Foodie-Forward Holiday Gift Picks

If you’re anything like me—a savvy shopper indelibly on the hunt for tasty gifts and gets that can be bought online with all of the comfort and convenience e-Tail affords—you can probably relate that finding unique, worthy and especially “ah-inducing” giftables can take a tremendous amount of time and effort. So in the spirit of easing and expediting your shopping escapades, here are a cross-section of foodie-forward holiday gift picks across a multitude of categories that can all be purchased lickety-split with a few keystrokes.

Temi, The Personal Robot (
Want to make your gift recipient gasp with shock and awe? Here’s a super-cool way to ease and enhance daily life this season and beyond—for a loved one or for yourself! It’s temi, the world’s first personal assistant robot created to fit seamlessly into anyone’s lifestyle. Using state-of-the-art AI technology and a navigation system consisting of 16 sensors and five cameras, temi can detect its users, perform tasks (like delivering snacks to others in the household) and go to the kitchen, dining room, wine closet or other user-created locations via voice control or with the simple touch of a button. Also with autonomous navigation, using the Robox, temi’s proprietary navigation system will independently and naturally navigate the most dynamic environments of a home or other space in which it operates.  Users can also enjoy the integration of Amazon Alexa, making it easy to issue commands. By harnessing the power of voice, temi puts users at the center of their technology and smart home devices. Owners can request recipe videos and otherwise ask temi questions, search for food, order services, plan trips, play games and more and, as a personal entertainment system, also lets users watch videos on its full HD 10-inch screen and also listen to audio on its 4.1 sound system (music, playlists and audiobooks). Deep, grooving bass is provided by a 10-inch subwoofer. Sequences for different day-to-day situations can be created for an even more custom experience. Set timers, reminders or create playlists for different times of day. temi also allows users to connect seamlessly with friends, smart devices, media and video communications—all hands-free, harnessed by the power of your voice.  Users also enjoy fully autonomous navigation enabling temi to be with you as you walk about a kitchen or other home space, or even a restaurant or office if that’s where you prefer your temi to live. With eight hours of operation per charge, temi can stay active throughout the most important part of your day. Plus, a wireless charging tray for your mobile phone, battery and docking station are also on board this brilliant bot. On Black Friday, shoppers will enjoy $400 off the price of a temi, just in time for the holidays.

Deejo Customizable Pocketknives (
No visit to a steakhouse is complete without bringing your own Deejo pocket knife along. They’re ultralight and easy to carry, use and to customize using a simple online tool. Tattoo the blade with imagery that’s close to the recipient’s heart, and personalize the blade finish, handle type and color. There’s also the ability to engrave the pocketknife with up to 35 characters—a monogram, full name, date or quote—even coordinated in sets for couples, families and friends. You can even make twin knives with coordinated messaging, which is perfect for couples, parents and kids, sisters and brothers, best friends and others wanting a meaningful connection. By tattooing the blade, as we tattoo our skin with a symbol dear to us, Deejo then becomes a unique and highly personal object that’s an extension of its owner. Deejo pocketknives are light for daily carry and you can choose the size and weight as well. In fact, Deejo firmly believes that the best pocket knife is the one you really carry in your pocket on an everyday basis. Not the one you leave at home because it too heavy or too bulky. They’re a thoughtful and unique gift for many occasions—and an item that recaptures the elegance of a timeless gesture from the past; the everyday pocket knife.

In 2010, Deejo’s Stéphane Lebeau designed and invented an ultralight pocket knife, with a weight comparable to that of a simple letter. The ultralight slips comfortably into a pocket–an elegant accessory to any daily ensemble, but still comfortable to use: a perfect balance of a minimalist look while respecting the functional dimensions of a table knife. A few years later, Luc Foin, Stéphane’s friend and partner, envisioned the idea of personalization. Luc loves objects imbued with emotion and story, which reflect a time, a passion or a rare moment. Deejo knives therefore are customizable to one’s style, taste and mood. Playing on the finishes of a steel blade—in the matte reflections of titanium or the brilliant reflections of shining mirror—and a handle adorned with the wood of various species—from the deep blacks of ebony to the fine beige arabesque of olivewood—Deejo knives inflect a new symbol of elegance, accompanied by a beautiful watch, an artisanal pen or a finely-crafted leather good. Deejo blades are created with that “wow factor” in mind.

