Know a foodie? Here are 9 holiday gift ideas for your favorite connoisseur of cuisine

CINCINNATI - It’s not easy shopping for a foodie. Just when you think you’ve nailed that perfect gift, he or she moves on to the next new thing. Fret no more: here are 9 gift ideas that are sure to impress even the hard-to-please food connoisseur in your life.

1. Gift card for Salazar Restaurant

This is the hot ticket this holiday season. Jose Salazar's much-anticipated namesake restaurant opens this week in Over-the-Rhine. Salazar, the former executive chef at The Palace restaurant, focuses on farm-inspired, seasonal food with an unmistakable touch of sophistication.  Your discerning gastronome will love Salazar's gift cards, and in turn, love you for it. 

Price: Varies.
How to get it:  Call (513) 621-7000 for information

2. Butcher Betties

What do you call a seasoned chef with a lifelong passion for butchery and a deep love for retro Hollywood glamour?  A Butcher Bettie, of course. Allison Simpson Hines, a local chef and butcher-in-training, recently launched her Butcher Betties enterprise which features meat-centric gourmet food items. 

How about some Lady Bacon Marmalade or Piggy Dust?  

Price: Starts at $7.00.
How to get it: Call (859) 486-9129 or go to Butcher Betties website

3. "Inked" 2014 Calendar

How would you like the year-round company of beautifully inked and talented local chefs, and support a wonderful cause? Get the good-looking 2014 calendar of tattooed chefs through {513}eats, a local food and lifestyle magazine. 

All proceeds go toward the de Cavel Family SIDS Foundation. 

Price: $39.95
How to get it: Go to 513{eats} website

4. Gift card for Via Vite Restaurant

If your epicure loves Fountain Square and modern Italian cuisine, they will be sure to gobble up Via Vite's gift cards. The view from the outdoor piazza is hard to beat.

If you really want to impress, book a spot--or two--for Via Vite's VIP New Year's Eve celebration. Cristian Pietoso, chef and owner of Via Vite, is having an exclusive dinner party on the heated, tent-covered piazza. 

Price: Gift cards start at $25.00. New Year's Eve Party $95/person.
How to get one: Call (513) 721-8483 or go to Via Vite's website

5.  Jiro Dreams of Sushi DVD

This captivating film tells the story of Jiro Ono, a 85-year-old sushi chef who owns a 3-Michelin-star restaurant in Tokyo's subway station. Ono, considered by many to be the world's best sushi chef, has achieved cult-like status amongst his peers. Many famous chefs, including Anthony Bourdain, have made the pilgrimage to experience Ono's food. 

Price: $12.49
How to get it: Go to Amazon.com

6. Green B.E.A.N. Delivery

If having local, organic and seasonal food delivered to the front door is your foodie's idea of heaven, take a look at Green B.E.A.N. Delivery. The online grocery store that buys locally from its extensive network of farmers and artisans. The company offers gift cards which can go toward fully-customizable produce bins. 

Price: Starts at $35.00
How to get it: Call (513) 761-2326 or go to Green B.E.A.N. Delivery's website

7. Roy Choi's Memoir: "L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food"

Choi, a classically trained chef turned food truck king in Los Angeles, reflects on his food and unlikely success in this fascinatingly gritty book. Choi is the chef and proprietor of the landmark Korean Barbeque Taco food truck, Kogi BBQ. 

Many credit Choi for dropping a "flavor bomb" from which the food industry has never quite recovered --in a very good way. 

Price: $18.96
How to get it: Go to Amazon.com

8. Cooking classes

If your favorite foodie has always wanted to cook in a commercial kitchen, then consider the gift of a hands-on cooking class. Here are three to consider:

You can learn from your favorite local restaurant chef in one of MCI's fully equipped commercial kitchens. The classes are hands-on, so be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get to work. 

Price: Prices vary
How to get it: Visit the website for the class of your choice (see above)

9. Gift card for Taste of Belgium, Short Vine

If you've ever had Jean-Francois Flechet's real Belgian waffle, you have likely dreamt about having more.  For a limited time, Flechet, the owner of Taste of Belgium, is offering 33 percent off of gift cards for its new Short Vine location.

The restaurant serves lunch, brunch and dinner. It offers an extensive beer selection, with a focus on Belgian, Belgian-style and local beer. 

Price: $20 (for $30 value)
How to get it: Go to Taste of Belgium Special Offer website

*Note: WCPO Contributor Grace Yek is a faculty member at MCI. You can connect with her on Twitter: @Grace_Yek

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