food and travel holiday gift ideas © Will Travel for Food

Food and travel holiday gift guide {photo © Tony Webster}

Are you wondering what to get that special food and travel lover on your list? Below are some of my favourite gifts to give and to receive. I hope this list inspires you to give the gift of food and travel this year. And speaking of giving, I am also including a giveaway to thank you all for reading and being there all year long. Details at the end of this list!


best food box delivery © Will Travel for Food

Great gourmet food baskets that will delight any food lover on your list {photos courtesy of Lufa Farms, Food Trip To, Mixit & Foodie Pages}

Offering a weekly basket of fresh vegetables, great cereal or international food specialties for a few weeks or a year is a great way of nourishing loved ones.

Lufa Farms
I have been a fan of Lufa Farms since day one. I believe it’s a brilliant idea to farm our city’s rooftops and provide fresh vegetables to residents all year round. Trust me, there is nothing like the smell of a fresh tomato in the middle of January. Lufa’s Marketplace allows you to choose from their own grown vegetables as well as other local specialties such as pantry items, prepared foods, dairy, snacks, meat, fish, bread, drinks and more.

I love granola. In fact, I make a fresh batch every week, or at least I used to. Mixit is a service that allows you to design your own mix by choosing a grain, dried fruit, nuts and seeds and send everything in a gorgeous box to a lucky recipient.

Food Trip To
Subscribe to Food Trip To and receive your monthly box containing specialty items, a musical list, a video, recipes and more of that month’s destination country for you to discover. Food and travel in the same box: my kind of gift!

Foodie Pages
Each monthly box contains “5-8 packaged foods and entertaining essentials from small-batch Canadian producers”. It’s a great way to discover some of Canada’s best gourmet products.



Do you have someone on your list who loves to eat well but is too busy to cook? There are so many services out there to help us eat well on a daily basis but here are my favourites.

I rely on Antoine au quotidien on a quotidien (daily) basis. I have been a loyal subscriber to this food delivery service for a while now. Antoine sends you his weekly menu, you choose what you want and send it back before Friday night and the food is delivered to your office or home with heating instructions on Monday so you can enjoy it all week. It’s so easy and delicious, I can’t live without my Antoine anymore!

Miss Fresh is a great new service that’s made for people who like to cook but don’t have time to shop. The box you’re sent is filled with pre-measured ingredients and recipes. The weekly recipes are varied and each one takes about 30 minutes to prepare.



best food magazines 2015 © Will Travel for Food

These independent food & travel magazines make great gifts

There are so many independent magazines out there worth checking out. They might be a bit pricier than your average store-bought ones and make great gifts that keep on giving all year long. These are some of the ones I’m subscribed to:

Drift: a great magazine featuring two of  favourite subjects: coffee and travel. Each issue is dedicated to one city (New York, Tokyo and Havana so far) and the pursuit of caffeine-filled bliss.

Lucky Peach: This is one of the very first independent food magazines and it remains one of the best. The monthly issues explore specific themes with intelligent yet wacky and creative  illustrations, articles and photos.

Fool: This made-in-Sweden magazine is on the cutting edge of the international food scene and always features some of the most avant garde movers and shakers.

Cereal: Beware that reading Cereal will give you some serious wanderlust! The minimalists-tyle might not be everyone’s cup of tea but the exclusive stories and great writing are undeniably addictive.

Ambrosia: This new magazine goes on a discovery of a specific region (the first issue is all about Baja, Mexico) through its culinary culture. It’s filled with beautiful photography, enticing stories and delicious recipes.

Caribou: Quebec-based Caribou is essentially the best French magazine featuring and highlighting today’s food scene, chefs and purveyors in Quebec.



best cookbooks of 2015 © Will Travel for Food

Some of my favourite 2015 cookbooks

Gifting a cookbook or a book on travel is one of my favourite things to do (and one of my favourite gifts to receive). Here are some of my favourite books published this year.

Montreal Cooks: A Tasting Menu from the City’s Leading Chefs
Jonathan Cheung and Tays Spencer / Figure 1 Publishing
A beautiful collection of 80 recipes by 40 of Montreal’s best chefs. The recipes are geared towards the home cook and the holidays are the perfect time to try some of them out.

Brown Eggs and Jam Jars
Aimee Wimbush-Bourque / Penguin Canada
If you follow Aimee on her wildly successful blog Simple Bites then you know that this lady and mom of three young kids is one of the most talented people on the internet. Her book is a reflection of her brilliant homestead and filled with beautiful stories and recipes.

Seven Spoons
Tara O’Brady / Appetite by Random House
Tara is the author behind the brilliant Seven Spoons blog and her first cookbook is just as brilliant and filled with beautiful photography, warm spices and unique recipes.

True North
Derek Dammann & Chris Johns / HarperCollins Publishers
A great book about Canadian cuisine from one of the country’s top chefs. Derek Damman’s indisputable culinary talent shines through in this book that is a homage to this big country of ours and its unique products and food purveyors.

