5 Virtual Food Experience Gifts to Give Foodies and Home Chefs

Bump recipient's kitchen skills up a notch with culinary experiences from these small businesses.

Save yourself the hassle of mailing gifts to friends and family this year and find a food experience to give. For every home chef or food lover on your list, there's an event to excite their palate and give them something fun to look forward to. Here are six curated food experiences from small businesses around the country that you can give as gifts and will transcend Christmas Day.

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For the Aspiring Chef

Restaurant-quality risotto or coq au vin that would make Julia Child cry (happy tears) aren't pipe dreams for CocuSocial's Master Series graduates. With this in-person or virtual experience, you cook alongside Michelin-starred or James Beard-winning chefs. Send a gift card for the recipient to book the class(es) that most appeal. They'll need to supply their own ingredients for a recipe shared beforehand, but the chefs will answer any questions live during the class.

For the Sweets Lover with Food Allergies

You might not have otherwise visited Goldenrod Pastries in Lincoln, Nebraska, but now that this inclusive, dairy-free (and 95% gluten-free) bakery is offering food experiences, you can gift one—and hopefully enjoy the fruits of your recipient's learnings in the class—to friends and family. For $150, owner Angela Garbacz offers private virtual classes where she teaches all the secrets to treats like her famous gluten-free cinnamon rolls, pound cake, or cut-out cookies. A gift includes the class plus a copy of her 2020 cookbook, Perfectly Golden ($19, Amazon).

For the Chocoholic

Candy in a stocking is always sweet, but there's much more you can give to any loved one who's passionate about chocolate: For instance, a hands-on lesson ($99) about bean-to-bar and a special tasting session from Caputo's, a family-owned specialty grocery shop in downtown Salt Lake City. CEO Matt Caputo's passion for craft chocolate shines through in each course he leads, which cover topics you might have never considered (such as what kinds of cheese pair well with chocolate?) and chocolate basics.

Choose the "gift this class" option, and the recipient will receive a tasting kit at their door (the most challenging part will be holding off nibbles until the course date). Be sure the recipient is available on the class date before you gift this experience.

For the Southerner at Heart

If they can't travel to Charleston for one of the namesake baked goods at Callie's Hot Little Biscuit, bring Charleston to them. Carrie Morey, owner of the now-legendary shop on Upper King Street (plus locations in Charleston's City Market, as well as Charlotte and Atlanta), is now offering virtual biscuit-making classes ($95) that provide all the tools to make two dozen perfect Southern biscuits. When you gift a food experience, the recipient will receive two bags of biscuit mix—in classic buttermilk or gluten-free—and a complete set of biscuit cutters, in addition to a Zoom meeting on the selected date. Here's hoping that, as the gifter, you'll be invited over to sample the flaky goods.

For the Frequent Flyer

When Washington state-based boutique travel company The Table Less Traveled could no longer do in-person tours during the pandemic, it shifted to hosting virtual food lessons inspired by its trips to Italy, Peru, Japan, and beyond. It continued virtual classes, even as travel resumed. All sessions are limited to 15 people, so guests have time to interact with the chef (they'll need to source and measure ingredients in advance, then follow along on-screen). Download a Christmas voucher you can put beneath the tree, then let your recipient choose their desired class and complete the purchase.

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