Gift ideas for those who love to cook, bake and eat


Chocolates from Compartés

Chocolate meets art at Compartés, where truffles feature vibrant designs and the chocolate bar packaging is as fun as the flavors inside, such as Blonde Bombshell (strawberry Champagne dark chocolate). Visit the flagship at Westfield Century City, its store in Brentwood or shop online. Holiday truffles 20-piece collection $59.95, chocolate bars $9.95 to $11.95.

Charcuterie from Gwen

Step inside Curtis Stone’s meat-forward fine dining restaurant and the first thing you’ll encounter is the butcher shop. Give the staff a price point and they’ll help put together a selection of charcuterie. Don’t miss the $8 jar of ‘nduja, a spicy spreadable pork. Prices vary.

Crack pie from Milk Bar

Skip the pumpkin and upgrade to Milk Bar’s crack pie, a sinfully sweet and rich sugary confection with a toasted oat crust. Christina Tosi’s L.A. flagship opened in September, with the baker’s signature cookies, cakes and soft serve also available at the Melrose Avenue shop. Order online for pickup in store or just walk in. $46.

Cheese bouquet from DTLA Cheese

The cheese mongers at this Grand Central Market stall will put together a baguette, a selection of cheeses and butter, and wrap it with tulle to look like a bouquet. Call the morning of to request one. Starts at $50.

Crusoe spiced rum

Crusoe spiced rum from Greenbar DistilleryGreenbar makes all of its spirits, except for tequila, at its Arts District distillery. Grab a bottle of Crusoe spiced rum, great for adding a boozy splash to your favorite holiday drinks. Visit the distillery to buy and for tastings and tours; its products are also sold at retail stores. $32.99.

Olive oil from Gjusta
(Andrea Chang / Los Angeles Times)

Olive oil from Gjusta

Chef Travis Lett’s perennially packed Gjusta in Venice boasts a sizable marketplace with takeaway jams, housemade hot sauces and nut butters. The marinated olive oil is made with chili, garlic and herbs and bottled in pretty, hipster-approved apothecary-style jars. $13.50.

Coffee from Go Get ‘Em Tiger

Small coffee shop chain Go Get ‘Em Tiger began roasting in-house last summer and now sells its whole beans in stylish pastel bags. Locations on Larchmont, Los Feliz, Highland Park and the Arts District; also sold at sister coffee shop G&B in Grand Central Market. Bag of coffee beans, $17 and up.

Habanero hot sauce from Playa Provisions

Spice up the holidays with something other than a pumpkin spice latte. Playa Provisions in Playa Del Rey makes a thick housemade hot sauce with a bright orange hue thanks to the inclusion of carrots; other ingredients include habanero, garlic, salt, thyme, all-spice, mustard seeds and cloves. $9.

Pickles from Banh Oui

Longtime pop-up Banh Oui finally has a standalone restaurant in Hollywood, where it serves modern takes on banh mi and other Vietnamese eats. Its crunchy, tart bread and butter pickles are sold in the grab 'n’ go case as well as its pickled Fresno chilis with shallots. $6 each.

DKAs from Dominique Ansel

Dominique Ansel’s famous cronut needs to be consumed within hours of purchase, but the DKAs — his take on the kouign-amann — have a better shelf life. The bakery at the Grove sells them individually or in a box of four. Box of four DKAs: $23.

Laura Ann’s jams

Whether you’re looking for the perfect topping for a batch of fresh biscuits or considering items to accompany a cheese platter, Laura Ann’s jams are always handy to have on hand. A former punk rock drummer turned artisanal jam-maker, Laura Ann Masura is known for her creatively flavored jams — flavors include everything from bourbon blood orange marmalade to wild blueberry almond — originally inspired by farmers markets and trips to area farms. A four-pack gift box contains your choice of flavors along with a handwritten note. $35.

Spice Station infused sugars set

Please the sweet tooth in your life with a set of infused sugars, perfect for everything from flavoring coffee to incorporating in scones, cookies or topping a deep-dish pie. Made from raw sugar cane, the set includes nine naturally-infused flavors with flavor possibilities including ginger, wild blueberry, raspberry, vanilla bean, clove, toasted coconut, dark cocoa, espresso and strawberry sugars (alternate flavors include cinnamon, habanero, salty-caramel and sweet onion sugars). $50.

Mixing pour bowl

Based in East Los Angeles and inspired by his rustic Vermont heritage, Sheldon Ceramics is a pottery studio run by ceramicist Peter Sheldon. Among the many distinctive handmade pieces, Sheldon offers a stoneware clay mixing bowl perfect for everyday use or display and measuring 10.3 inches in diameter and are 4.25 inches high. $165.

