What do you gift the hostess that actually has the most? Or the pit master plagued by endless seasoning options? When the holidays roll around, it’s easy to revert to old habits and let intentionality wane during the hustle and bustle of years end. As certified gourmands, dedicated drinkers, and those with food always at the forefront of our minds, the Local Palate staff has compiled our top food gifts for the 2024 holiday season.
Each staff member shares food gifts for their loved ones and their hopeful picks for what falls under their own tree. Highlighting our favorite Southern makers and local haunts, this gift guide walks through budget-friendly options, homemade additions, and kitchen staples we wouldn’t live without. From edible to essential, these kitchen tools, snacks, and subscriptions are sure to brighten the holiday season well into the new year.
Our Holiday Gift Guide For Food Lovers
Amber Chase: Digital Editor
What I’m Gifting: Banner Butter Custom 6-Pack
During the holidays, I like to gift something handcrafted for my friends and family, and a common request is one of my milk bread loaves. This year, I’m bringing six loaves and having recipients pick their favorite Banner Butter to pair. I’m partial to the smoked sea salt, but won’t hold judgment.
What’s On My Wishlist: The Cheese Shop NC 6-month Cheese Club Membership
I’m ready to be excited about mail again. I can’t think of anything better than receiving a monthly cheese box, especially during those early winter months. I had the pleasure of trying The Cheese Shop NC’s cheddar box this past month, and was blown away by the selection, complexity of flavors, detailed descriptions, and intentional curation of both cheeses and accompaniments.
Erin Byers Murray: Editor-in-Chief
What I’m Gifting: Woodster Bitters Smoked Orange Bitters
Our house n/a drink is Topo Chico but with a twist: We had about 6-8 drops of bitters into it to make a refreshing aperitivo. A few bottles of Woodster Bitters Smoked Orange Bitters will be going into my husband’s stocking this year.
What’s On My Wishlist: Asheville Tea Company’s Holiday Trio
I love tea—especially during the winter, I often start and end my day with it and love trying out new tea brands and varieties. This year, I’m asking for a selection from Asheville Tea Company, which is a woman-owned business that sources and creates its teas in Western North Carolina. Their Holiday Trio sounds right up my alley.
Joe Spector: Publisher & CEO
What I’m Gifting: Jack Rudy’s Old Fashioned Gift Set
An old fashioned is the perfect cocktail for any season and especially during the holidays. This year I’m giving my good friends each a set (bourbon not included), and hoping that they will invite me over to imbibe.
What’s On My Wishlist: Haand pottery
Amanda Fitzgerald: Director of Sales & Marketing
What I’m Gifting: Murhelvic Woodworks Pecan Wood Cutting Board
The family’s grill expert, my father-in-law, born, raised, and still residing in Charleston, SC, makes the ideal recipient for the Murhelvic Woodworks Pecan Wood Cutting Board. The sentimental story behind the board’s creation is sure to be cherished, and I’m confident it will proudly find a permanent place on the countertop.
What’s On My Wishlist: Estelle Iridescent Wine Stemware Set
Fueling a slight obsession, I proudly display my modest collection of Estelle wine stemware in a glass cabinet, showcasing their unique beauty. The new Iridescent set is capturing my desire to expand my cherished assortment, and I hope I find them wrapped under my tree this year!
Angelique DeClercq: Art Director
What I’m Gifting: DaySol Wanderlust Espresso Blend
To know me is to appreciate my love for coffee, and that is a gift my family and I share. No stocking is complete without it. This year, it’s Wanderlust Espresso Blend. Forget the socks and candy when I can give the power of espresso to get them through the holidays.
What’s On My Wishlist: My Two Souths: Blending the Flavors of India Into a Southern Kitchen
I’m pretty routine with my brought-to-work frozen lunches—it’s always Trader Joe’s Butter Chicken or Tikka Masala. But my weekends are reserved for more adventurous cooking, and I love the challenge of making things from scratch. I’ve had my eye on the cookbook; My Two Souths: Blending the Flavors of India into a Southern Kitchen to experiment with.
Emily Havener: Managing Editor
What I’m Gifting: Sweet’s Elderberry Tincture
Someone in my family has been sick at Christmas every year since 2020, so Sweet’s Daily Defense elderberry tincture is going in everybody’s stocking this year. I also love their elderberry extract in my favorite hot herbal tea.
What’s On My Wishlist: Caitlin Wilson Multicolored Wine Glass Set
I love glassware and have finally found the perfect champagne flutes and martini glasses to round out my collection, but I haven’t bought new wine glasses since I got married. This fun set will look gorgeous in the china cabinet and go great with Graft Wine Shop’s Extra Sauce wine club membership, which I’ve also got on my list!
