends is ever complete without food. It just sets the tone. Foodies can often be the most difficult person on your Christmas list to buy for. Listen, there’s no judgment here! I too consider myself a foodie. But, I also know, serious foodies are dedicated to the craft of eating, cooking, and/or entertaining with food. Which can make them a little more challenging to gift during the holidays.
So now you’re checking names off your Christmas list. You’ve made your way down to the foodie on your list and you are stumped…what do you get a foodie?
We all have those hard to buy for people on our Christmas lists. It could be your Aunt Susie, Cousin Joey, or even the hubs. The reasons we struggle each Christmas to fill their wish-list varies. Maybe they have it all; maybe they don’t ever say what they actually want; or maybe, you just feel like you’ve already gifted them all there is for his or her hobby.
I’ve been there! I have found, though, the best cure for the hard-to-gift person is an extra special present from the heart. And what says “love” or “thank you” more at Christmas time than a curated gift from a small business.
And here on the Gulf Coast, we have some amazing small businesses that have special gifts, even for the foodie in your life.
So whether your foodie is an entertainer, a cook, or always looking to try something new, we’ve got you covered!
Check out these 6 Gulf Coast small businesses for ideas to check off those foodie names.
FOODIE GIFTS FOR THE ENTERTAINER
Many foodies love to host and entertain even if it’s just for a small get-together over drinks and a cheeseboard. For this foodie, I recommend stopping in downtown Ocean Springs at Poppy’s or Coastal Magpie. Both shops have unique food gifts for the friend that is always hosting. I love Poppy’s for the large selection of dip mixes, small cheese/cutting boards, and the variety of jams, jellies, and sauces. Any of which would be perfect for your foodie to have in the pantry for impromptu guests.
If you’re like me and want everything to feel a little extra, I recommend pulling together a little set. A cheeseboard, a jelly, sausage, and linen. Or, maybe a brie baker, a Captain Rodney’s sauce, and a fun cheese knife.
At Coastal Magpie I found the most beautiful pottery pieces! Each piece is handmade by a US artisan. I especially liked the dip bowls – which come with a knife — and the unique uncovered brie bakers. These pottery pieces have a fun coastal feel but would also fit any entertaining foodie’s home decor style. Another fun foodie gift find, the cheese markers are made from antique forks.
FOODIE GIFTS FOR THE COOK
Not all foodies are cooks. However, if a foodie loves to cook, they love fun and interesting ingredients. And while it can be difficult to know what types of dishes a foodie likes to cook, you can always bet on a few essential ingredients: oil, vinegar, and salt. I know, at first glance, these don’t sound interesting but we have some fantastic small businesses on the coast with fun options!
Poppy’s in Ocean Springs carries an oil you don’t see very often, pecan oil. The Kinloch Pecan Oil is from our neighboring state of Louisiana and perfect for southern cooks. They also have pecan balsamic vinegar! Both the pecan oil and vinegar come in a few different sizes to fit your budget and needs.
My personal go-to shop for oils on the coast is Pass Christian Olive Oils & Vinegars. Pass Oils is an excellent one-stop-shop for foodie gifts! They carry an enormous about of specialty olive oils and vinegars, all from Italy. I find something new each time I go! Like the Cranberry-Pear White Balsalmic Vinegar and Tuscan Herb infused Olive Oil…YUM!
But if you aren’t sure what your foodie will like, this shop has plenty of gift sets already put together that complement each other nicely in their flavor profiles. And if you still aren’t certain what to buy, the staff at Pass Oils is exceptionally trained and can help you pick out the perfect pairings for your special foodie. Before you leave make sure to pick up a fun and interesting sea salt to go with your oil and vinegar. You can easily find an exciting oil/vinegar gift set at any price point!
Here’s a gifting tip: if you want to make a basket of goodies for your cook, pull together a special oil and/or vinegar, sea salt, and cute salt cellar and arrange it neatly in a small basket or gift bag. (You can find this particular salt container at Poppy’s in Ocean Springs.)
FOODIE GIFTS FOR THE ADVENTURIST
The foodie that enjoys trying new things…Oh boy! I saved this foodie for last because the adventurist foodie is often the most difficult. He or she is constantly on the hunt for new cuisine to try. And they love the EXPERIENCE more than anything. Don’t fret, friend! I’ve got you! The Mississippi Gulf Coast has some of the best foodie experiences.
Like I mentioned before, part of the appeal for some foodies is not only the food, but the experience. For this foodie, I recommend a gift certificate to FBH’s Dinner on the Lot. Dinner on the Lot is a small event that is held on only a select few nights each month. Each night the dinner is curated around an idea or particular interest; like beer pairings or chocolate, to name a few of the past dinner experiences. Dinner on the Lot is an intimate food experience that is sure to have your foodie raving after each course! FBH has already listed some upcoming dinner themes, so if you know the foodie on your list well, go ahead and buy tickets for that particular dinner. Even better…make it a night for the two of you to enjoy together!
My second recommendation for the fun-loving adventurist foodie is a cooking class. I know, I know! I just said not all foodies cook but the adventurist is a little different. He or she really loves the experience of food. And to me, what’s more of an experience than preparing a new regional or international dish? My top places for cooking classes are The Friends of Arts, Culture, Education and Chef Danie Cooks.
F.A.C.E. (The Friends of Arts, Culture, Education) is the evolution of The Friends of Mary C. but with the same great class offering. I have taken a cooking class in the past and had a blast. Class offerings do change every month so feel free to purchase a gift certificate for your foodie or go ahead and purchase a specific class if you see one they’ll love.
A second option for cooking classes is in Biloxi at Chef Danie Cooks. Chef Danie offers a wide variety of gourmet cooking classes both online and in-person. Although I haven’t had the opportunity to visit her Biloxi studio, I have heard great things about Chef Danie’s classes! And a quick browse of her Facebook and website and you can see why with all the delicious food! Again, if you aren’t sure which class your foodie would prefer, Chef Danie offers gift certificates. Purchase one class, three, or five classes!
The Mississippi Gulf Coast is a special area that we all love! The possibilities for special holiday gifts are endless, even for the hard-to-buy-for foodie on your list.
Hopefully, you can finally check off those names, too! And if you have a few more non-foodie names on your list, be sure to check out our other holiday gift guides for experience gifts, subscription gifts, locally made gifts, and experience gifts for that friend that’s a bit “extra”.