A culinary gift guide for 2015

The quickest way to a human’s heart is directly through their rib cage, but through their stomach is a close second.

Hanukkah is already upon us, and there are only 18 shopping days left until Christmas. If you’re going to get gifting, you’d better get on it now. And you’ve so got this, with the tried and true way to everyone’s heart: through gifts for the stomach or, in one case, the eyes, which eat first anyway, so cool!



(good for everyone, even near-strangers, though notably not for people with peanut allergies or probably anyone who works in a public school building)

Sure, Virginia is awesome, and Virginia peanuts are a total thing. But we share plenty with our neighbors to the south–a state bird, claims to the original Brunswick Stew, and yes, goober peas. These water blanched peanuts are made in the smallest of small batches by the United Methodist Men’s Group at Engelwood United Methodist in Rocky Mount, NC. This is a mighty fine peanut indeed, and it’s available locally at Harvest Grocery Supply.

BONUS: Peanuts induce thirst. Cocktails combat thirst. Ergo, you will want to check out Harvest’s collection of Raft cocktail and soda syrups, a Good Food Award winning product, that comes in fun flavors like smoked tea vanilla, lemon ginger, and hibiscus lavender. I see an Artisanal-Nuts-and-Cocktails party in your near future!

bacon painting


(good for people who love bacon but have high cholesterol, those poor souls!)

Maybe bacon’s already had it’s moment. But no one is truly over bacon, and I would argue many are still firmly under it. DC-based illustrator Marcella Kriebel’s watercolor print captures something beautiful and alluring about bacon for all to admire.

Ok, maybe you are over pork. In that case, feast your vegan eyes on these radishes. They’re stunning and possibly the exact opposite of bacon.

Bonus: Include a pound of Milton’s Local Bacon, so your best friend can enjoy eating bacon while looking at bacon art in a vortex of pork. A porktex.

804ork 2

804ORK VOL.S 1&2

(good for an adventurous home chef who cooks to impress)

What’s nicer than giving someone the brand new 804ork vol. 2 for their cookbook collection? Hooking up your friend with BOTH volumes of the gorgeous Richmond-centric cookbooks. You know, so they can keep each other company and look cute together like John Legend and Chrisy Teigen but with more depth.

If you plan on going with both volumes, you can find a bundled up deal (a steal at $75) online. If you’re just looking for the second volume to round out your collection, you can find it at these places OR! grab one of the remaining copies signed by co-creators Carrie Walters and Chris Gatewood and chefs Lee Gregory and Joe Sparatta from Perk! Coffee and Lunchbox, OR! score an already-wrapped version at Pizza Tonight Restaurant & Bar…because wrapping is a whole extra step that you do not have time for and because every copy sold comes with a complimentary Fig & Pig pizza. Then you can learn how to make the Fig & Pig yourself from your friend’s BRAND NEW COOKBOOK!

BONUS: Take this gift on a (potentially delicious) tour around the city, racking up as many #rvadine autographs as you can get with a little bit of persistence and a Sharpie. Value increased!

crunch dynasty oysters


(great for house guests and hostess gifts–stuff a stocking with it!)

This enchanting mix of sesame, dried shallot and garlic, chili peppers, and ginger is one of Richmond’s tastiest culinary gifts. Upgrade grocery store sushi with it. Sprinkle your devilled soy eggs with it. And by all means, put it on a raw oyster with a splash of Texas Beach Bloody Mary Mix–a combo that Richmond Magazine’s Stephanie Breijo thought up. That’s smart, REAL SMART. You can find Crunch Dynasty all over the dang city. Name a cute place that sells food stuff; they probably carry it.

BONUS: If you happen to pick up yours from Bizarre Market, you’ll be entered to win a free night’s stay at Quirk Hotel! That would turn a thoughtful, modestly priced gift into a very cool, highly valuable thing. Thus winning Christmas. Game. Set. Match.


(great for my parents)

Otherwise known as “The Easy Button,” this is actually what I get for my own parents every year, and they’re stoked on it. I go with the $75 box, and then giddily run around the store, stocking up the box with things I want to eat when I go to visit my relations–Pickled Silly’s Spicy Okra, Gearheart’s Miso Caramels, Blanchard’s Bellevue Blend. The best part is you can customize every last item to please your own weird parents! Plus, the boxes themselves are quite fetching and made in good old AMERICA.

BONUS: Throw some BCakes Beeswax Wraps in your gift box. It’s a cool, all-natural alternative to plastic wrap that’s heavy-duty and reusable and totally neat!

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Stephanie Ganz

Stephanie Ganz thought there would be pizza.

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