Metro Pulse Gift Guide for the Fearless Foodie in Your Life

Fearless Foodie

You know the one—always in front of the stove or brandishing the tongs or lemon butter behind the grill, who was watching Iron Chef before it was set in America. Won’t part with the family baklava recipe, would run back into a burning house to save his knives. Has at least one multi-star restaurant on speed dial, but also knows where to find the town’s best corn dog. This guy wants gadgets, fine dining, and gourmet goodies—and he’s in luck with these tasteful options.

Carpe Librum Smokehouse ham, book

Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, & Scuppernong Wine by Joseph E. Dabney $28.95

CARPE LIBRUM BOOKSELLERS 5113A Kingston Pike, 588-8080, carpelibrum.booksense.com

Billed as “The folklore and art of Southern Appalachian cooking,” this big, fat cookbook is celebrating its 10th anniversary and once won the James Beard Cookbook of the Year Award. Your guy will probably care more about its style, though—it’s got top-drawer, step-by-step procedures for any regional dish, from Dried Apple Stack Pie to moonshine, along with heaping helpings of the history of old-timey dishes, pithy quotes, and introductions to dozens of legendary country cooks. Never mind that there are only four mentions of Knoxville in the 400+ pages—it’s got a whole chapter on the art of biscuits and that more than makes up for the slight.

Gourmet's Market olive oil

2008 Olio Verde Novello $39

GOURMET'S MARKET 5107 Kingston Pike at Mohican St., 584-8739

All the rage with progressive home chefs, this “new” olive oil hails from Western Sicily. Its vibrant green color and piquant, zesty, creamy flavor are the result of its October 2008 harvest—no time to settle into mediocrity.

Mast General Store cornbread mold

Lodge Logic Fish Pattern Cornbread Cast Iron $18

MAST GENERAL STORE 402 S Gay St., 546-1336, maststoreonline.com

When you’re serious about cornbread, you’ve got to cook it in cast iron, and this pan will yield cornsticks that are perfect as an accompaniment to fresh-caught trout or grilled vegetables and buttermilk. And your fellow foodies can try it out at Christmas dinner, given that it’s already preseasoned.

South's Finest Chocolate Christmas apples

Deluxe Christmas Apples $18

SOUTH'S FINEST CHOCOLATE (A) 8078 Kingston Pike, 690-5454. (B) 1060 World’s Fair Park Blvd., 522-2049, chocolatelovers.com

It happens just once a year. Deluxe apple time means the South’s Finest Chocolate is dipping the biggest, best apples in handmade caramel, then rolling them in your choice of nuts, dipping them in chocolate and drizzling them with white chocolate. A foodie could share this with eight others... and Santa might like it instead of those tired old cookies and milk, too.

Gift Certificate to the Orangery

THE ORANGERY RESTAURANT 5412 Kingston Pike, 588-2964, theorangeryrestaurant.com

A splash of Europe right in the midst of Bearden, the Orangery is always right for the discriminating diner. Your pampered foodie can enjoy classic French cuisine there, or another inspired international cuisine, all enhanced with a wine list that rates Wine Spectator’s Best of Excellence Award. Specialties include Veal Porterhouse, Prime New York Strip, Buffalo with Caramelized Shallots, and Elk Chop with Vegetable Puree.

Stuff those stockings