Maggie Ward: Events & Marketing Manager
What I’m Gifting: Daysol Coffee Lab Barrel Reserve Gift Bottle
I like to stock up on host gifts around the holidays, so I am always prepared for the many gatherings on my calendar. Daysol Coffee Lab’s Barrel Reserve Gift Bottle is the perfect treat to give all my hosts and hostesses this season. They can brew a pick-me-up for after the party or keep it going with a coffee cocktail using Daysol’s coffee aged in bourbon barrels.
What’s On My Wishlist: Graft Wine Shop’s Extra Sauce Wine Club
One of my favorite hangouts in Charleston is the consummately cool, Graft Wine Shop, owned by bev pros Femi Oyediran and Miles White in Charleston. They channel their impeccable taste into their wine club, Extra Sauce, curating 3-4 wine picks for their members every month. Anyone who gifted a month of Extra Sauce to me would be guaranteed to be invited over to share a bottle or two to kick off 2024 right. For your holiday wine recommendations, check out Femi’s Wine Playlist.
Chris Dugas: E-commerce Engagement Manager
What I’m Gifting: Sister’s Sauce Bloody Mary Mix
I love a good Bloody Mary year-round, but something about the holiday’s make them taste even better. I’ve been gifting Sister’s Sauce Bloody Mary Mix since I found it a few years ago, and I’m constantly hearing that it’s the best Bloody Mary Mix the recipient has ever had. Now, I always have a case on hand to use as a quick and easy gift for most anyone on my holiday shopping list.
What’s On My Wishlist: Middleton Made Knives Brew Shucker
Living in Charleston, an oyster knife is a staple in most kitchens, but not all are made equal. Quintin Middleton raised the bar on oyster knives with his new hand-made shucker that doubles as a bottle opener, and it would be the perfect gift to receive to prepare for the January oyster roasts to come.
Brittany Furbee: Associate Editor of Creative Content
What I’m Gifting: Haand 10oz Taper Mug in Concrete
Holiday gifting is something I look forward to every year and, although I always strive to make homemade gifts for my friends and family, time can quickly get away from me (I’m sure many can relate!). This year, I’m keeping things simple yet still handmade by gifting the Haand Taper Mug. Not only is the color gorgeous, but I also love that this mug is the perfect blend of functionality and artistry, giving it that special holiday touch.
What’s On My Wishlist: Grits: A Cultural & Culinary Journey Through the South
Each year my New Year’s resolution is to learn something new in the kitchen. Throughout my travels this year, I have been inspired by the variety of grits I have tasted throughout the south. The book Grits: A Cultural & Culinary Journey Through the South by Erin Byers Murray is the perfect addition to my wishlist so I can learn to recreate those amazing southern flavors at home.
Tate Jacaruso: Associate Editor
What I’m Gifting: Harleston Village Hors D’oeuvres Gift Box
Living in downtown Charleston, I like to give friends and family something that celebrates the local food scene. The pickled okra, praline pecans, and stone ground grits in the Harleston Village Hors D’oeuvres Gift Box are the perfect Southern bites.
Brian LePorte: Advertising Sales Executive
What I’m Gifting: Food for the Southern Soul- Pitmaster Deluxe Gift Box
I am gifting this to some friends this year who love to grill, and smoke anything and everything. With the cold months coming up and football weeks still upon us, this is a perfect gift for any grill master.
What’s On My Wishlist: Jack Rudy Old Fashioned Kit
I am asking for this kit this year because an old fashioned is always my go to drink with the cold weather and sitting by the fire. When you are looking for great ingredients for your Old Fashioned look no further than Jack Rudy!
Olivia Cooper: Digital Marketing Manager
What I’m Gifting
I adore the hunt for the perfect antique find, and this year, I’ve scored a handful of treasures that will hold special meaning for my loved ones. Think vintage vinyl records by their favorite artists, well-loved cookbooks full of retro recipes, and slightly worn, leather-bound editions of their cherished classics. And, of course, one thing I can’t resist adding to my shopping cart – antique Christmas ornaments that will decorate their trees for many festive seasons to come.
What’s On My Wishlist: Middleton Made 8” Chef Knife in Walnut
Despite my lifelong love for all things cooking and baking, not to mention my slightly over-the-top collection of both must-have and probably-don’t-need kitchen tools, I’ve neglected a key player: a top-notch knife set. Big mistake. This year, I’ve got my eye on Middleton Made Knives. These aren’t just your average knives – they’re the epitome of culinary art. Each one, a masterpiece handcrafted by Quintin Middleton himself.
Kara Amoruso: Graphic Designer
What I’m Gifting: Edisto Gold Honey 3-pack
Being a creative person, I tend to usually hand out handmade gifts during the holidays. Yet, when I can’t get around to making those handmade gifts, gifting something locally-made is just as great! So, my family over in the midwest will get to taste what honey harvested from the Lowcountry is like with Edisto Gold Honey.
