Food-Related Gift Ideas for the Moms in Your Life

This post originally appeared on April 24, 2020 in Amanda Kludt’s newsletter “From the Editor,” a roundup of the most vital news and stories in the food world each week. Read the archives and subscribe now.

Last week the New York Times podcast The Daily published an episode all about the struggles of pandemic parenting, including recordings from the parenting section’s open phone line where they asked readers to share what it’s really been like to raise children over this last year. It’s … a lot, and I 100 percent wept as I listened to it at 4:30 am the other day (when I woke up for the day because my kid wouldn’t go back to sleep).

That has nothing to do with food, but it did inspire me to actually pay attention to Mother’s Day this year and procure nice things for the mothers in my life. A tin of cookies isn’t going to make up for a year of zoom school, burnout, loss of identity, and emotional fatigue, but it doesn’t hurt.

Some things I’m thinking about:

  • Melissa Funk Weller, maybe my favorite baker of all time, just launched a cookie box, available for Brooklyn pickup or national shipping.
  • This is a trio of sophisticated linen napkins, made by an Asian-owned, mission-driven company, that I’ll be gifting.
  • This is highly specific, but I’m going to get a Baltimore mom friend the first issue of PalatePalette, an “homage to newsprint and the foodways of Baltimore City,” but there are a lot of other fun indie food mags that would make for a great gift.
  • This maybe only works if you live with the mom in question, but Levain, the cultishly loved cookie maker, just launched a line of pre-baked cookies at grocery stores.
  • I bet there’s a person in your life who would be obsessed with the idea of a Tokyo Treat box.
  • Everything is Under Control is an incredible book about the food industry and motherhood that includes a sharply accurate description of what it feels like to give birth (twice) and keep a baby alive during the first few months.

A recent box from Eater’s wine club

  • One idea: Make a donation in someone’s name to The Abundance Setting, a nonprofit focused on the advancement of working mothers in the culinary and hospitality industry.
  • The best gift I’ve given myself lately has been a one-night solo staycation at the Standard Hotel (where if you pay an extra $50, you get a bottle of Champagne, a room service credit, and are guaranteed a room with a tub).
  • And last but least, the shameless plug for Eater’s Wine Club, a monthly subscription box curated by a different incredible person in wine every month. The wines are all from fun, small producers (who sometimes make exclusive bottles just for us). Plus, we do a monthly zoom event with all our members, and I’ve seen so many mother-daughter pairs (as well as cute couples and pets and babies) on there.

— In COVID news: Many restaurants in Detroit voluntarily paused indoor dining as cases continue to surge; London allowed outdoor dining for the first time in over four months; the SBA issued guidance on the $28.6 billion in grants they’ll be releasing within the month; and restaurant workers in New York are accessing shots via mobile vaccine units.

— Big openings this week: Chef Vivian Howard’s first Charleston restaurant Lenoir; Lyle, a compelling-looking dining room in a newly revamped hotel, The Point, a seafood spot with waterfront views, and The Freshman, an all-day cafe near the soon-to-open Amazon HQ, in D.C.; Little Goat Kitchen, a private event space and test kitchen from Stephanie Izard, in Chicago; One Steakhouse, a dramatic 9,000-square-foot steakhouse in the new Virgin Hotels, in Las Vegas; Bar Cecil, a luxe destination in Palm Springs; Hoi An Quan, a restaurant showcasing central Vietnamese cuisine, in Houston; Eataly in London; and Haidilao, a hotly-anticipated hot pot spot, in Dallas.

— Meanwhile, can someone please take a look through the interiors (and patios) and ZZ’s Sushi Bar and Strawberry Moon and tell me what is going on in Miami right now?

— The Bastianich clan sold Del Posto to its chef Melissa Rodriguez, GM Jeff Katz, and Katz’s business partner at his other restaurant Crownshy, James Kent.

— Chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo will handle the food at LA’s new football stadium (and serve items like this long burger).

— The Michelin guide is back in the U.S. First up: D.C.

ZZ’s Sushi Bar in Miami | Giovanny Gutierrez/Chat Chow TV

— Singapore’s new generation of hawkers may save the industry but at the cost of old traditions.

— In a four-part series hosted by the Smithsonian in May and June, some of the country’s foremost experts in Asian-American food will explore the disconnect between how mainstream American culture enjoys cooking from the continent and how it treats the people who produce it.

— A new Netflix show featuring culinary historian Jessica B. Harris and writer Stephen Satterfield called High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America, will debut in late May.

— Why does Mare of Easttown from Mare of Easttown drink Rolling Rock? An investigation.

— How talented pitmaster Bryan Furman is going to rebuild … again.

— This week I hosted a panel on the reopening with restaurateurs from Boston, Dallas, and Brooklyn. Read some excerpts from our convo or watch the full video here.

— And on the Eater’s Digest podcast this week we focused on the labor shortage, getting insights from worker advocate Saru Jayamaran, Culinary Agents CEO Alice Cheng, and restaurateur Jenn Saesue.

  • Come for the intimate look at what enigmatic chef Joshua Skenes is up to out in the woods, stay for the sharpshooting, Silicon Valley bro-downs, and the line “My first mouthful felt like delicious, joyful strength and ease rushing through my veins.” [Outside]
  • Power dining is baaaaaaccck in Hollywood. [THR]
  • Here’s a cool interactive cocktail recipe database from Epicurious. [Epi]
  • And for anyone who’s asked themselves the question “Is my brain broken?” in the past couple of weeks, according to The Atlantic and The Times, it is and you’re not alone. [The Atlantic; NYT]

Take care, and if you like this newsletter, please forward it to a friend. — Amanda

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