French rolling pins

In 2011, Los Angeles-based craftsman Ryan Silverman and former chef Eileen O’Dea formed the Wooden Palate, focused on creating luxury heirloom pieces for the kitchen. Their French rolling pins are hand turned and shaped from a solid block of reclaimed Atlantic City Boardwalk South American hardwood. Beautiful enough to display, they’re perfect to use for everything from cookies to pizza to pie. $55.

Duff’s Cakemix

Express your creativity decorating cakes and cupcakes like a pro at celebrity baker and Food Network star Duff Goldman's ("Ace of Cakes") shops in Los Angeles, Pasadena and Tarzana. Treat the adult — or child — baker in your life to a sweet design experience including cake or cupcakes, design tools, toppings and expert guidance. $40 and up.

Hipcooks cooking class

Hipcooks offers classes in everything from dim sum to sushi, to pasta and Thai. And you can attend a class in West or East L.A., Woodland Hills, Orange County and San Diego. $75.

Hedley & Bennett Vans x HB apron

If you're a cook in Los Angeles, you should have a Hedley & Bennet apron. And the L.A.-based brand has a stellar apron made in collaboration with local company Vans. $85.

Celebrity spatulas

No Kid Hungry chef spatulas features spatulas designed by L.A.’s Gwen Stefani, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and more. And we all Know all cooks need a dependable spatula. Why not buy one for a good cause? Proceeds from the No Kid Hungry spatulas benefit the organization. $13.95.

Neighborhood cutting board

You can customize this tempered glass cutting board to showcase any L.A. neighborhood for an extra special touch of home in the kitchen. $50.

The sky’s the limit

Surfas is a cook's L.A. playground that offers everything from giant sheet pans to piping bags and stock pots. Your wallet decides the price.

Serving platter

All the ceramic work from Knotwork is made by Los Angeles freelance industrial designer Linda Hsiao, who creates small ceramic and wood work. Her rainbow oval serving platter is the perfect gift for your favorite host or hostess. $240.

Tote it all

Whether you’re going to the farmers market or Whole Foods, everyone needs a dependable tote bag. This Rewilder Cornerstone tote is made from 100% salvaged beer filter cloth and climbing ropes from local gyms. And the brand makes everything at its studio in Los Angeles. $128.

Food crawl in L.A.

Give the gift of a food tour of some of L.A.'s hottest neighborhoods. It will be delicious inspiration for any cook. $75.


Every Los Angeles cook should own a comal. It's the best way to make tortillas and blister chiles for all those taco parties in your future. $19.99.

Bamboo steamer basket

This steamer is designed to be used with a wok. So you can re-create your favorite dumplings and rice from the San Gabriel Valley at home. $29.95.

Mochi ice cream kit

For the baker who has not forayed into mochi making, UCSB alum Carley Sheehy’s DIY Mochi Ice Cream Kit introduces the process and includes basic ingredients, tools and instructions (ice cream not included). There are options for two colors, and you choose your own favorite ice cream. $30.

Exotic fruits

Do you know a baker looking to expand their repertoire of fruit tarts and pies? Vernon-based Melissa’s Produce offers a subscription service of exotic fruits. The 12-month option includes a Melissa’s Deluxe Exotic and Tropical Fruit Basket as the selection for the first month. Each following month features a seasonal item. $123.95 for a three-month subscription.

Pure chocolate

In Culver City, artisan chocolate maker Patricia Tsai stone-grinds cacao beans the way the Mayans and Aztecs did it more than 2000 years ago. Pure chocolate for baking (or eating or drinking) is available in bars, nibs or powder and is dairy-, soy- and additive-free. Bars start at $8.

Learn something new

Feed someone’s inner baker with a class at Santa Monica’s Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories. Topics such as breads, cake decorating, macarons and pies are addressed in single classes or as part of a series. Professional level classes are available as well. Gift certificates — for any amount you choose — never expire. Three-hour classes start at $85.

Daily bread

For your friend the bread baker, the Ultimate Bread Baker gift basket from Pasadena-based artisanal millers Grist & Toll comes with three seasonal bread flours, a dough whisk, a banneton, a flour sack and a lame for scoring as well as three bread recipes — in case your bread baker friend doesn’t have enough recipes of their own. $100.

Raw honey

For someone who prefers to bake with honey, Downey-based Honey Pacifica offers raw, unheated, unfiltered and unprocessed honey in floral varietals and flavors. The honey is hand packed into glass jars. Honeycomb is available as well. Choose from variety of gift packs and sample sets. $8 and up.

A la mode

Dish up your freshly made ice cream with a one-of-a-kind scoop that sports a unique handle, hand-crafted in West L.A. by native Angelino, Keven Brooks. Each handle is individually fashioned from acrylic, resin or hardwood harvested from eco-friendly forests and can be detached from the stainless-steel scooper for easy cleaning. $50 for this Purpleheart ice cream scoop.