SHARP Superheated Steam Countertop Oven (
The SHARP Superheated Steam Countertop Oven is an extremely efficient option perfect for every-day use, allowing users to keep their big oven clean for special occasions. The combination of superheated steam and conventional, radiant heat in all cooking modes means that food will be crispy and browned on the outside, moist and delicious on the inside. Not to be mistaken with a traditional steamer or steam oven, with superheated steam up to 485°F, in conjunction with conventional, radiant heat, proteins will brown and become crispy. Sugars will caramelize. And the results are amazing. You won’t need to preheat your oven before cooking or even defrost the food the night before. You can simply place food into the oven, set the desired cooking mode, temperature and time. With multiple cooking modes, this countertop oven provides endless cooking possibilities and will eliminate the need for multiple small countertop appliances. It can broil or grill, bake or reheat, cook pizzas, warm food, and also create 7 shades of toast. Its convenient front-loading water tank is easy-to-access, and easy-to-fill with regular tap or bottled water. It’s the perfect size and provides up to 60-minutes of cooking time before refilling. And, the hidden bake element is beneath a flat oven floor, so clean-up is a breeze. This really sets this oven apart from most other countertop ovens. The included broiling pan and crisper tray gives you 2-tier-cooking and they are 40% larger than a standard, quarter-size sheet pan making it perfect for anything from making sheet pan dinners for the whole family, to hors d’oeuvres for party guests.

The Hero Grill (
Looking for a new gift idea for those individuals and families that like the outdoors? If so, check out this one-of-a-kind portable grill that makes anyone’s next outdoor adventure simple, clean and tasty: the all-new HERO Grill. Created by Athens, Georgia-based Fire & Flavor, this grill seeks to change outdoor cooking forever. This environmentally friendly and highly portable premium option is a perfect match for the outdoor adventurer or just for those who love that good grill flavor. It’s also the world’s first dishwasher safe grill—yes, the grid can go in the actual dishwasher for quick and easy clean up. It weighs just nine pounds and includes the system itself, a single-use charcoal pod, multi-function thermometer, custom designed bamboo spatula, food safe bamboo cutting board and a rugged, waterproof carry case—super convenient for carrying and storage. Plus, HERO Grill uses a self-contained, all-natural charcoal pod that is ready in 10 minutes and provides 60 minutes of cooking time, meaning no more messy bags of charcoal and lighter fluid.  This device’s user-focused engineering combines the reusable grilling grid with an all-natural, biodegradable, single-use charcoal pod made of cardboard, lava stones and pre-stacked charcoal briquettes. When you’re done grilling, pour water over the pod and add it to your compost pile. HERO defines the new standard in on-the-go grilling.

The Innovia Paper Towel Dispenser (
The Innovia Paper Towel Dispenser makes kitchen clean-up easier than ever. With just the wave of your hand, it dispenses paper towels on demand, just like the automatic paper towel dispensers you see in public restrooms. Raw chicken juice on your hands? No problem! Milk spilling off the counter? No problem! Kids in both arms? No problem! This hands-free paper towel dispenser quickly dispenses paper towels one at a time and retracts unused sheets, helping to eliminate waste and improve hygiene. It reduces the risk of cross-contamination with its hands-free use. It’s the technology you didn’t know you needed but can’t live without! The Innovia dispenser is compatible with most household paper towel brands, is available in a variety of colors, and comes in both countertop and space-saving undercabinet models. Originally founded by father and son, Innovia Products are inspired by the hands-free paper towel systems at airports, restaurants, and office buildings. Their vision is to bring together innovation, exceptional quality, and affordability to both home and business appliance users. Careful attention is paid to ensure that high-quality design and technology are united in an easy-to-use device.

RAYCOP’s New ‘Omni Power’ UV+ Cordless Vacuum (
To the delight of allergy suffers and clean kitchen freaks everywhere, this revolutionary stick vacuum kills germs and captures 99.9 percent of particles to ensure allergens do not get released back into homes. The cordless Omni Power UV+ goes where you go, cleaning multiple home surfaces. This includes floors, upholstery and other fabrics—even bedding. Boasting a strong battery life, Omni Power UV+ allows homeowners roughly 40 minutes of uninterrupted cleaning time and an easy-to-empty filter. The RAYCOP Omni Power UV+ uses the company’s patented RayClean Technology, which is three times more effective at capturing allergens than a regular vacuum. With four stage filtration, including a HEPA filter, ultraviolet light technology, pulsation and optimized suction, RAYCOP vacuums capture 99.9% of allergens. Omni Power UV+ Cordless Vacuum includes a four-stage filtration system incorporating a high-efficiency particulate air filter, ultraviolet light, optimized suction and a dual motor brush head. Omni Power UV+ Cordless Vacuum offers homeowners a combination of powerful features to remove dirt and virtually all allergens and germs.

