Staff Picks: What we’re giving this holiday season

‘Tis the season of giving (and getting!) locally grown and made things – and who better to make suggestions than our staff? We asked the team to put together their favourite, locally-crafted holiday gift picks for the foodies in their life. We hope they help you check off everyone on your list – even the not so nice ones. Enjoy!

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REBECCA MACKENZIE

The Gift: anything from Dillon’s Distillery & Cave Springs VQA Wine

The Shop: my local wine bar, Chez Nous

“I am not one to buy ‘things’, rather I prefer to give experiences. In this case – the experience of a create-your-own cocktail. And this is one that keeps giving – at least to the end of the bottle(s). I love VQA wines from Ontario, they’re even more enjoyable when used as a base for a cocktail with some crafted-in-Ontario spirits such as Dillions Distillery Cassis. Top with some sustainably certified Cave Springs Chardonnay Brut, and you have a 100% local Kir Royale! You can pick up both from Chez Nous Wine Bar (Queen East) or buy direct from the wineries and distillery to create a thoughtful, unique gift.”

 

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GATHA PODGORSKI

The Gift: Hand-carved wooden sauce spoons
The Maker: Derek Drewery at Likely General in Roncesvalles Village, Toronto

“If cooking school taught me anything, it’s that you can never have enough wooden spoons. These beautiful handmade spoons are practical works of art! I like that each is unique, just like the friends whose hearts I hope to stir with these one of a kind pieces.”

 

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TREVOR JONAS BENSON

The Gift: A six-pack of Bunny Hug IPA along with a matching Bunny Hug hoodie

The Maker: Marc Bru, Square Timber Brewing Company, Pembroke

“I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Marc through our work with Indigenous Tourism Ontario and now that I’m back living in the Ottawa Valley, I’d love nothing more than to pay it forward to someone in my backyard who’s highly invested in our industry!”

 

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MARTIN LACELLE

The Gift: New Lang Syne Belgian Tripel (wine barrel aged and bottle conditioned)

The Maker: Beau’s Brewery in Vankleek Hill

“An alternative to champagne, we’ve been celebrating the Holidays and New Year with this bubbly wonder since its brewing inception!  Add some always awesomely designed Beau’s apparel like t-shirts, hoodies, caps and others and you’ve got yourself a great locally sourced gift basket for friends and family.”

 

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CAROLINE MORROW

The Gift: Charcuterie Board by David Schonberger
The Maker: Ottercreek Woodworks, Tillsonburg, Oxford County

Pick the colour, grain, and shape that speaks to you most! Each board is one of a kind and made with sustainably sourced, local lumber. Bonus- if you want something a little more hands on, you can sign up for David’s From Tree to Table workshop and learn to make a charcuterie board of your own!”

 

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CAMILO MONTOYA-GUEVARA

The Gift: A Mixed Box of Odile Chocolat

The Maker: Odile in Bathurst & Dundas, Toronto

“I could never resist stopping into Odile’s shop by Bathurst and Dundas to discover what new flavours of ganache and chocolate she had dreamed up in her kitchen! Now that her retail shop is closed, Odile continues to invent and offer her innovative and beautifully crafted chocolates across pop-ups in the city and through her online store. Her creativity, family history, and genuine passion for chocolate are translated in the flavours and care she puts into her craft – what better gift than something truly made with love!”

 

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ROB ELLIOT

The Gift: Hungry Eyes Art Prints

The Maker: Toronto-based illustrator Flo Leung

“Whenever I visit Chinatown, I think of these wonderful bakery treats. Hungry Eyes Studio by Flo Leung makes food-based art prints and a (currently sold-out, but hopefully back soon) book of food illustrations – Hungryish that any local food lover will adore.”

 

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VALERIE KEAST

The Gift: Hand-crafted, nature inspired jewelry

The Maker: Mackenzie Tessa Cameron in Parkdale, Toronto

“Learning more about where our food comes from, and what makes our food systems sustainable, has taught me about the importance of celebrating and preserving nature’s biodiversity. These wearable pieces of art, especially the iconic Bee Collection, are a beautiful expression of that.”

 

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JOHN KEANE

The Gift: Vodkow Cream

The Maker: Dairy Distillery in Almonte, Lanark County

“The ultimate Canadian Spirit for the Holidays. Made with 100% Canadian Dairy and the only spirt to bear the “blue cow” logo, Vodkow Cream can be the star in many delicious holiday cocktails, in your coffee, or on it’s own over ice.”

 

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ZOË GALANIS

The Gift: Large, shallow clay bowls 

The Maker: Caitlin O’Reilly of Cylinder Studio in Picton, Prince Edward County

“It never ceases to amaze me how beautiful dinnerware has this unique ability to transformdaily meals into elevated at-home dining experiences. These Cylinder Studio ceramics are perfect for adding a little pizazz to everyday breakfast, lunch or dinner, and are just as beautiful as they are practical.”

 

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JAMES ARTEAGA

The Gift: Pumpkin Apple Butter 

The Maker: Wellesley Brand Apple Products in the village of Wellesley in Waterloo Region

“Despite being from Waterloo Region, it was only a few years ago that I learned about apple butter and its taste diversity. It wasn’t something I grew up eating coming from a Central American family, but the first time I tried it, I wanted to put it on everything I ate. It was so delicious and was locally made just outside my hometown of Kitchener!”

 

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DINUSHA PRASAD

The Gift: Cotton rope baskets

The Maker: Amy Billinghurst in Collingwood, Simcoe County

“I love gifts that are both useful and beautiful, like these handcrafted baskets by Amy Billinghurst. They are a great storage solution and double up as beautiful, decorative pieces. Amy draws her inspiration from her experience living on the West Coast of British Columbia, and her work reflect the ocean and the organic beauty of the West Coast lansdcape.”

 

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Need more great gift ideas? Check our Holiday Gift Guide!

* Originally published here