Countdown to Christmas Part 1 - Great gifts for food-lovers

t’s almost Christmas and no doubt you still have a way to go on your gift list.

Here’s a little help for the home cooks and restaurant-goers in your life.

p.s. Stay tuned - more gift ideas to follow tomorrow.

1. Meal experience

It doesn’t get much more memorable than Beast’s whole animal dinner, Kamayan "Hand-to-Mouth" meal at Lamesa, or a cooking class at a Toronto restaurant.

2. Cookbooks by Toronto chefs

Recreating restaurant-worthy fare at home is easy with pro cookbooks such as One Pot Italian: More Than 85 Easy, Authentic Recipes by Massimo Capra of the soon-to-be open Capra's Kitchen or At Home with Lynn Crawford: 200 Of My Favorite Easy Recipes, where Ruby Watchco's co-owner and chef shares her best-loved dishes.

Goodness: Recipes & Stories by the Neal Brothers includes a number of Canadian chefs and food fighters, and Butter: A Rich History by Elaine Khosrova includes quintessential butter recipes such as classic poundcake, and flaky pastry dough – two ways.

And for those that like to tipple, A Field Guide to Canadian Cocktails by Victoria Walsh & Scott McCallum is a fun history lesson that you may or may not remember by morning.

3. Kitchen tools

What’s old is new again, so go ahead and gift pasta makers, fondue sets and pressure cookers. Want something more on trend? A spiralizer, iPad or tablet stand for the kitchen, or Chemex coffeemaker ought to do it.

Looking for something on a smaller scale? A French, ball or coil whisk offers versatility, a high heat spatula helps make the perfect omelette (it’s Anthony Bourdain's tool of choice), and for the BBQ aficionado - mesquite, hickory, apple, cherry, maple or cedar wood chips.

4. Baller drinks

If money is no object, the most expensive scotch (Glenfiddich 40-Year-Old Rare Collection Single Malt - $9,639.95), champagne (Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne 2004 -$11,500) or red wine (Château Pétrus 1998 - $6,279) ensure will ensure an epic holiday season.

5. A meal at their favourite restaurant

Food shared with family and friends is one of the greatest gifts. Taking someone out to their favourite spot or introducing them to something new, is a great way to spend time together and create memories to last a lifetime.