(Because food people are the best people)

Guiding you through those gift-giving decisions for the foodie in your life, so you can concentrate on the important things like drinking wine, eating cookies and being merry.

The Kitchen Upgrade

In my opinion, the peelers of all peelers – hands down. I’ve been using my Kuhn Rikon Y Peeler for years and it’s still sharper than sharp. Ergonomically designed so lefties and righties can unite, and colourful too – you may want to wrap it to avoid any cuts. You can find it, along with other goodies at Chef’s Edge, which is dedicated to all things kitchen.

Buy It: Chef’s Edge | 2445 Highway 97 N, Kelowna

 

Planting a Seed

With over 1000 or so varieties of certified organic seeds, Sunshine Farm is the place to go to truly share the taste of the Okanagan. As a seed saving farm two generations strong, they grow the seed, collect the seed, clean and save the seed, sell or grow the seed in the seed circle of life.

Buy It: Sunshine Farm | available online and posted globally

 

The Gift That Keeps on Giving:

Do you know someone who loves wine? Yep, thought so. Leading the way with their Festive Feels campaign is Kitsch Wines. Until the end of December, $2 from every 2017 Chardonnay or 2018 Cabernet Franc bottle sold is being donated to Mamas For Mamas – now you can feel extra good about your pick.

Buy It: Kitsch Wines and participating liquor stores

 

For the Pantry:

Taste of place is something I talk about a lot. When collaborating with Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm for a pop up dinner, I discovered their Rose Hydrosol (otherwise known as rose water), made from 100% farm roses picked from their South East Kelowna property. Unlike the off-putting overly perfumed vibe of synthetic rose waters, this is delicately floral, like, well, a real rose and it’s amazing to bake and cook with. You can literally wake up and smell the roses (I couldn’t help myself).

Buy It: Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm | 4380 Takla Road, Kelowna

I’ve been part of Kelowna’s farm-to-table scene since 2009 with Poppadoms and more recently with The Paisley Notebook. My Mum taught us that ‘your food is only as good as your spices’. That’s why I’ve been creating my own spice blends for my pop up dinners and edible adventures – I literally take them everywhere. Designed to bring a quick Indian something something to your pantry, camp or travel kit, the idea is to make cooking with spices less intimidating and more fun.

Buy It: The Paisley Notebook (coming soon, but email me and I’ll hook you up with a pre-sale)


Jars of Goodness

There are too many local preserves to name, but QB Gelato has Peanut Butter made with just two ingredients, RauDZ Regional Table’s Blueberry Ketchup, Karat Chocolate has a caramel spread, Arlo’s Honey has supplied me local raw and wildflower honey for years and years and bees are important if we would like to eat in the future.

 

For the Cook Who Loves Music

I don’t know about you, but music is a big part of how I function on the day-to-day – I listen in my car, in the shower and definitely when I’m cooking. We have a shit load of musical talent in the Okanagan, so whilst you’re cooking with Okanagan ingredients why not listen to local too? Some of my favourites are Kansas Lee, Joshua Smith, Chloe Davidson, PMC Band and they all have direct downloads (hint hint). Your food is guaranteed to taste better* (ok, maybe I can’t 100% guarantee that, but you’ll be entertained whilst in the kitchen that’s for sure).

 

A Gift For Them (but really you)

My love language is being fed – a home cooked meal is my favourite type of food. Buying a cooking class for someone else means they have to practice at some stage and hopefully you’re first in line – friends with foodie benefits and all. Kelowna is full of options at different price points – from demonstrations to hand-on classes with all the cuisines under the sun (nearly).

Buy it: Poppadoms ($75), Sandrine French Chocolate & Pastry ($105), Start Fresh Kitchen ($95), Mission Hill ($150), The Okanagan Table ($119), QB Gelato ($70)

 

Chef Jas Dosanj

 

The Place for Cookbooks

Family-owned and operated since 1968, Mosaic is very much Kelowna’s independent bookstore. They have always done one thing extremely well – supporting Canadian authors. For years and years they’ve been stocking the latest cookbooks and this year is no exception.

First up, tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine co-authored by Shane Chartrand and Jennifer Cockrall-King (who is my friend). In Cree, tawâw translates to ‘Come in, you’re welcome, there’s room’; the cookbook’s title definitely sets the tone for their beautifully illustrated book. Shane intimately traces back his own Cree roots, exploring culinary traditions from First Nations peoples from across Canada (no, they’re not the same), shaping him as a person, chef and role model. Over the years, I’ve had small glimpses of the work that has gone into this and cookbooks are hard – well done, my friends.

Three more titles on my list are Duchess at Home by Edmonton’s master pastry chef Giselle Courteau; Burdock & Co: Poetic Recipes Inspired by Land, Sea and Air by Vancouver’s Andrea Carlson; and Dirty Food: sticky, saucy, gooey, crumbly, messy, shareable food by Calgary’s Julie Van Rosendaal. And if the photo below doesn’t do it for you, I don’t know what will.

Buy It: Mosaic Books | 411 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna

 

For All Things Sweet:
This November, Sandrine French Chocolate & Pastry celebrated her 15th anniversary, which is really quite something. Sandrine’s Macaron and/or chocolate tree are always a staple in my niece and nephew’s stockings. {Warning: do not leave anything chocolate by the fireplace, it will melt!}

Karat Chocolate also has their Christmassy things, plus staples like chocolate bars (including their collaboration bars), oh and even espresso beans coated in 55% dark single origin chocolate. Another fun fact is that their desserts are made without any additional refined white sugar – I could go into the specifics of this, but they’d love to tell you instead.

 

For the Sustainable Thinker:

Supporting local is all about the bigger picture and looking out for the planet in our own little way. Ditching plastic is easy when you replace the regular single use plastic bags (whether its for food or any type of shopping) with reusable produce bags by The Market Bag or The Paisley Notebook’s market tote, handmade in BC.

 

Okanagan Lifestyle teamed up with eco-friendly brand Miir for their ‘4 symbol’ water bottle. Each bottle has a ‘give code’ on the bottom, so you can see where you are making an impact by simply purchasing and staying hydrated.

Canoe Coffee has been instrumental in bringing the HuskeeCup swap movement to Kelowna – buy a cup repurposed from coffee husks, re-use the cup at a participating coffee shop, get your coffee in another HuskeeCup, then keep on doing what you’re doing for a caffeinated experience without the unnecessary waste.

 

Well, that quickly became quite the list. I wouldn’t be mad if you decided to keep them all for yourself, or maybe just buy two of everything? Happy shopping – I’m hoping it’s merry and bright for you and your people.

Oh yeah, you know what will also make a good Christmas present? Tickets to my East Coast Kitchen Party on January 19 in Kelowna. More details here.

 

Photos provided by respective businesses. 

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