Out chefs in L.A. are so clever. They cook great food. They write great cookbooks. Some of them even make things we can give to other people, things that will make the giftee happy and the gifter look like they have really good taste.
This year, allow your gifting consumerism help our local chefs. Here are five great (and delicious) gift ideas from L.A.'s finest cooks.
5. Crave by Ludo Lefebvre
Ludo has just rereleased a limited edition 10th anniversary re-issue of Crave, his 2004 cookbook. It has a new cover (which was designed as part of a competition) and some new art, but a lot of the soft-focus young Ludo photography, that looks as though they came from a Cinemax after dark promotion, remain. To top it all off, it's a pretty great cookbook, with recipes that border on classic but have that Ludo twist. $35, purchase here.
4. Sqirl jam
An oldie but a goodie. Jessica Koslow has since become known as one of the city's most exciting young chefs, but originally she gained acclaim for her jams, which are still as good as ever. You can buy them individually, of course (at Sqirl or many other retailers), or order up a Sqirl gift box set or jam of the month club from the website. $25 for gift box, $180 for jam of the month. Order here.
3. Bruce Kalman's Spice Rubs
Bruce Kalman, chef at Union in Pasadena, has long been known for his pickle-making prowess. But now he's teamed up with Brian Hepp and Hepp's Salt Co. to create four custom spice rubs for porchetta, beef, poultry and fish. Each is available for purchase at Union, at local farmers markets where Hepp's Salt Co. products are sold, and online. $8.50-9.50, purchase here.
2. Valerie Confections
Valerie offers so many great local gifting options: Of course you can go with a box of chocolates, or a confection subscription, or one of their gift sets (like a tea and cookie gift set). But you can also buy Valerie Gordon's cookbook Sweet, which is gorgeous and was nominated for a James Beard award this year. Fancy! Prices vary, shop here.
1. Lucques gift pack
Suzanne Goin has two great cookbooks you can gift, including the fantastic A.O.C. Cookbook, which came out late last year. But here's a cool idea: Goin offers a signed copy of her other book, Sunday Suppers at Lucques, along with a gift certificate for an actual Sunday supper at Lucques. You can buy one that covers two or four guests. The Lucques website also offers a gift pack of both books signed along with dinner for two. $134-234, purchase here.