12 Days of Gifting, Day 3: For the Tastemakers

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We are now three days into The Glow Up’s 12 days of gifting, and we’re starting to get hungry. Specifically, we’re craving some food-inspired gifts to satisfy the tastemakers in our lives this season—you know, those folks who love to cook—or love to eat.


While not every single item on our list is edible, they are all food-related, which will be perfect for those with ... discerning tastes. More importantly, all are from small, black-owned businesses, and a couple give back to great causes.

If that hasn’t whet your appetite, maybe these will:

Carla Hall

The Chew may be over, but if you have a food-focused TV lover in your life, Top Chef alum Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration is here to feed all their Southern-loving instincts. Hall, a former model-turned-chef, won hearts as the fan favorite on Bravo’s famed culinary competition, and her personality and recipes have continued to garner fans ever since. Now, your food-loving fave can recreate a little of Hall’s good taste at home.

Illustration for article titled 12 Days of Gifting, Day 3: For the Tastemakers

Black Pepper Paperie Co.

We’re low-key obsessed with Black Pepper Paperie’s printed aprons and serving ware, which includes utensils, cutting boards and trays (they make gorgeous clayware and jewelry, as well). Created by Washington, D.C., native Hadiya Williams, these one-of-a-kind pieces are bound to become treasured items for years to come.

Holly Haines

If you haven’t been following San Diego chef Holly Haines’ blog From My Impossibly Tiny Kitchen, you’ve been missing out on some phenomenal recipes, paired with this black and Filipino culinary wonder’s irreverent and entirely adorable persona. Know someone who equates food and comfort (who doesn’t)? This holiday, you can share the love with Haines’ first cookbook, How to Eat Your Feelings, out now.

Illustration for article titled 12 Days of Gifting, Day 3: For the Tastemakers
Screenshot: Amazon

Keith Lorren Spices

Food expert Keith Lorren, aka “The Spice King,” has honed his skills through world travels and behind-the-scenes experience at restaurants and cooking shows alike. And he’s gathered all that knowledge into an eponymous line of soulful spice blends to meet pretty much any savory culinary need. As a gift, we’re pretty fond of his 10-spice collection, but why stop there? His latest on-trend offering is “The Spice of Wakanda.”



Beelove honey-based goods are the product of Sweet Beginnings, a Chicago-based company that employs men and women reentering the workforce after incarceration. Their honey is absolutely delicious. Bonus: They also make honey-infused skincare products; you can buy them all as a bundle or separately on their website, which reads:

Our natural, high quality products are produced by men and women returning from incarceration. At Sweet Beginnings, these talented men and women develop a stable work history, learn marketable skills and gain the confidence they need to re-enter the workforce.

Our products transform you, your purchase transforms lives.


Snoop Dogg

When Snoop Dogg first appeared on Martha Stewart’s daytime talk show, most of us were astounded by how well he knew his way around the kitchen. Of course, the two would soon become a well-known culinary pairing, so much so that Stewart provides the foreword to Snoop’s first cookbook, From Crook to Cook: Platinum Recipes from Tha Boss Dogg’s Kitchen.


What can you expect from Snoop’s 50 recipes? Surprisingly, less chronic than classics, both high and low, though we hear gin and juice still makes it into the mix.

Illustration for article titled 12 Days of Gifting, Day 3: For the Tastemakers

Riley’s Ribs

Got a grillmaster in your life? Give them some flavor to burn by creating for them a spice rub and sauce kit from Riley’s Ribs. Gluten-free and low in sodium, these flavorful blends can add major depth of flavor without the added health concerns. And the price is right: you can put together a decadent grill-ready package for under $50!


My Chocolate Soul

A French pastry course changed the course of Ramona S. Thomas’ life, and a gift set from her seven-year-old company, My Chocolate Soul, might change the way you gift. Her all-natural chocolates are made from scratch without box or commercial mixes, high fructose/corn syrups, artificial coloring, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, imitation flavorings, or items containing any of those ingredients.


With a focus on gifts, unique flavor profiles and perfected shipping practices, you can be sure that your sweetie will get exactly the indulgence they deserve this holiday.


Abbey Creek Wines

What’s a holiday without wine? Abbey Creek Wines is the 10-year-old vineyard of Haitian-American Bertony Faustin, the first recorded Black winemaker in Oregon. Committed to identifying and promoting other minority winemakers, Faustin started the Red, White and Black initiative to educate the masses on the many people of color active in oenology.


For the holidays, you can get a taste of Abbey Creek with one of their gift baskets, which also includes honey and Haitian chocolate, or you can play black Santa all year long by gifting membership in one of their wine clubs.


So, are you salivating yet? We are—and hoping one or more of these goodies lands under our tree (or kitchen) this season. We’ll be back tomorrow with another day of gift ideas for you!

Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?


SessoMatto (Yes, I'm really fun at parties.)

Now I’m drooling on the keyboard! Bell sleeves in the kitchen tho... 😂

The Brown Sugar Kitchen cookbook, by Oakland based chef Tanya Holland is a favorite of mine. She went to culinary school in France, then moved back to Oakland and started a totally fantastic “new school soul food” restaurant. Both of her cookbooks are really good.