I have many friends that I would categorize as “gourmets or foodies.” They love food and take their food and dining out seriously. Most of them are also gourmet cooks which can be intimidating at times. The good news is that I know that giving them a gift pertaining to the kitchen, food, or anything about dining will always be appreciated. The problem is…..these “Foodie Friends” have most of what they need already. I find that I must be very creative in my gift selections. Perhaps you have found yourself in the same gift giving situation. I offer the following selection for your own gift giving needs. Bon Appetit!

I cannot tell you how many times I wished I had some spice in my pocket…especially on road trips. Flight 001 has a genius idea in their Organic Mobile Foodie Kit! Inside the slim aluminum box you will find 17 different spices from sea salt to curry powder. There even is a bottle of tobasco sauce for those bland room service omelets! This little spicy gift will make even a seasoned chef smile! $35 at Flight001.com.

Bordeaux Canvas Buckets

To Market To Market!  The gourmet shops lot!  These Bordeaux Canvas Buckets are as good looking as they are useful. perfect for a trip to the farmers market……the bread shop……or the wine store.  A chef also might enjoy keeping them on the counter with todays’ fresh produce in them.  Great!  $24 – $32 at NapaStyle.om

Direct from Di Bruno’s, Philadelphia’s landmark food purveyor, is a wonderful gift for any gourmet. In tradition as the basics of Italian cooking this gift set combines DiBruno’s Private Collection of Extra Virgin Fruttato Olive Oil and Barrel Aged Balsamic Vinegar. Together they can create the best vinaigrette or used alone for dipping, drizzling, or glazing. Packaged in a wooden gift box this set is perfect for the serious cook. $59.99 at dibruno.com

Le Cordon Bleu Chef's Apron

Any gourmet on your list and worth their salt, has heard of or attended the Paris’s Le Cordon Bleu School of fine cooking. A chef’s apron embellished with Le Cordon Bleu’s logo will have them cooking in style. It is 100% cotton, can tie twice around the waist and fits most sizes. A very fun and usable gift! $25 at PierreDeux.com

Jane Carroll, floral artist extraordinaire and interior designer, creates fresh and innovative floral arrangements that can be shipped coast to coast. It was hard to select just one of her whimsical designs, but her Steamer Basket of Orchids and Fresh Veggies is really something special for the creative cook on your list. The recipient receives two steamer baskets…one filled with a medley of fresh vegetables and then topped with a steamer of chartreuse green cymbidium orchids. Beautiful and healthy for your favorite hostess or chef. $95 plus shipping. jane-carroll.com

I have been an admirer of Laguiole Steak Knives for a while now. They are quite special and made in Laguiole, a small village in the Auvergne Region of France. They have a lifetime guarantee and are really works of art! The name Laguiole is not trademark protected so be careful where you purchase yours. A true laguiole knife is hand forged with solid bolsters in stainless or brass. You should be able to see the logo or name of the French cutler clearly. These steak knives, crafted by Claude Dozorme, are real beauties. They are made from exotic woods including: Madagascar Ebene Palo Santos Chene Palissandre Bbinga and Cade. Each handle is different and that is what makes them so unique. Presented in an Oak Box, this is a gift that will be remembered for a lifetime! $335 at laguiolesteakknives.com

If I had a hammer…….I would pound a nail into the wall. If your foodie friend had a Seafood Hammer he or she might cook and crack a lobster tail for you! Yes, that’s right, this is a Seafood Hammer designed by Marcus Vagnby for Nuance. It is made completely of stainless steel, and would look great in any kitchen or on any table top when the need arises. Chances are your recipient doesn’t have one of these yet. $64 at UnicaHome.com

Even for the best of chefs, some things are better left to others. Enter New York’s Rocco’s Pastry Shop. If the foodie in your life happens to be Italian, an ex- New Yorker, or just a pastry lover Rocco’s sweet and scrumptious Cannoli can not be beat! A Greenwhich Village icon Rocco’s has been in business for over 31 years and many a New Yorker has crowned their cannoli the best in the city. I say the best in the country. They will ship them coast to coast for you via overnight delivery. I have used the service many times without disappointment. The yummy Ricotta filling comes separately from the deep fried shell so no soggy dessert for you. All you or your recipient has to do is pipe the cream into the shell and add the chips or pistachios. They are priced at $3.00 for the pistachio cannoli and $3.50 for the chocolate. A sweet treat anyone will love! roccospastry.com

Gourmets enjoy all of the Food Network and other cooking shows just like the rest of us. A foodie friend of mine really enjoys the America’s Test Kitchen Program…..me too! Last year I purchased the companion cookbook for him and he was thrilled! Inside the 2008 edition you will find this year’s best recipes equipment reviews and tasting notes. There is step by step instructions and special notes on why each recipe was selected. In other words….It is The Best Of The Best…from the highly rated PBS show. This best seller will be a best gift, too. The Best Of America’s Test Kitchen 2008 for $26.50 at Amazon.com

One ounce tin Spanish saffron

Saffron.…at $85 an ounce, will be like gold to the chef! This 100% pure and Kosher certified Spanish Saffron by The Gathering from Spain makes a luxe gift. It is said that it is the most popular brand used by chef’s worldwide. Your favorite foodie will use it in risotto, stews, ice teas, ice cream and more. Saffron is often a secret ingredient in many recipes. This saffron comes in a fabulous tin that makes it oh so giftable. The tin is perfect for keeping the saffron fresh and will be used long after the spice is gone. A tasty treat of a gift! Found at saharsaffron.com

serving trays + cutting boards

I have many cutting boards and none of them look like these! A chef cooks, cuts, and creates. So give them a creative gift that he or she is sure to use. They are so good looking that they also can be used as a serving tray. Available in cherry, ash, or maple wood, and made from fallen hardware trees in Minnesota. At $36 this is an affordable and beautiful gift from Showlifestyle.com

White - Blistered GlazeOilive Oil Decanter Colors

Any cook worth their salt uses Olive Oil. I know that I would appreciate a good looking decanter for my oils. Created by a California ceramic artist and painter, Jeffery, the Greathouse Decanter Set comes in several bright colors and white. Included for $48, is a matching funnel and spare corks. If you purchase three or more, the price is $42 per set. A good looking gift for any finicky foodie. Available at jeff.twocreators.com

Finding a new cook’s tool is always a fun challenge. Most of us own a bread knife, but mine looks nothing like this! Simon Pearce has designed Handcrafted Bread Knives that are as beautiful as they are functional. made from Cherry and Maple wood they are sure to please the gourmet in your life. $35.00 at SimonPearce.com

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