Shop Holiday 2013: Gifts for chefs

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Everyone likes to eat, but for some, cooking and/or dining is a passion.

Here are some food-related gifts for the eaters and cooks on your holiday shopping list.

• La Chamba, Colombia, has long been famous for its handmade pottery. This 4¼-quart black clay Dutch oven, available at Annex Cookery in Homestead, contains no toxins or lead (it's unglazed) and can go from the oven, microwave or stovetop directly to the table. Plus, it's gorgeous. $75.

• Pittsburgh has so many great restaurants, but eating out can really put a hole in your bank account. Help your favorite foodie save with City Dining Cards. Each deck contains 50 cards from local restaurants that give a $10 discount off food purchases of $30 or more. $20 at Welcome Pittsburgh, Fifth Avenue Place, Downtown, other local retailers and citydiningcards.com.


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• Fabulous food calls for an equally pretty display. With its ruby-red winter scene, Juliska's stoneware Country Estate Winter Holiday Platter is perfect for holiday entertaining. Plus, it's oven-, microwave- and dishwasher-safe. $185 at Glassworks, 5418 Walnut St., Shadyside.

• Home brewing is old news, but have you ever thought about making a small batch of gin at home? It's easy as pie with a bottle of vodka and the Homemade Gin Kit ($49.95). The box contains everything the amateur mixologist needs: a rich blend of juniper berries, mixed spices and botanicals, bottles, strainer, funnel and detailed instructions. Available at homemadegin.com.

• Teach a loved one to cook, and he/she will eat well for a lifetime -- and perhaps also feed you their culinary creations. Crate in Scott offers a variety of cooking classes with national and regional chefs, from Asian dumplings to French basics to Italian desserts. $30 and up; for a complete schedule, visit cratecook.com.

• Spicy food is hotter than ever, thanks to America's obsession with chile peppers. Kickstarter success story Tongue Spank offers a set of five spices guaranteed to set your mouth on fire. The boxed collection runs $40 for five 2-ounce bottles ($25 for four spices), and you also can order a sampler packet for as little as $2. https://tonguespank-spice-company.myshopify.com/.

• Marry your love for cooking outdoors and the best hockey team in America with a Pittsburgh Penguins Sportula. These heavy-duty grilling utensils are crafted of stainless steel with hard maple handles. And how convenient is that bottle opener on the end? $24.99 for a single spatula or $49.95 for a three-piece barbecue set at amazon.com

• Ever thought, "Dang, that was good!" "Cook's One Line a Day" (Chronicle Books, $16.95) makes it easy for food lovers to log (and revisit) their favorite culinary experiences -- recipe, cocktail or restaurant meal -- every day for five years. Available at Urban Outfitters at Southside Works, and at amazon.com.


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