I’ve broken this year’s gift guides into three categories based on three of my favorite places- Paris/France, New York City and Italy. The items in each list are all things either made in the specified location or representative of the area, and all things that I personally love and/or use. With items both big and large, affordable and luxurious, you’ll be able to find something for everyone on your list, from the traveler to the foodie to the fashionista to the host. Be sure to check back as I’ll continue to update and add items to the guides and even make note of sales or discount codes. You’ll be able to conveniently find these guides throughout the holiday season by clicking the small pictures directly under the latest post or via the button titled "Runway Chef's 2015 Holiday Handbook" at the top of the side bar (FYI, the side bar button will also take you to other holiday content such as homemade gift ideas, holiday decorating and festive dressing). Now, without further ado, I present to you the New York holiday gift guide….
Farm to People Box || Unique, small-batch artisanal products delivered right to your door; this Brooklyn-based company curates an incredible and eclectic selection of quality products right from the source to you. You can order individual products (for stocking stuffers) or gift someone a tasting box. While all their boxes look mouthwatering, I love the Wake Up Call (featured here), Bring Home the Bacon and Brooklyn Bundle. Make note- they also have ones for specific dietary needs, such as paleo, vegan and gluten-free. Want to give someone a gift that keeps on giving? Buy them a tasting box subscription and they’ll be trying exciting, delectable new foods every month.
Fortune + Frame Jewelry || Beautiful jewels that hold a fortune; I was introduced to this distinctive line earlier this year and haven’t stopped thinking about it since. Two of my favorite pieces, the dainty fortune cookie ring and the wishbone necklace (which reminded me of one of my favorite things from chidlhood, making wishes on wishbones), are beautiful pieces that any woman would be happy to add to her jewelry cabinet. Read all about this NY-run, woman-owned business and the meaning behind the pieces here and shop the full collection here.
New York in a Dozen Dishes || A fun way to look at the dishes that define New York; New York is undoubtedly one of the food capitals of the world, but you can’t help but think of a few specific dishes when you hear the name “NYC”. This book is a great way to gobble up a little bit more of these defining dishes, as well as get the recipes for them. It’s a perfect gift for any NYer (past or present) as well as any foodies (especially ones who like their dishes served with a side of history).
Owl’s Brew Cocktail Mixers || A fun way to shake up a boring cocktail routine; these unique mixers, brewed from tea, are perfect for crafting up some delicious libations. This 3-pack of Owl’s Brew comes with The Classic (English breakfast tea with hints of citrus), the Pink & Black (black tea with strawberries, hibiscus & lemon peel) and the Coco-Lada (black tea, chai spices, pineapple & coconut). They’re a perfect foodie or hostess gift for someone who’s a tea drinker and/or cocktail mixer.
Lyeska Skincare || All-natural skincare using nourishing Siberian cedar nut oil as a core ingredient; this Brooklyn-based, woman-owned skin line is a new-to-me brand, but one that I’ve quickly fallen in love with. The Rejuvenating Serum is a favorite for achieving smooth, soft skin. They also have a sampler set, which is perfect for gifting. The Lyeska producats would be an excellent choice for any ladies in your life, especially the beauty buffs or those who enjoy using organic/natural products.
Foxy + Winston || A favorite shop in Red Hook; the owner, Jane, makes and sells her own quirky cards and beautiful textiles as well as lots of other unique items and trinkets (some of which are also locally made) such as soaps, socks and stuffed animals for kids. While her store is full of gifts for everyone in every situation, I wanted to highlight these towels (artichoke one here and elephant one here) as part of a hostess or foodie gift, and the cards as an option for all of your holiday note needs.
Go Dream Experiences || If you can dream it, you can do it; this Brooklyn-based company offers a huge variety of dreamy experiences, perfect for gifting to the one who has everything. They have so many amazing opportunities, but a few of my favorites are the photography class (such a great was to see the city through a, quite literally, different point of view), the in-home sushi class (perfect for the foodie), a foraging tour (for someone who loves the outdoors), a miniature terrarium workshop (for her), a helicopter sightseeing tour (for him), and a brunch jazz cruise (for them).
GIR Products || A NY-based company "cooking" up some great things; I’ve been a fan of these products since they were first introduced to me several years back. Their spatulas are wonderful and their lids (rectangular and round) are super helpful in the kitchen. Any foodie would be thankful for these additions to their cooking space.
Bees Knees Honey || A sticky sweet and spicy treat; this honey (made with honey from a Hudson Valley beekeeper and a special combination of chili peppers) is delicious plane, mixed into a cocktail, served over vanilla ice-cream, stirred into yogurt, or mixed with goat cheese. While this honey is a crowd pleaser, I’d definitely recommend it for the men in your life.