THE FOODIE FILES: Gifts for a Foodie

By on December 22, 2015

Shop around town for crave-worthy, delicious, last-minute gifts.

Top left: Christian Burch of Mountain Dandy with his line of Alex Marshall serving pieces. Bottom left: Food Lit at the Valley Bookstore; every foodie needs ‘The Food Lover’s Companion.’ Right: General Manager Sean Walsh is one of the friendly faces at Local Butcher, our new downtown butcher shop and foodie heaven. (Photo: annie fenn, md)

Top left: Christian Burch of Mountain Dandy with his line of Alex Marshall serving pieces. Bottom left: Food Lit at the Valley Bookstore; every foodie needs ‘The Food Lover’s Companion.’ Right: General Manager Sean Walsh is one of the friendly faces at Local Butcher, our new downtown butcher shop and foodie heaven. (Photo: annie fenn, md)

Jackson, WY – I’m sure you had good intentions to do all your holiday shopping last week. But all that snow drifting down from the sky made it hard to stay focused, didn’t it? If you’re not done Christmas shopping by now, it’s crunch time.

For the foodies on your list — those obsessed with enjoying, cooking and learning about food — I can help. You won’t have to sacrifice a powder day to plow through that shopping list. While you were out skiing, I scoured the town for the most unique, crave-worthy gifts that any foodie would love. And this time of year isn’t everyone a foodie?

Mountain Dandy bowls and more

People who love to cook can never have enough serving bowls. The Alex Marshall ceramics at Mountain Dandy are beautifully functional with distinct asymmetrical architecture, cool hues and glazes, and modern yet rustic lines. Choose the small and medium sized bowls ($56 and $76) for someone who loves serving home-cooked dishes family style — I reach for mine every day.

Mountain Dandy also has a great selection of hardwood cutting boards, serving trays, resin ice buckets, elk antler corkscrews and pizza cutters. Know someone who needs encouragement to do the dishes? Whiskey-scented dish soap is the answer ($16). Mountain Dandy is located in Gaslight Alley. Open Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day.

Delicious Reads at the Valley Bookstore

Most foodies I know are passionate cookbook collectors — they pore over them for inspiration, read them like novels and can never have enough. “Cookbooks are the comfort food of the culinary world,” said Steve Ashley, owner of the Valley Bookstore, Jackson’s beloved independent book merchant. A food enthusiast himself, Ashley has cookbooks in stock that you just can’t find by browsing Amazon.

My most recent Valley Bookstore discovery makes the perfect cookbook gift for a mountain town foodie — “Winter Cabin Cooking: Dumplings, fondue, strudel, glühwein and other fireside treats,” by Lizzie Kamenetzky, ($24.95). Set in the high-mountain ski towns of central Europe, this gorgeous book makes me want to cozy up by the fire while a tartiflette — an iconic mountain dish of potatoes, bacon and Reblochon cheese — bubbles away in the oven. It has me intent on mastering the perfect fondue for an après ski gathering, while plotting my next trip to the Dolomites.

Ashley’s current favorite cookbook? “Genius Recipes: 100 recipes that will change the way you cook,” by Kristen Gilmore and the food hub website Food52.com ($35). I agree with Ashley. I’ve been cooking through my copy all year. This curated collection has all the best recipes for just about everything — from classic guacamole to kale salad to Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce with butter and onion. It’s like having a recipe box with a card from every luminary in the food world: Barbara Kafka, Marion Cunningham, Alice Waters, James Beard, Yotam Ottolenghi and more. It’s the perfect book for both novice and seasoned cooks.

Don’t miss the Food Lit section at the Valley Bookstore for memoirs, food writing anthologies and many more delicious reads. Every foodie’s bookshelf should have a copy of “The Food Lover’s Companion” by Herbst and Herbst, now out in paperback. The Valley Bookstore is located in Gaslight Alley and will be open Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day.

Lodge Cast Iron Pans at Big R Ranch and Home Store

Generations of cooks swear by the nonstick surface of cast iron cookware. With proper care and seasoning, these pans are destined to become family heirlooms. My kids already have their sights set on my biggest Lodge frying pan — the first pan I reach for each morning and the best $30 investment I ever made in the kitchen. It’s perfect for frying up eggs, potatoes and breakfast sausage. I love it for baking a blueberry crisp, a batch of scones and a giant chocolate chip cookie. Hefty and indestructible, it’s a real American classic.

I also love the small Lodge frying pan ($16.95) and the scone pan ($20.95). Big R Ranch and Home Store has hard-to-find Lodge cast iron lids that will turn your pan into a Dutch oven for campfire cooking next summer.

For the foodie on your list who loves to pickle and can, check out Big R’s selection of Ball mason jars and canning accessories. Big R Ranch and Home is located on 1220 Meadowlark Lane and is open Christmas Eve until 4 pm, closed Christmas Day.

Truffles from the Meeteetse Chocolatier

With all the talented chocolatiers in this town, it’s not hard to find a gift for the chocoholic on your list. For handmade chocolates with a sense of place, check out the new guy: Tim Kellogg of Meeteetse Chocolatier. Kellogg has been making his uniquely Western chocolates for more than a decade, but he just opened a shop in Jackson. His more boozy truffles are flavored with Wyoming Whiskey, Zonker Stout and Pako’s IPA. Kellogg uses all natural ingredients, sourced locally, to make his own flavor tinctures for the prickly pear cactus fruit, huckleberry, sage and sarsaparilla truffles. Business has been brisk, especially since The New York Times came to Meeteetse to visit Kellogg’s shop, calling him the “Frontier Chocolatier” and featuring him in a slide show on its website (check it out in the Times archives). On the day I visited Kellogg’s tiny shop on Broadway, he’d been pretty much cleaned out of truffles. With limited hours in the Jackson shop, you may have to wait until after Christmas to gift these exquisite chocolates. Just tell that chocoholic on your list that it will be worth the wait. A truffle six-pack costs $12 and is meant to be eaten within five days. No problem there. Meeteetse Chocolatier is located on Broadway across from the Elk’s Lodge. Open the Sunday after Christmas and through the New Year.

