Gift-Giving Ideas for Your Houston Foodie

From take-home goodies to special dinners, classes, spirits and one-of-a-kind experiences, there’s a gift for you

Tis the season for giving, and you’ve already shopped Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, but still don’t have the perfect gift for the foodie in your life.

There’s plenty of options, whether you want a hands-on experience, an unique food item or the perfect drink accompaniment for the spirit lover in your life. With these, you’re sure to be the hit of the party.

Arnaldo Richards’ Picos | 3601 Kirby Drive: Tamales until January 4 | 11 AM-7 PM

photo: Nick de la Torre

We have made it to the holidays and that means the annual Picos Tamale Stand is up, running and ready to take your order! Each tamale is wrapped in fresh corn husks and bursting with fresh seasonal ingredients. With both meat and vegetarian options such as the Chicken in Black Mole, Pork in Red Mole and Mushroom and Black Bean, the expansive menu of tamales, moles and salsas are customizable and come with cooking instructions. Available until January 4, you can purchase your order online at or in the restaurant.

Asian Heritage Tours including Cooking Workshops/Dinners and Bus Tours at Chinese Community Center :  

Don’t miss out on the Chinese Cultural Showcase Performance on January 16, 2020, $15 (advance) $18 (at door); Best of Asiatown Tour on February 1, 2020, $65; Indian Samosa Making Night on February 5, 2020 limited to 20 seats with dinner included, $65. More information at or 713-271-6100 X129.


BrisketU’s Backyard Pitmaster class is the original introductory class designed and formulated to teach the average BBQ lover how to work a pit and create the quintessential smoked brisket, the toughest piece of beef to master.  In this class for greenhorns and experienced grillers alike, you will learn from accomplished pitmasters the art of smoking brisket from start to finish. 

Learn up-close about Texas pits, choosing the right brisket, trimming techniques, rubs and prep, wood selection and smoke profiles, starting and managing a firebox, timing the cook, and slicing the end product. 

In three short hours, you will be a BrisketU Certified Pitmaster. Minimum of 12 people for a class to be held. Enjoy the class for $74. (RibsU and ChickensU $79). In most classes, you will get to sample the end product, but not take it home. More information, go to

El Mayor Cristalino Tequila:

El Mayor Cristalino Tequila is an añejo tequila that undergoes a special filtration process that extracts its color until it’s clear again. This has only 100% Blue Agave where hearts of the agave head are cooked and fermented.

The finished añejo is carefully filtered through ultra-fine charcoal, removing the golden brown color. The result is a stunningly clear tequila that maintains the robust character of an añejo while delivering the crisp finish of a blanco.

For more information, go to For recipes, visit

Four Seasons Hotel Houston at 1300 Lamar:

Four Seasons Hotel Houston invites guests to get in the festive spirit with a variety of fun holiday-themed events and experiences from extravagant brunch buffets, seasonal prix-fixe dinners and gingerbread afternoon teas.

Additionally, both dining outlets, Quattro and Bayou & Bottle, will offer a selection of special priced Champagne by the glass during the entire holiday season. Specials include Moet Imperial Brut for $25/glass, Moet Imperial Rose for $28/glass, Ruinart Rose for $33/ glass and Dom Perignon 2006 $50/glass.

Glennfiddich Grand Cru:

photo: Courtesy of Glenfiddich

Glenfiddich, the World’s Most Awarded Single Malt Scotch Whisky, reimagines celebrations with Grand Cru. An exclusive expression that’s been matured for 23 years and elegantly finished in rare French cuvée casks, the new offering fuses together the finest flavors from Scotland and France to create a true taste of luxury made to be enjoyed with others.

Glenfiddich Grand Cru has a recommended retail price of $299.99. Available from September 2019 in fine whisky retail outlets and premium establishments. More information available at

Quattro Restaurant : Gingerbread Tea on December 14, December 21

Quattro Restaurant invites guests of all ages to celebrate the festive season with Four Seasons’ annual gingerbread-themed afternoon tea. Children will decorate their own gingerbread house followed by afternoon tea service including a selection of teas, treats and a glass of prosecco for adults. This event will take place on four dates: November 30, December 7, December 14 and December 21 with two seating times available at 11AM and 2PM. Gingerbread Tea is USD $75 for adults, USD $50 for children. Limit one gingerbread house per child; adults can purchase an additional gingerbread house to decorate for $25. More information at

TABLEONE CHEF’S TABLE at Royal Sonesta Houston Hotel’s ARA Restaurant:

10 guests join Royal Sonesta Houston’s Executive Chef, Robert Graham in an intimate kitchen setting as he creates a multi-course dinner with five wine pairings focusing on a theme. New menus and dinners will be debuting in early 2020.

Recently, he spotlighted stops on the global culinary path with a menu highlights that included “Everything Bagel” with smoked salmon, caviar, bagel crisp, chive schmear; Chilled Corn Velouté with poached main lobster, asparagus, prosciutto, watercress; Ahi Tuna Tartar with wasabi tobiko, avocado, Meyer lemon aioli; Seared Foie Gras with pineapple carpaccio, dark rum gastrique; Veal Oscar with tenderloin, king crab, asparagus, Béarnaise; Classic New York Cheese Cake with raspberry coulis; Fromage d’Affinois with amareni cherries, almond shortbread, cilantro.

Priced at $150 per person (including gratuity and parking.)

Photos by V. Sweeten unless otherwise noted