In terrible news for procrastinators, Christmas is only a few days away. In better news, here are a few last-minute gift ideas from some of Houston's best culinary minds. These chefs fully embrace the "local" mantra, so many of these items, from fancy men's clothing to slick piggy lardo are made right here in Houston. Good luck, godspeed.
Jody Stevens, custom cake baker extraordinaire: Swing by 13 Celsius and have one of their expertly trained staff help you select the perfect bottle (or better yet: bottles) of vino for your friends and family.
David Buehrer, aka Greenway Barista: Help the man in your life show some style with a Houston-made shirt from Hamilton's.
Jean Phillipe Gaston, sous chef at Haven: Spoil your loved ones by arranging for a local chef to come to your home and cook an exquisite tasting menu. Many chefs are happy to book such parties. Try contacting them at their restaurants during an off hour.
Seth Siegel-Gardner, partner/chef of Pilot Light Restaurant Group: You can find everything from hostess gifts to stocking stuffers (or full-blown gift baskets) of local goodies at Revival Market. This was actually suggested by many other chefs around town too. Of course, if you're shopping for Chef Siegel-Gardner, I'm sure he'd love a nice lemon tree.
Philip Speer, a Houston native that's found his way back via the upcoming Uchi Houston: Go to Revival Market, but instead of the gift basket, wrap up a pound of their lardo. It's sure to make angels sing Christmas morning. "The pigs are fed a very special diet before they're butchered and cured in-house. It's the best lardo I've ever had" says Speer.
Jonathan Jones, chef at El Xuco Xicana and Beavers: You can stock your loved one's pantries with bourbon cajeta from Blue Heron Farm, Jurassic salt from Galveston, and Worcestershire sauce from Grateful Bread. Satisfy a sweet tooth with some fluffernutters by Top Chef Rebecca Masson (available at Revival Market) or a gift card to the Eatsie Boys Ice Cream truck to help your friends and family through the hot Houston summer.
Not sure what to get your favorite chef? Try filling up a growler with a local brew from a place like Petrol Station. Chefs like their stockings stuffed... with beer. -- Alvin Schultz
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