Food Gifts from the Local Palate Team

  • , by Hannah Lee Leidy
  • 8 min reading time

It’s no secret that we’re pretty food focused at the Local Palate: Most of our conversations revolve around what we cooked last night, what restaurant we’re visiting this week, how long do collards REALLY take to cook, where to get lunch…you get the idea. The holidays are no exception. When this time of year rolls around, we reflect on the snacks, specialty ingredients, cooking tools, and host accessories that excited us throughout the year—the ones that remind us of the friends and family who love food almost as much as we do. Here, the TLP team shares the food gifts they’re giving loved ones this season. And, of course, the ones they hope to receive themselves.

The Food Gifts Our Team is Giving

Laurel Bryant, digital marketing manager

8-inch echo chefs knife

Gift I’m Giving: Middleton Made 8-inch Echo Chefs Knife 

My family is full of home chefs so Quintin Middleton’s collection of handmade knives has me covered. Plus, I love being able to give small-craft, Southern-made gifts to my family across the country.

Wishlist: Ooni Fyra Pizza Oven

At my house, this year has been all about the backyard—collecting patio furniture, planting flower beds, stringing up an absurd amount of globe lights, etc. The final piece of the puzzle? An outdoor pizza oven, of course. I love this one because it’s lightweight, so I can make wood-fired pizza anywhere. Mmmm.

Maggie Ward, marketing and events manager

Gearhearts Chocolate Southern sampler

Gift I’m giving: Hosting Essentials

The holiday party calendar is booking up, so I’m stocking up on host gifts that impress and earn me the next invite no matter my behavior. I’ll do a big order from the Local Palate Marketplace for every type of occasion, including The Southern Entertainer’s Cookbook for my supreme hostesses, Jack Rudy Old Fashioned Cocktail Kits for my men behind the bar, and beautifully adorned boxes of Gearharts Chocolates to have on hand at a moment’s notice. 

Three oysters from Rappahannock Oyster Co are a food gift we'd love to receive

Wishlist: Rappahannock Oyster Co. Oyster Starter Pack

I’m hoping for a sack of oysters over a stocking full of coal this year. Rappahannock Oyster Co. ships all the essentials to my door for the perfect excuse for a happy hour fête.

Emily Havener, managing editor

Clark + Hopkins Virginia Hot Sauce

Gift I’m giving: Clark + Hopkins Hot Sauce

There’s a flavor for everyone in my family, and I love the association with different locations around the world. (I’ll be getting the Virginia for myself.)

Birdie's Classic Pimento Cheese is one of the Food gifts we'd love to receive

Wishlist: Birdie’s Pimento Cheese

There’s nothing more decadent than receiving something you can technically make at home but that’s already premade with a little something extra special.


Courtney Ormon, sales and marketing specialist

Arke Carbonator Pro

Gift I’m giving: Aarke Carbonator 

This year, I am surprising my boyfriend with an Aarke Carbonator (basically a fancy Soda Stream). We’re both major seltzer drinkers, and we love the idea of helping the planet out and saving money on canned seltzers.

Rialto Old Fashioned Glasses in Safrron

Wishlist: Gorgeous Glassware 

I’d love to receive these Rialto Old Fashioned Glasses. I think they are so chic and the perfect gift for anyone hosting. The saffron color is my favorite. 

Chris Dugas, e-commerce engagement manager

Colts Chocolate Salted Caramel Gooey Butter Bars are definitely on our list of food

Gift I’m giving: Colts Chocolates 

I plan to use Colts Chocolates as my one-stop-shop for giving this year. Whether it’s their White Chocolate Pecan Pie or Salted Caramel Gooey Butter Bar, you can’t go wrong with homemade desserts.

Smithey's Ironware Cast Iron Skillet is one of the food gifts we'd like to receive


Wishlist: Smithey’s Cast-Iron Pan 

If I had to put one thing on my Christmas list, it would be a Smithey’s cast-iron pan. They’re a workhorse in the kitchen, last forever, and look beautiful on the stovetop. 

 Brian LePorte, advertising sales executive

Whole chocolate fudge pie

Gift I’m giving: Grandma’s Fudge Pie

I plan to give a fudge pie: it’s my grandmother’s recipe from 1958. It’s delicious fresh and almost better the next day paired with coffee for breakfast.

Jack Rudy Jack Pack is one of the food gifts we hope to receive


Wishlist: Jack Pack 

This is a perfect gift for creating tasty and fun cocktails for holiday parties and nights out by a fire.

Angelique DeClerq, art director

Colts Chocolate Chess Pie is one of the food gifts we hope to receive

Gift I’m giving: Homemade treats

I literally cannot show up to any party around the holidays without my dark chocolate truffle-like toffee and almond bite-sized brownies

Wishlist: Colts Chocolates Chess Pie 

I will be your new forever BFF if you gave me a gooey, rich Colts Chocolates Chess Pie. I LOVE THEM!!!!

Erin Byers Murray, editor in chief

Proper Sake Diplomat is one of the food gifts we're giving this year

Gift I’m giving: The Diplomat Junmai Sake 

More people need to know about Proper Sake, which is one of just a few US sake brewers that’s based in Nashville. This year, I plan to hand out bottles of The Diplomat Junmai sake as I make my holiday party rounds. 

Yeti M20 Cooler Backpack in blue

Wishlist: Yeti’s M20 Soft Backpack Cooler 

We’re big fans of all things Yeti in our house, so this past summer when my sister showed up at the beach with Yeti’s M20 Soft Backpack Cooler, I immediately put one on my wish list. (Hope you’re reading this, Santa.)

Joe Spector, publisher and CEO

AR's Hot Hot Honey is one of the food gifts we hope to receive

Gift I’m giving: AR’s Hot-Hot Southern Honey

It’s the perfect blend of honey with a sweet heat kick. I like to add it to a pizza, breakfast sandwich, or fried chicken.

Curate Cookbook is one of the food gifts we'd love to receive

Wishlist: Cúrate Cookbook 

I’d like to receive Katie Button’s Cúrate cookbook. It features authentic Spanish food from an American kitchen.

Hannah Lee Leidy, Digital Editor

Hubs Trio Gift Pack is a Gift We'd Like to Receive

Gift I’m giving: Hubs Gift Trio

My family lives in eastern North Carolina, right on the edge of Virginia peanut country. That means a tin of locally grown peanuts is a prized item during the holidays (and, honestly, every time of year). I’ll be gifting this collection which offers crunchy, jumbo nuts to accompany cocktail hour or premium desk snacking.

Wishlist: What’s For Dessert by Claire Saffitz

It’s only two years old, but Claire Saffitz’s Dessert Person is my most used and trusted cookbook—I find flour dusting the pages whenever I crack it open. Her newest book just came out, and I can’t wait to try my hand at batches of cocoa-chestnut brownies, strawberry ricotta cheesecake, and caramel peanut popcorn balls. 


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