Lima cookbook: Peruvian Home Cooking
Virgilio Martinez & Luciana Bianchi / Mitchell Beazley
Maybe it’s because I just got back from Peru or because I have been a fan of Peruvian cuisine for a while  or maybe it’s because I had a great meal at Central in Lima and this book hails from Central’s chef Virgilio Martinez, but this book would make me happy and I’m sure it would make someone on your list happy too.

For more book ideas, check out my previous reviews and gift ideas. All these books are available on Amazon or your favourite, local independent bookstore.



Love these airport code gadget gifts from Airportag.

Personalized cell phone cases from Casetify for the web addicted one on your list.

Great Montreal-flavoured knick knacks from Main and Local.

Coffee is always a nice gift and a bag or two by Dispatch Coffee or Café Barista–two of Montreal’s homegrown roasters–make great stocking stuffers (imagine how nice those stockings will smell!)

A panettone from Hof Kelsten has come to symbolize the holidays for me in the past couple of years, simply because it tastes like heaven I always love sharing with friends and family. Order yours or you risk missing out!

Head over to Epicerie Fardoche and fill up on excellent Société Orignal products (the Balconville apple vinegar and the Volte Face sunflower oil are musts!) and other locally sourced food and artisanal items.

I received a huge basket from Cidrerie Du Minot filled with their still, sparkling and ice ciders and I was so impressed! Each cider is uniquely fragrant and their new branding is so festive! I will definitely be gifting some of these as hostess gifts during the holidays and popping a few corks at home as well.

If you have a bit of time before the holiday season, think of putting together personalized books, prints, cards or calendars with your photos or those taken by the person you intend to give them to with Artifact Uprising. Their “Instagram Friendly Books” are especially nice for the Instagram addict in your life.  The quality is impeccable and it makes for a unique gift.

Moleskine has a great collection of notebooks and sketch pads which are the perfect accessories for well seasoned travellers. They also make beautiful city guides, planners and accessories.

Do you have an Anthony Bourdain fan on your list? His Parts Unknown DVDs are available on Amazon and make great stocking stuffers and provide hours of food and travel fun.

If you ever come across Miels d’Anicet products, buy a jar. They make by far the best honey in the province. The bees are part of their family and their passion is palpable. They just started making exquisite beauty products with the beeswax. The Anicet family published a fascinating book Miel a few years ago that I definitely recommend (in French).

Preservation Society is my favourite small-batch preserves maker in Montreal. The pink grapefruit and honey marmalade is one I always have in my fridge. Camilla’s workshops and book also make great gifts, as do her Caesar celery, perfect for that holiday brunch you’re hosting or attending.

Chocolate is always a great gift idea, don’t you agree? My favourite Montreal chocolate makers are Christophe MorelLes chocolats de Chloé and Palette de Bine, one of the only bean to bar makers in Quebec.


saisons montreal dinner club © Will Travel for Food

Dessert being plated at the last SAISONS event {photo © Vadim Daniel}

Gift the food lover on your list with a night out on the town with a gift certificate to your favourite restaurant or theirs or a new one they can discover. Take them on a trip of Turkish, Greek, Thai or Peruvian food or on a culinary tour of their own region. Montreal has great restaurants and most of them sell gift certificates.

If I may allow myself some self promotion here, I believe tickets to a SAISONS event might be the best gift for a food lover who enjoys experiencing a unique and intimate dinner. If you don’t already know, SAISONS is my latest project. It’s a collection of curated gatherings staged in unique surroundings and headlining Montreal-based chefs working with seasonal and regional ingredients with the express mission of promoting our distinctive Quebec cuisine. We’ve already had our first event last fall (check out the photos on our Facebook page) and the next event is scheduled for February 8th, 2016 with chef Jonathan Lapierre-Rehayem or restaurant Laloux. There are only 5 tickets left. Book yours today!



To thank you all for being such loyal readers and in the spirit of giving this holiday season, I am giving away a basket full of my favourite things:

There are several easy ways for you to participate…

Leave me a comment here and tell me what your favourite food or travel related gift to give away is OR…

Like my Facebook page and leave me a comment there OR…

Follow me on Twitter and tweet me OR…

Follow me on Instagram and leave a comment on the contest post I’ll put up.

Also, share this with your friends so they can share the goodies with you if they win!

The contest ends on December 17, 2015 at 12am EST. I will randomly draw the name of a winner on December 18, 2015 EST and will announce it on my Facebook page and my Twitter account so keep an eye on those spaces.


  • This contest is open to residents of Quebec, mainly because all the prizes that I’m giving away are here in Montreal. If you live elsewhere and you still want to participate, you will have to plan a trip to Montreal to collect your prize!
  • I will not mail this prize, the winner will have to pick it up from me or from an agreed-upon location in Montreal.
  • You have to be 18 years and older to participate.

Good luck to you all!

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