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holiday gift guide: gifts for the foodie by christopher elbow

Ampersand Design Studio

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Let me just introduce our fourth gift guide with a little story of our love for Christopher Elbow Chocolates. When Morgan and I worked at Hallmark, there was a phase (I won't disclose how long this phase lasted) during which we would walk across the street every day to the candy counter at Halls (a department store here in Kansas City) to satisfy our craving for his Fleur de Sel Turtles. We were addicted (and still are, let's be serious). Chris is a true artist (the image of his chocolates above speaks for itself). Last year, he gave us one more reason to love living and eating in Kansas City when he opened his glacé artisan ice cream shops (if you've been following the blog for awhile, you might remember this post about it). Chris is not only the ultimate foodie, he is a genuinely nice guy to boot! And now, on to Chris' great ideas for your own foodie...
From Chris:
Being foodies, we love to send (and receive....hint, hint!) specialty food's from around the country and world to friends and family for holiday gifts.  Here are a few that we order from regularly:
 
Katz's Deli, NY-Pastrami!!!!  You can get it whole or sliced (I prefer the whole and steam it for a couple hours, it becomes super tender).  It comes with a loaf of rye bread, pickles and mustard.  It is the best pastrami ever! www.katzsdelicatessen.com
La Tienda:  Spanish Specialites including the famous Iberico Ham, great Chorizo and traditional seafoods packed in olive oil.  www.tienda.com
Lou Malnati's Pizza, Chicago:  If you are a fan of Chicago style deep dish pizza (and don't live in Chicago), then this will give you your fix.  I usually prefer thin, NY style pizza but Lou Malnati's is my favorite Chicago style pizza.  You can order all the different combinations and they arrive frozen.  They actually bake up very well in your oven.  The sausage is my favorite!  www.loumalnatis.com
Jack Stack, KC:  If you live in KC, what better to send to your friends and family than Kansas City BBQ.  I have sent ribs and brisket to people accross the country and it is always a huge hit.
D'Artagnan:  If you want to serve something extravagant, or give a gift for the serious foodie, look no further.  D'Artagnan carries pates, fois grois and truffles among other things.  They have been a long time supplier to 4-star restaurants across the country and now you can get the same products delivered directly to your home!  www.dartagnan.com.
Salumi Cured Meats, Seattle: For the best artisan cured salamis and meats, this place is the way to go.  The salami's are made by Mario Batali's father, Armando Batali with traditional family recipes.  My favorite, the Finocchiona, is spiced with cracked fennel, black pepper, and a touch of curry. Also great is the Mole, uniquely spiced with chocolate, cinnamon, ancho and chipotle peppers.  These are great to slice thin and put out before your holiday meal with cheeses and olives.  www.salumicuredmeats.com
Of course I can't not include Christopher Elbow Chocolates.  A box of our chocolates makes the perfect gift for the person who has everything!  We can ship them anywhere in the US. www.elbowchocolates.com.