We know we’re not alone in finding inspiration in the kitchen these past few months–raise your hand if you’ve taken on the challenge of baking your own bread, tried out some new recipes à la Masterchef, or produced (and consumed) cupcakes and cookies at an alarming rate.
This holiday season, why not give a gift that brings some new tastes, colors or designs into your loved-one’s kitchen or dining room? We’ve collected a few of our favorites ideas from around Florence to create a fun gift set for your foodie friends and family. Gather them all for a special someone, or pick up a few for stocking stocking-stuffers. As always, all of our suggestions are made in Florence or offered by local small businesses.
For your friends and family who are missing the tastes of Italy, a Gourmet Food Box by Curious Appetite is the perfect solution.
For your friends and family who are missing the tastes of Italy, a Gourmet Gift Box by Curious Appetite is the perfect solution. Choose from the Festive Culinary Gold Boxes (which include a variety of Italian specialties like chocolate and pistachio panettone, kits to make truffle-themed pasta dishes and newly pressed extra virgin olive oil), or the Italian Gourmet Cheese Gift Set (which includes artisanal cheeses like pecorino in wine pomace and delicious fruit compotes and craft honey to pair with them), or the Italian Aperitivo Snack Box (a selection of ready-to-eat snacks from around Italy like pickled vegetables and volcanic-grown Sicilian almonds, which can be upgraded with stuffed peppers and chili tapenade to add a spicy kick!). As an added plus, each box includes recipes and detailed fact sheets about the foods, as well as kitchen tips and wine pairing notes. All products are specially selected by Curious Appetite’s founder Coral Sisk. Both a sommelier and food blogger, Coral’s writing can be found on sites like Eater, Vogue and Vice Munchies. Prices (including shipping to the US) start at 75 euro.
We absolutely love these cutting boards by local craftswoman Jane Harman. Available in a selection of reclaimed wood in different shapes and sizes, these handmade pieces are a perfect gift to accompany aperitivo snacks or add some fun shapes to any holiday table. If you are in Florence and conditions allow, we recommend stopping into Jane’s workshop in San Frediano to choose your favorite one-of-a-kind cutting board and take a closer look at her other handmade wooden creations, from jewelry and toys to table wares and design objects for the home. Get inspired by visiting her online shop to browse from home. Chopping board prices start at just €35.
For an elegant holiday table, you cannot go wrong with JHA Porcelain. Artisan Jacqueline Harberink produces stunning wheel-thrown and hand-built plates, bowls, and cups (and more) in pristine porcelain in her Fiesole studio overlooking Florence. Her designs play with surprising touches of transparency and texture through innovative carving and glazing techniques, all with a refined, minimal style. Visit her website to browse her collections of espresso cups (starting at €19), bowls (starting at €35) or plate sets (starting at €235).
For the coffee-lover in your life, these handmade leather keychains in the shape of Italy’s famous Moka pot are a perfect gift. Available in a range of colors, these make a fun addition to a food-themed package or a thoughtful stocking-stuffer for any caffeine enthusiast. Make it even more special by having the designer Stephanie Lehmann add initials or a name to your gift. If you’re in town and current conditions allow it, by sure to stop by the Frau Leman workshop in the OItrarno to discover the full range of leather bags and accessories, or browse online.
To add a fun touch of color to your holiday table, we recommend these floral table runners or cheerful center pieces La Serra MK Textile Atelier. Textile artists Margherita Pandolfini and Karl Jorns produce hand-painted and screen-printed products for the home and table inspired by the lush gardens that surround their studio in the heart of Florence. The long table runners, which are silk screened on linen with velvet trimming are €50, while centerpieces are €25. Contact the designers to schedule a visit or to learn more about the options for bespoke products and one-of-a-kind custom designs.
We hope you find the perfect gift for the food-obsessed culinary buff in your life! Happy holidays!
Stay tuned over the coming weeks for more gift ideas from local designers and small business owners for all the special people in your life. As always, shop small, shop local.
For more information about the artisans mentioned above as well as many others in Florence, we encourage you to download the brand new Creative People in Florence App. Free to download from the App Store or Google Play, the App offers access to a selection of local artisans and designers. You can use it to map the route to their workshop or you can browse their online profiles and shop online.