Empower Cosmopolitan Martini (
Entertaining a lot of people this holiday season? You probably have wine and beer covered, but how about cocktails, too? Ideal, yes, but too cumbersome—until now. Empower Cocktails, dazzles and delights with its delicious, refreshing, ready-to-pour cocktail: the Empower Cosmopolitan Martini. This easy drink concoction, which is also highly gift-worthy, contains Sweet Potato Vodka, triple sec, cooling white cranberry and zesty lime for a combination of bold flavors. All you need to enjoy it is a martini glass and your favorite garnish and you’re in business. The drink is 25-proof and contains only 80 calories per every three ounces. It is best consumed chilled (but do not place it in the freezer). You can also follow one of the company’s cocktail recipes listed on its Web site. I also love that Empower Cocktails has partnered with several non-profits that champion women’s initiatives including the Voss Foundation, Dress for Success Boston, Kicked it in Heels and the Metro-Manhattan Community Foundation.

Savino Connoisseur Wine Saving Carafe (
Sure to be well-received by any wine lover, Savino Connoisseur Wine Saving Carafe features an innovative float that seals users wine, preventing oxidation. With its elegant aesthetics, Savino is designed to maintain fresh wine for up to a week. To prevent the oxidation, the BPA-free float, designed to very stringent dimensions, rests on top of the wine. A lid with rubber seal prevents spills, and both the carafe and lid are made of high-quality flint glass, although a plastic design is also available. Large enough to hold a 750ML bottle of wine, Savino fits most refrigerators that are at least 10.5 inches tall. Savino is something every red, white and rosé lover will surely appreciate.

The Dirty Cookie Confections (
If you’re looking for a cookie with a purpose this holiday season, do yourself a favor and check out The Dirty Cookie. The company is known for their festive and even custom-branded cookie shots. Instead of dipping cookies in milk, the roles are reversed, and you now actually drink milk from your cookies! You can also fill the cookie shots with ice cream, coffee, Bailey’s or anything else your heart desires. These Cookie Shots are a tasty twist that combines all of your favorite things about a sweet snack into a dish-free, premium dessert experience. In addition to its Cookie Shots, they also offer a wide range of regular cookies as well as Cookie Butters—all of which include vegan & gluten free options. The Christmas assortment is super cute, and contains a mix of the company’s most popular Cookie Shots decorated with Christmas characters: Chocolate Chip, Cookies & Cream, Red Velvet & Churro. The Dirty Cookie is further innovating by allowing consumers to customize each cookie for any holiday or occasion, even with corporate logos.

Circadian Optics Light Therapy Lamps (
Here’s a clever way to help increase someone’s kitchen productivity on the daily. Circadian Optics’ bright light therapy lamps mimic daylight, helping users get the proper amount needed—whether inside at home or work. Science urges that people need to get enough sleep, take vitamins, drink water and exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, people also need the right amount of sunlight. Getting it at the right time can help improve mood, boost energy and regulate sleeping patterns—but can be more easily said than done. So Circadian Optics’ designer lamplights are an easy and effective way of gaining that regular and strategically-timed exposure to identically natural bright light from indoors—a boon for those days where hours on end are spend inside a closed and windowless-space while cooking. They use LED lights to provide bright light while also filtering out dangerously harmful UV rays. Exposure to bright light in the early part of the day stimulates receptors in the eyes and calibrates the body clock for the rest of the day. Morning light is also most effective in helping people stay awake, alert and energetic throughout the day. So these attractive desktop lamps are an easy means towards this end.

Pure Earth Pets Subscription Box (
Don’t just focus on gifting gastro-friendly finds for people this holiday season, make sure “man’s best friend” gets in on the action, too! Pure Earth Pets Inc. is a monthly subscription box featuring eco-friendly, natural treats and toys for your dog. Inside, you’ll find goodies that your furry friend will love. As an environmentally conscience company, the physical shipping boxes are biodegradable, printed with soy ink and, unlike other subscription boxes, the list of contents are emailed to each customer instead of printed on a postcard. They believe this further helps our planet and reduces waste. Their green initiatives enable you and your dog to be Earth Warriors while making a difference in the community. Each month, Pure Earth Pets partners with a different charity and donates a portion of the proceeds from that month’s box sales to help local pet-related charities. Each box has a unique assortment of earth friendly and limited ingredient products, like Brewscuits Upcycled Sweet Potato treats; CycleDog Plush toys made from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles; Chippin Snacks made with planet friendly cricket protein; Mobility Bars; and Omega DHA Bars from PetiPet.


As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List,” Merilee Kern, MBA is an internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist and futurist. As prolific consumer trends, lifestyle and leisure industry voice of authority and tastemaker, Merilee keeps her finger on the pulse of the marketplace in search of new and innovative must-haves and exemplary experiences at all price points, from the affordable to the extreme. The best-of-the-best across all product, service and travel categories—as well as noteworthy marketplace change makers, movers and shakers—are spotlighted in her exclusive cross-media platform that reaches multi-millions each month through several syndication channels: print and online publications as well as broadcast TV and terrestrial radio. Connect with her at / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIN

Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided or arranged at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.