Forget fruitcake. These selections for your foodie
friends will please nearly every palate
By Jada Russell
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC FOODS OF
The newly launched Foods of the World Web site is an online culinary and cultural destination. Order individual gifts from a diverse assortment of artisanal and specialty items from 19 countries. Spring for one of the many cheeses, oils, and sauces at affordable price points, or, for the jet-setters in your life, consider a â€œWorld Explorer Gourmet Food Clubâ€ membership from National Geographicâ€™s World Food Clubs. The decadent World Explorer membership ($729) delivers a package from a different country to the gift recipient each month. The â€œOils & Vinegarsâ€ membership ($42.99 a month) will allow the budding chefs on your list to experiment with flavors and add complexity to their dishes. Memberships are available for three to 12 months.
Lincoln Park. 951 W. Armitage (at Sheffield). 773.296.9866
North Bridge Mall. 520 N. Michigan Ave. 312.644.9450
If youâ€™re looking for a gift for the music and chocolate lover, look no further. Inspired by black music, Katrina Markoff, the founder and CEO of Vosges Haut-Chocolat, created the Luxe Groove Chocolate Truffle Collection gift set, which comes in a Lucite box with Swarovski crystals. This musical and culinary journey through African-American history includes a guidebook tracing the historical significance of 12 musical eras and a CD featuring songs from each era, paired with 12 chocolate truffles that reflect a popular ingredient of the time period.
TROTTERâ€™S TO GO
1337 W. Fullerton Ave. 773.868.6510
Chef and restaurateur Charlie Trotter raised the bar for fine dining when he opened his first location in Lincoln Park over 20 years ago. In 2000 he launched Trotterâ€™s To Go, a retail outpost designed to provide accessible, superior quality cuisine for the everyday meal, quick snack, or special event. This location is also a great place for custom gift baskets made with fresh organic ingredients. On your way to a holiday soiree, pick up the Holiday Party Basket filled with Chef Trotterâ€™s favorite meringues, specialty toffee, Marcona almonds, flavored popcorn, gourmet chocolates, potato chips, and an assortment of Trotterâ€™s To Go cookies.
PROVENANCE FOOD & WINE
Logan Square. 2528 N. California Ave. 773.384.0699
Lincoln Square. 2312 W. Leland.Â 773.784.2314
Slightly off the beaten path, Provenance Food & Wine, housed in the burgeoning neighborhoods of Logan Square and Lincoln Square, is worth the trip. This premier specialty grocer, dedicated to bringing its customers â€œmany of the worldâ€™s wonderful things,â€ features all-natural products, including sustainable and biodynamic wines. With more than a decade of experience in the food game, owner Tracy Kellner has masterfully crafted the ultimate gift basket for Chicago foodies. â€œTaste Chicagoâ€ features many hometown favorites like Smoke Daddy BBQ Sauces, Milk & Honey Granola, and Terryâ€™s Toffee.
THE SPICE HOUSE
1512 N. Wells St. 312.274.0378.
Youâ€™ll find every spice imaginable at The Spice House, so unless youâ€™re a chef, we suggest you bypass the plethora of choices and go straight for the gift boxes. A popular choice is the Ultimate Chicago Gift Box, which contains Chicago Cooks, a book outlining the Windy Cityâ€™s 25-year culinary explosion, along with four spice blends that pay homage to Bronzeville and Lake Shore Drive.