7 Curated Tips From Chicago Gifting Experts

Elizabeth Harper | December 15, 2020 | Food & Drink

With the holiday season upon us, lean on these local pros for the best in local gifting—all tied with a bow.

CherryJubileewithChampagne.jpgEli’s Cheesecake’s 40th anniversary dessert tower

1. Eli’s Cheesecake

“For the person who has everything, I always send food. This year, I will send Eli’s Cheesecake’s 40th anniversary dessert tower, which is really the best of everything,” says the storied brand’s Maureen Schulman. “It includes a gorgeous Ruby Jubilee cheesecake, chocolate enrobed Cuties (bite-size original plain cheesecake squares hand-dipped in chocolate and brushed with edible gold dust), and three additional bite-size desserts: seven-layer squares, pecan squares and raspberry macaroon squares.”

ATNAtHomeJosephFrank.jpgAll Together Now at Home with homemade and signature goods, such as cheeses, sweets and cured meats

2. All Together Now

On the gift list of All Together Now co-owner Erin Carlman Weber is All Together Now at Home, “a thoughtful, delicious, cheerful collection of our favorite things. These signature and homemade treats capture the fun-loving feeling of grazing and sharing that we encourage at ATN in a portable, giftable form.”

See also: 20 Virtual And Socially Distanced Events For A Very Merry Chicago Christmas

20191105powbestowal01Angie.jpgBestowal’s Angie gift box with The Big Book of Chic and an Apotheke binchotan charcoal candle

3. Bestowal

“My favorite gifts for the holidays are the Angie, John and Julie,” says Bestowal founder Chloe Reaumond of her curated packages. “The gifts I love to give aren’t holiday-themed. They are always something I know the person will enjoy for some time. Whether it’s a candle that will fill the room with a beautiful scent, the perfect coffee-table book to browse on a Sunday afternoon or a cheese board great for entertaining, these three packages have a little bit of everything for anyone.

goodamblersandynoto15.jpg
Snag a holiday chocolate box from Good Ambler’s Fulton Market shop.

4. Good Ambler

For the holidays, Good Ambler executive pastry chef Kevin McCormick says, “I always like to gift an unexpected and indulgent treat. The Gateaux Voyage, a dense cake designed for travel, makes a great gift for a party host or your favorite couple. They come in a variety of flavors, but the pistachio raspberry also has those festive holiday colors going for it. And if you really want to wow someone, give them gourmet chocolates from Good Ambler. Our holiday chocolate boxes are customizable, so you can fill them with an assortment of beautiful bonbons and truffles made from scratch.”

See also: Modern Luxury Holiday Gift Guide 2020

DSC018802.jpgWinter Spice and Spiced Apple from Simplicité Syrup

5. Simplicité Syrup

“All of our syrups make it easy to make simple yet flavorful cocktails, giving you the opportunity to curate your own experience,” says queen of at-home cocktails Revae Schneider. The founder of RS Collective and creator of Simplicité Syrup’s go-to festive advice? “I love sending friends and family our Winter Spice Simplicité Syrup for their home bar! It’s perfect to use as we transition into colder temperatures for warming up that boozy apple cider or adding the extra finesse to your Old Fashioned.”

VioletHour411164572rt23JA8C.jpgTVH+ cocktail modifier from The Violet Hour

6. The Violet Hour

On the beverage front, The Violet Hour managing partner Eden Laurin has the gifting scoop. “For the home bartender, social distancing entertainer, solo cocktail partaker or even cook who might like to sip as they season, TVH+ Old Fashioned mix is the perfect gift. TVH+ is a nonalcoholic cocktail modifier featuring bittered demerara and made from all-natural ingredients including wormwood, orange peel, cassia bark, and Madagascar and Tahitian vanillas. It can be combined with any base spirit for a riff on the classic Old Fashioned, or shaken with your favorite citrus for a refreshing drink.”

TovalaOvenSalmonDish3J60M.jpgA salmon dish from meal delivery service Tovala

7. Tovala

“Even if you have everything, we could all use the gift of time,” says Tovala founder and CEO David Rabie. “Because Tovala does the cooking for you by pairing a smart oven with a meal delivery service, it eliminates the need to grocery shop, prep and cook—you can enjoy a delicious meal and savor the extra time you’ve saved.”



Photography by: From top: Peter McCullough; Joseph Frank; Reakt; courtesy of Sandy Noto; courtesy of RS Collective; courtesy of Paul Strabbing; Audrey Ma