What’s On My Wishlist: Jack Rudy Weighted Cocktail Shaker Tin
shop our favorite food gifts
Whether you’re an at-home bartender or a seasoned professional, Jack Rudy’s bar tools are a necessary addition to your bar cart. No matter which combination of the jigger, weighted shaker tins, Hawthorne Strainer, or Teardrop Barspoon you choose, you’re sure to see your skills improve.$15.00
Mix and match a set of three flavors of Edisto Gold Honey that is harvested from the Lowcountry shores. Give the sweetest gifts of honey and happiness or stock up. Includes 8-ounce jar of two flavored honey and 11-ounce jar of All-Natural Honey. Flavor options: Lavender, Vanilla, and Pumpkin-Spice. During checkout, add a note telling us which two flavors you'd like us to include.$32.00
Forged out of AEB-L. stainless steel, which is a non-powder stainless steel renowned for its corrosion resistance, hardness, and ease of sharpness, Middleton's 8" Echo Chef Knife is completely handmade with a dymalux handle that is dyed birch veneers. A chef knife is the primary knife used by the chef due to its extra durability and work horse nature for cutting a variety of ingredients.$285.00
Jack Rudy's Old Fashioned Kit includes an 8 oz. bottle of their Demerara Syrup, an 8 oz. jar of their Bourbon Cocktail Cherries, a 1 oz. bottle of their Aromatic Bitters, and a premium Jigger. The Old Fashioned Kit is packed in a black gift box perfect for holiday gift giving, or for stocking your home bar cart.$50.00
A Signed Copy of Grits: A Cultural and Culinary Journey Through the South For food writer and the Local Palate’s editor in chief Erin Byers Murray, grits had always been one of those basic, bland Southern table necessities—something to stick to your ribs or dollop the butter and salt onto. But after hearing a famous chef wax poetic about the terroir of grits, her whole view changed. Suddenly the boring side dish of her youth held importance, nuance, and flavor. Murray decided to do some digging to better understand the fascinating and evolving role of grits in Southern cuisine and culture as well as her own Southern identity. From Murray’s personal journey, comes GRITS: A Cultural and Culinary Journey Through the South (St. Martin’s Press). Murray takes the reader behind the scenes of grits cultivation, visiting local growers, millers, and cooks to better understand the South’s interest in and obsession with this dish. What she discovers, though, is that beyond the culinary significance of grits, the simple staple leads her to complicated and persisting issues of race, gender, and politics.$31.00
Bloody Mary Mix
Sister's Sauce Bloody Mary mix is a true Southern classic that doesn't need any secret ingredients to make it this good. Sister's Sauce uses the highest quality tomato juice, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, horseradish, Tabasco, salt, pepper and garlic salt they can find and finish it off with Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce to produce an extremely delicious mix that you can drink all day.$65.00
Sweet's Daily Defense is a great way to support a healthy immune system. Quick and easy-to-take concentrated elderberry tincture for the entire family! This simple, vegan, alcohol and sugar-free product is perfect: Travel-friendly two-ounce (60 mL) bottle with dropper top. Uses pure clean, organic ingredients. Safe for all ages. Vegan. Serving size: Adults/Big Kids take 2 mL once or twice daily. Babies/little ones take 1 mL once or twice daily. Shake well before use. Consult your healthcare provider before use if you are pregnant or nursing or have a chronic medical condition. Do not exceed suggested usage. Ingredients: Organic elderberry, organic vegetable glycerin, purified water. This product is shelf-stable. Does not require refrigeration after opening. Store away from heat and light.$20.00
Author: Asha Gomez, Martha Hall FooseFrom award-winning chef and restaurateur Asha Gomez comes this collection of recipes that fuse together the Two Souths that are near and dear to her heart: the beloved cuisine of Southern India, and the downhome tastes of the American South.My Two Souths takes you on a culinary journey with Chef Asha Gomez, from her small village in the Kerala region of southern India to her celebrated restaurants in Atlanta, and on into your kitchen. Her singular recipes are rooted in her love of Deep-South cooking, as well as the Southern Indian flavors of her childhood home. Recipes include: Kerala Fried Chicken and Waffles Black Cardamom Smothered Pork Chop Vivid Tomato and Cheese Pie Masala Lamb Burgers with Mint Chutney Three Spice Carrot Cake Written with James-Beard award winning cookbook writer Martha Hall Foose. About the AuthorAsha Gomez is the author of the award-winning cookbook My Two Souths: Blending the Flavors of India into a Southern Kitchen, and runs The Third Space, an Atlanta culinary studio where she hosts her streaming cooking classes and YouTube channel Curry and Cornbread. Asha also works as a Global Ambassador for CARE specifically in the area of food insecurity. She's also involved with the James Beard's Foundation's Chef Boot Camp for Policy Change. Martha Hall Foose is the author of Screen Doors & Sweet Tea: Recipes and Tales of a Southern Cook, the bestselling homage to Southern cooking that won both the James Beard Award for American Cooking and the Southern Independent Booksellers Award. Her other titles include A Southern Course and A Good Meal is Hard to Find: Storied Recipes from the Deep South. She lives in Oxford, Mississippi.$37.00