Remember the national Grub Street chef/foodie gift guide a couple of weeks ago? We asked a bunch of Chicago and midwestern chefs for suggestions for it via Ellen Malloy’s Mediafeed, and got lots of great suggestions— only a small fraction of which could be used in the national guide. So today and tomorrow, we’re going to share what some of the best chefs around would give to other chefs (and maybe hope for themselves). Hopefully you’ll find some chef-approved ideas below for your shopping list, too.
Greg Biggers, Café des Architectes:
My go to Christmas gifts for my sous chefs is usually a cookbook, lottery ticket, and a bottle of whiskey. I’m actually trying to get down to the bourbon trail to get some great Kentucky bourbon straight from the distillery. Buffalo Trace is always a good idea.
Susan Goss, West Town Tavern:
For my chef friends I like to give services, especially massage gift certificates. Everyone works so hard and the holiday season means crowds are heavier and hours longer. Massages, pedicures, facials, for men and women are great gifts for people with physical labor jobs.
Perry Hendrix, Custom House Tavern:
I would buy a Chicago Bears jersey for Koren Grieveson at Avec— although I am sure she has one. For being from South Africa, I am amazed at what a Bears fan she is!
Celina Tio, Julian (Kansas City, MO):
The gift to give another chef? Help with a charity dinner that’s near and dear to them : )
Jennifer Plank, Greenhouse Tavern (Cleveland):
The best gift the chefs at our restaurant send to fellow chefs is our home made vinegar. Chef Sawyer has over 5 different types maturing currently (beer, rose, white, cider, sake, and red.) We love to gift this because it is the gift that keeps on giving! You can use the mother to make any other type of vinegar you desire.
Randy Zweiban, Province:
A practical gift for a chef would be a great bottle of wine or a gift certificate to Korin in NYC since they have a great knife selection. And everyone should have a microplane!
Steve McDonagh, Hearty
When Dan [Smith] is having an especially hard day he turns to his favorite comfort food, which is, believe it or not, Stovetop Stuffing. So there’s always a place in his Christmas stocking for Moxie Soda, Bosco or Drakes Devil Dogs. This site has it all. And if he’s reading this, I’ll take a couple bags of Wise Cheez Doodles…puffed not fried.