Gift Guide: For the Foodie

What to get the food lover on your Christmas list.
A box of dark-chocolate truffles, made with a blend of European and Hawai‘i chocolate at Choco Le‘a in Mānoa, is the perfect gift for the chocolate lover on your list.
Photo: Courtesy of Choco Le‘a


You know those foodies. They can be hard to please. But here are some gift ideas for any food-loving friend on your Christmas list this year.



Choco le‘a, an artisan chocolatier in Mānoa, has something for every chocolate lover. The boutique has solid dark-chocolate pieces, truffles, Oreos and fruits dipped in chocolate, chocolate-covered macadamia nuts and more. Everyday truffle flavors include Kona coffee, salted caramel—my favorite!—cayenne pepper, lychee liqueur, Kula black raspberry, Guinness beer and liliko‘i. Rotating flavors have included ice wine, orange vodka, haupia, cookie butter, strawberry mochi and locally made cheesecake. Plus, you can get a complimentary egg nog truffle—for you!—with every purchase.

Choco le‘a, 2909 Lowrey Ave., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Christmas Eve. 371-2234.



Trays of fresh eggs from Petersons’ Upland Farm in Wahiawā.
Photo: Courtesy of Petersons’ Upland Farm


What could be better than farm-fresh eggs? Buy a dozen for your favorite baker on your list from Petersons’ Upland Farm in Wahiawā. The cost for a tray of 30 medium-size brown eggs is $8.75—a deal, considering the cost of eggs these days. The farm is open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Or if you live on the Windward side, head to KK’s Poultry Farm in Waimānalo. Medium-size eggs here are $8.25 for a tray, $3.50 for a dozen. Right now, the farm is offering a special: two trays for $10. It’s open from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Get there early to either farm; eggs tend to sell out around lunchtime.

Petersons’ Upland Farm., 141 Dole Road, Wahiawā, 621-6619. KK’s Poultry Farm, 41-656 Kakaina St., Waimānalo, 259-7832.



Inside the Local Inside CSA, a thoughtful gift for the cook in your life.
Photo: Courtesy of Local Inside


What cook wouldn’t love a box of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs delivered to your doorstep? Today, there are several CSA (community-supported agriculture) programs around the state, each working with local farmers and food producers to offer fresh, sustainable ingredients every week.


Local Inside, part of the Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation, delivers fresh, seasonal veggies in an insulated bag, which includes a cooler pack to keep produce cool. A recipe from a local restaurant is included every month, too. This program offers weekly and every-other-week delivery options at various pickup locations around O‘ahu. A small bag ($25) feeds two to four people, a large bag ($30) feeds up to six. Holiday specials available.


Local I‘a, the first community-supported fishery business in Hawai‘i, provides fresh, sustainably sourced seafood such as he‘e (octopus), ta‘ape (blueline snapper), ‘opelu (mackerel scad)—all caught or raised locally—in its CSA. It’s part of a program with Conservation International and funded by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Fisheries Innovation Fund. Choose from Kau Share (four to five servings) at $25 or ‘Ohana Share (eight to nine servings) at $40 with several O‘ahu pickup locations.


Fresh Box, created by chef Will Chen, ingeniously combines enough fresh ingredients to make three meals—and includes recipes. Each box cost $90 ($72 right now online), delivered once a week on O‘ahu only.



The Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival cookbook showcases recipes from 31 festival participants.
Photo: Courtesy of the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival


Love to cook, but love cookbooks even more? There are tons of great cookbooks out this year, including chef Peter Merriman’s first, Merriman’s Hawai‘i, The Chef, The Farmer, The Food, The Islands ($39.95), which features recipes for some of his most popular dishes, including miso-steamed clams, pork adobo and Monkeypod Kitchen’s strawberry cream pie. (Read our story on Merriman here.) Another great choice is the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival’s Taste Our Love for the Land ($30), which takes you on a culinary journey through the eyes and palates of the 31 chefs who have participated in the festival for the past five years. Both cookbooks have a similar message: Let’s bring sustainability back to the Islands.

Purchase Merriman’s cookbook at his restaurants or online here. Get free shipping when you order the HFWF cookbook this month with the promo code LIVING808 at



Produced on the slopes of Haleakalā on Maui, this sparkling wine is sure to please the wine lover on your Christmas list.
Photo: Catherine Toth Fox


If you haven’t tried the vints from MauiWine at ‘Ulupalakua Ranch in awhile, you should. Because a lot has changed. Take, for example, the Lokelani. This bubbly rosé, produced in the traditional Methode Champenoise right on the slopes of Haleakalā, has nuances of fresh raspberries and orange blossom. And you can’t beat the price, either, at $28 online.



The ‘Ono Holiday box from Hello Makana makes a great gift for the foodie who lives abroad.
Photo: Courtesy of Hello Makana


Skip the long lines at the post office and send a box of local goodies sure to please any far-flung foodie. Hello Makana packs and sends out specialty care packages full of Hawai‘i-made items to your family and friends around the world. The ‘Ono Holiday box ($49) features sea-salt macadamia nuts from Ahualoa Farms, dark-chocolate-dipped pinepple slices by Choco le‘a, white-ginger biscotti from Ko Bakery, Kona Gold Rum Co.’s macadamia nut liliko‘i rum cake and a locally crafted sea-salt dark-chocolate bar from Mānoa Chocolate.