LAS VEGAS ( TheStreet) -- Looking for the perfect gift for the aspiring chef in your life? If your resolution includes learning to cook from your culinary idols or mixing cocktails with tools from one of the pioneering and leading bar professionals in the world, read on. TravelsinTaste has compiled its list of foodie and wine lover stocking stuffers for your gifting pleasure.
In recent years Las Vegas has become arguably the best restaurant city in the world, and the chefs on the Las Vegas Strip represent a veritable who's who of the culinary universe. The 2013 edition of Eating Las Vegas: The 50 Essential Restaurants compiles the opinions of the city's three most respected critics (John Curtas, Max Jacobson and Al Mancini) to create a reference book of everything from beer to buffets and from Sunday brunch to sushi, and it makes for the perfect foodie stocking stuffer.
Do you have an aspiring chef in your midst? Passionate food lovers can cook side by side with David Bouley, Cesare Casella, Marc Forgione, Shaun Hergatt, Jamie Kennedy, Michael Lomonaco, Seamus Mullen, Marc Murphy, Michael Psilakis, Alain Sailhac, Andre Soltner, Christina Tosi and many others at the fifth annual New York Culinary Experience. Enjoy an intimate weekend of hands-on master cooking classes, cooking and conversation. The weekend includes all classes, breakfast, lunch and a cocktail/wine reception each day.
For your favorite would-be mixologist, what about Tony Abou-Ganim's signature branded line of bar tools? The Modern Mixologist is widely regarded as one of the pioneering and leading bar professionals in the world. He has made countless national TV appearances, Is the author of The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails, has won two Iron Chef America competitions -- pairing cocktails with Mario Batali in Battle Mango and in Battle Tequila and Tortillas with Jose Garces. The perfect gift to create the perfect cocktail can be bought at The Modern Mixologist. To enhance the gift, why not try some of the world's first platinum extra-anejo tequila, Qui Tequila, combining the flavor, aroma and smoothness of ultra-aged tequila with the approachability of a clear tequila?For your wine lover, Purlieu, the new winery based in Napa Valley's up-and-coming Coombsville AVA, produces three wines perfect for the holiday table: its flagship Purlieu 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and two wines from its sister label, Le Pich 2011 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and Le Pich 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The winemaking team includes Julien Fayard (formerly of Quintessa and Chateau Lafite-Rothschild) and renowned vineyard manager Steve Matthiasson. Additionally, Doug Shafer's recently released book, A Vineyard in Napa, tells the story of one of America's most respected vineyards, Shafer Vineyards, and how it came about after his father bought the property in 1973 with no knowledge of winemaking. For the chocolate lover: Jean Philippe Patisserie's incredible Christmas creations at Aria Resort & Casino and Bellagio are crafted from the finest European chocolate. Award-winning pastry chef Jean-Philippe Maury's indulgent works of art, such as the Cherubic Santa and Praline Christmas Tree, will melt hearts and satisfy all decadent wintertime desires and can be bought here. Additionally, Armani Dolci is brightening up this holiday season with an impressive range of 24 pralines and Italian holiday sweet breads (Panettone, Pandoro and Veneziana) available only once a year. Meanwhile, luxury Belgian Chocolatier Neuhaus celebrates the 100th anniversary of its invention of the praline and its Christmas ball ornaments holding six pralines each, making for an ideal hostess gift or stocking stuffer. The ultimate stocking stuffer indulgence is EnK de Caviar, an individual, on-the-go caviar treat. The newest brand from caviar specialist Maison Kaviari, a long-standing leader in the world of luxury foods whose finely selected fish roe can be found in the restaurants of Michelin-starred chefs Alain Ducasse, Guy Martin and Yannick Alleno, is sleek, stylish and small enough to fit in an evening purse. The single-serving caviar is a taste treat for the eye as well as the palate. Complete with its own serving spoon, its lets one enjoy a half-ounce of delicious, sturgeon caviar on the go. Happy Holidays.