Molecular Gastronomy Kit from the Cookbook Co.
A DIY molecular gastronomy kit lets you play with your food. It comes with all you need to experiment at home using molecular techniques seen on Top Chef and in high-end restaurants. The starter kit includes five pre-measured food additives, five specialized molecular tools and a 50-recipe DVD that makes molecular gastronomy easy and accessible to all foodies. Gelled turkey with gravy foam, anyone? Available at the Cookbook Company Cooks.
Coffee brewing lessons from Phil and Sebastian
Keep an eye on their website for upcoming classes you can order online: there's a Brewing Methods class, exploring French press, AeroPress and pour-over, or an Introduction to Espresso, where students explore how to use their home machines and grinders to make the very best espresso. Or you can learn all about Steaming and Latte Art, producing creamy micro-foam and making your cup look pretty with it. (Intro to Espresso is a pre-requisite.) Classes are held at their Marda Loop location.
Knobstoppers from ReWorks
Wine always makes a great gift, especially if you add one of these up-cycled bottle stoppers, made with vintage door knobs. They're at Reworks Upcycle Shop.
Cheese of the Month Club from Janice Beaton
Every month a hand-picked selection of three cheeses shows up on the lucky recipient's doorstep; the box includes three 250g pieces, along with descriptions and cheese lore. In Calgary, delivery is included; additional charge for out-of-town shipping.
Bread baking lessons from Aviv Fried at Sidewalk Citizen Bakery
Local baker Aviv Fried now offers hands-on bread making lessons at his bakery, billed more as a kitchen party than class. At the sourdough class you'll learn how to begin a "mother" starter, how to maintain it for years, and how to turn it into a delicious, organic, crusty loaf. You'll learn to knead, shape and understand dough so you can bake on your own. Apart from bread, students make their own pizza and bake it in the Italian bread oven. Also available: an oyster class and brunch studio.
Brew Your Own Beer with Big Rock
Big Rock offers brewing classes at their Heritage Park interpretive brewery; during this hands-on, two-and-a-half-hour course you'll learn about and experience the brewing process — recipe formulation, weighing out malted grains and hops, grain milling, mashing, sparging, boiling and cooling wort, pitching hops, handling brewers’ yeast, fermentation, and packaging beer. You can register on the Heritage Park website.