Holiday Gift Guide from the Hopper


The Blue Fox tablehopper t-shirt.


Cooking with Rosetta. Photo: ©


Leading Between the Vines DVD.


Laudemio olive oil.


The winter lineup of new bkr colors.


Screenshot from Panna.

If you’re at all like me, you have probably procrastinated on finishing up your holiday shopping. (I’m just so good at it!) Just in case you still need to buy a few presents, here are a few ideas from yours truly.

First, of course, I am going to plug my line of tablehopper T-shirts with vintage San Francisco restaurant and bar graphics. There are five in all, whether you want to go classic with the Blue Fox or sassy with Players Club or boozy with Tippy’s (yeah, these shirts are also good for your favorite booze lovers too). They’re all printed on quality cotton shirts that have a nice fit and they’re supersoft. Tees are $25, and the Blue Fox hoodie is $45 (it’s really plush). You can order online, or even better, this week you can swing by The New Black in the Mission, where they are available from 10am-6pm through Saturday (along with a bunch of treats from other local vendors!).

You worried that your favorite gourmand already has everything they need in their kitchen? Concerned that you’ll buy them the wrong kind of mandoline? Why not get them a spot in a class? You can go Italian with a wonderful cooking class from Rosetta Costantino, or a cheese class at The Cheese School, or a butchery class with 4505 Meats, or even a walking tour with Edible Excursions, or a membership at 18 Reasons.

You have a total wine lover in your life? Well, they’d probably be thrilled with a copy of the brand-new film by Terry Theise and the folks at Farm+Cellar, Leading Between the Vines. It’s a heartfelt and visually gorgeous look at German riesling and some of the families who produce it. It can be preordered now for $19.99, and will be available on Amazon and later for online download (December 21st).

One of my favorite things about this season is the new-harvest olive oils that are now just in from California and Italy. From Italy, there’s liquid gold from Capezzana and Laudemio (it’s gorgeous), or the piquant olio verde from Gianfranco Becchina from Sicily. Domestically I’ve enjoyed the discovery of the smooth Arbequina from Séka Hills (it’s made in the Capay Valley by Native Americans), and of course, there’s olio nuovo from McEvoy Ranch and DaVero. You can find a lot of these quality olive oils at Bi-Rite Market, Cheese Plus (check out their olio nuovo notes here), Rainbow Grocery, Andronico’s, Bryan’s, and in the East Bay, head to Market Hall.

I was gifted a bkr water bottle, and now I can’t stop using it (I also can’t stop doing Beaker imitations). I love having a glass bottle to drink from instead of plastic or metal. I dig the bright colors it comes in. The 16-ounce size is just right for a workout or short road trips. And the spongy silicone exterior keeps it from getting broken (mine has survived numerous mornings in my gym bag with my hand weights). Say “buh-bye” to plastic bottles. $28.

Did you miss your shipping delivery window? Don’t want to get 50 feet within the post office? I feel ya. For the techie in your life, you can get them a few different iPad subscriptions, like Panna, a new video cooking magazine with master chefs like Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer (Canal House Cooking), Anita Lo (Annisa), Nancy Silverton (Osteria Mozza), Michael Tusk (Cotogna, Quince), and Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto). There are six issues in the first year released bimonthly, each containing 13 seasonal 10-minute video recipes. Through December 31st, a subscription is on sale for $14.99 ($24.95 after January 1, 2013), or you can buy individual issues.

A tablehopper reader pointed me to this article about another digital cookbook, This Is a Cookbook, by brothers Max and Eli Sussman (who work at Roberta’s and Mile End in Brooklyn). Reports are good.

I love physically handling a book (hello, like the GORGEOUS Japanese Farm Food), but sometimes the digital format offers more opportunities than print, like this e-book: Tables from the Rubble. You can read more on SFoodie, but in short, this is an in-depth look at some of our treasured restaurants in SF that opened after the 1906 quake, like Swan and Liguria Bakery—there are lots of images, stories, menu, videos, and more. Oh yeah, and recipes!

If you’re looking for a little treat for yourself, you can pick up a signed copy of my book or my late-night dining app!

Happy holidays to you!