Top left: How about a boxed set of Rocq macarons from Jackson Whole Grocer for that gluten-free sweet tooth? Bottom left: For the farmers market fanatic, gift a winter CSA share from Roots Kitchen and Cannery. Middle: Bakery manager Jenn Beastrom is baking up holiday magic at the Grocer. Right: Steve Ashley, owner of the Valley Bookstore, with his current cookbook crush. (Photo: annie fenn, md)

Top left: How about a boxed set of Rocq macarons from Jackson Whole Grocer for that gluten-free sweet tooth? Bottom left: For the farmers market fanatic, gift a winter CSA share from Roots Kitchen and Cannery. Middle: Bakery manager Jenn Beastrom is baking up holiday magic at the Grocer. Right: Steve Ashley, owner of the Valley Bookstore, with his current cookbook crush. (Photo: annie fenn, md)

Holiday treats from Jackson Whole Grocer’s Bakery

Walking into the bakery department at Jackson Whole Grocer during the holidays takes me back to the small-town New York, Italian bakeries of my youth. After meeting bakery manager Jennifer Beastrom, now I know why. Beastrom grew up in Saratoga Springs, New York, in a family of Polish and French bakers. The youngest of six children, she remembers placing doilies on cakes when she was barely old enough to reach the counter. Since taking over the Whole Grocer bakery department earlier this year, Beastrom is infusing the place with the old world traditions she grew up with. The results are magical — crispy cannoli filled with sweet ricotta, flawless flourless chocolate cakes, adorable 6-inch tiramisu cakes and spectacular Grand Teton chocolate mousse filled pastries, to name a few. Everything is made in house from natural ingredients. Everything, that is, but the full line of Rocq macarons imported from French chef Eddy Rocq in California — a box of these would make a perfect gift for the gluten-free foodie on your list. I also love the full line of gluten-free baked goods, the holiday sugar cookies and the almond cookies — just like the amaretti I grew up with. My favorite gift from the Whole Grocer, however, is the pre-fab gingerbread house with a large tube of frosting for $19.99. Decorate your house by taking home some bulk candies and you have a great gift for kids of all ages. Jackson Whole Grocer is located at 1155 South Highway 89. Open until 9 pm Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day.

Roots Kitchen and Cannery

If you frequent the farmers markets, you’ve surely met Orion Bellorado and Willi Brooks of Roots Kitchen and Cannery. Starting out as the “Guys Selling Pies,” they now have expanded their line of foods to include vegetable pickles, fruit jams, chutney, sauerkraut, hot sauce, quiches, meat pies and more. Everyone knows that there’s nothing a foodie loves more than scoring homemade, locally sourced, unique farmers market finds. Roots Kitchen is offering a winter CSA share that makes the ultimate foodie gift. Every two weeks, shareholders receive a selection from its line of homemade goods — like the addictive blueberry lavender jam, curried carrot pickles and pumpkin pie syrup. Other goodies include freshly milled flour, ready-made meals, fresh roasted coffee beans and handmade pastas. My first share even included a bottle of Niner Olio Nuovo olive oil, a limited edition first press olive oil from the Niner family in California. Items can be purchased individually — a boxed set of jams makes a nice gift — or through the CSA program, starting at $180 for the season. Pickup is at the Center for the Arts every two weeks. Contact Roots at [email protected] or call Orion at 690-4634.

Local Butcher

Stepping into the newest butcher shop in town is like walking into foodie heaven. Local Butcher, owned by chefs Paul Wireman and Will Bradof, of Trio An American Bistro and Local Restaurant and Bar, is an outpost for the chefs’ unique brand of Jackson Hole cuisine. You’ll find Trio’s famous BLT Soup in the freezer, along with chef-made caramelized onions, foie mousse with figs, and veal and chicken stocks. In the pantry, locals who know and love former Jackson chef Tamalpais Star will be thrilled to see her Bunches and Bunches line of foods — mole and chili sauces, Cloud Cookies and Snaps. Local executive chef Mike Christie created the delicatessen menu of grab and go sandwiches and salads, like the duck confit salad he serves at Local. And Christie’s meat counter is fun and ecletic, with some hard-to-find items like duck breasts, duck confit, pheasant sausage and house-made hot dogs. I couldn’t resist taking home a few packages of huckleberry maple sausage — some to give away and some to keep for Christmas morning. Lockhart Cattle Company beef is for sale in the meat case and reclaimed wood from the ranch lines the walls. Local Butcher strives to source everything locally and regionally. Let the staff help you put together custom small or large foodie gift baskets. Local Butcher is located at 50 West Deloney Street. Open until 7 pm on Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day. PJH

After delivering babies and practicing gynecology for 20 years in Jackson, Annie traded her life as a doctor to pursue her other passion: writing about food, health, sustainability and the local food scene. Follow her snippets of mountain life, with recipes, at www.jacksonholefoodie.com and on Instagram @jacksonholefoodie.

Comments

comments


About Annie Fenn, MD

After delivering babies and practicing gynecology for 20 years in Jackson, Annie traded her life as a doctor to pursue her other passion: writing about food, health, sustainability and the local food scene. Follow her snippets of mountain life, with recipes, at www.jacksonholefoodie.com and on Instagram @jacksonholefoodie.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login