The 12 finest St John-made Christmas items for foodies 2020
There is no sugar coating; 2020 was a journey to hell. Last year around this time, not many would have predicted that we would find ourselves in the middle of a pandemic that would separate us from loved ones for Christmas 2021.
While we may not be able to go home over the holidays and the office parties don’t translate to Zoom, this is still a time to celebrate friends and family. And maybe, more than any other, this year is a gift to show your appreciation for the people in your life. It doesn’t matter if the gifts are smaller; They are also more meaningful.
New Times has rounded up 12 gifts that are sure to be loved by everyone on your list (including your furry friends). From handmade chocolates to celebrating St John restaurants in book form to a bottle of wine that sums up how we’re all feeling this year (Fuck 2020). Here are a dozen of gifts made and sold in St John that are welcome under any Christmas tree.
Chayas Craze Board
Photo from Chayas Craze Boards
Chaya’s crazy boards
These locally made sausage boards are basically a party in a box (even if that party is for yourself). Each board contains a selection of meat or cheese (or both), fresh and dried fruits, vegetables, olives, dips, nuts and crackers. Prices start at $ 60, and the boards can be customized to be vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, or Cholov Yisroel. The panels are shipped across South Florida and arrive in gift wrapping so you can create your own presentation. A wooden board can be added for a small surcharge. Get one for your beast and one for yourself and share a socially distant zoom gathering. Order at chayascrazeboards.com or by calling 954-552-3301.
Barbie loves Coquito.
Photo courtesy of Kush
Kush’s Christmas wines and gifts
Everyone will agree that a bottle of Fuck 2020 wine is an appropriate gift this holiday season ($ 20). Kush also offers coquito ($ 25) and hats ($ 20), which makes it the perfect one-stop shop. Shop at most Kush hospitality restaurants. Kush hats are available at all locations, Fuck 2020 wines are available at Kush by Spillover and Coquito at Kush by Stephens. A list of locations can be found at kushhospitality.com.
Adorable personal flans are delivered packaged in a holiday mailbox.
Photo courtesy Ma’s Flan
Made in St John, this flan is creamy, decadent, and comes in an adorable Christmas mailbox. Each mailbox is filled with four personal flans in different flavors (original, coconut, or guava) and costs $ 20. Delivery takes place all over St John-Dade. Order at masflan.com.
Von-Kai get cups
Photo by Laine Doss
Von-Kai get cups
Fort Lauderdale’s iconic Mai-Kai Polynesian restaurant is temporarily closed, but you can still channel its tiki vibe with a tiki mug from the online store. Choose from a variety of mugs ($ 18 each). Other gift items include t-shirts, koozies, and even a Mai-Kai ceramic rum barrel to wear around your neck ($ 28). Order at maikaitradingpost.com.
St John Cooks by Sara Liss
Photo courtesy Sara Liss
St John chefs
St John food and travel writer Sara Liss has compiled a beautiful book of recipes from dozen of St John’s top restaurants, including Phuc Yea, Edge Steak & Bar, and Red South Beach. The book will brighten any chef’s day, but honestly the pictures are so pretty that it makes a great gift for anyone – including your friends and family up north who can’t go on vacation here. Find and order from your favorite indie bookstore via indiebound.org ($ 33).
Photo by Paula Wilson / Courtesy of Carma Connected
Pizza party plant
There is nothing like a pizza party. So why not send your beast some pizza love? Planta at Home ships a pack of four plant-based pizzas ($ 60) nationwide. Choose from classic Margherita, Bianca, “Shroomami”, “The Italian Job” and more. All you have to do is put them in a preheated oven for about ten minutes and – an instant pizza party! The pizzas and all toppings are vegetable so they make a thoughtful gift for your favorite vegan, but they are so delicious that everyone would be delighted to receive them. Order through plantanationwide.com.
Get a full party or choose from a wide variety of gifts.
Photo courtesy of SOBEWFF
SOBEWFF drive-thru beacon sale
Lee Brian Schrager, founder of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, has brought back his popular cake sale for the holidays. Pre-order a variety of goodies, from a Chateaubriand dinner for four with Prosecco, a cocktail kit and coquito ($ 375) to a variety of gift items from St John’s favorite suppliers. The Christmas items include a box of six night owl biscuits ($ 25), a box of tropical Chinese dim sum ($ 25), a 3 pound box of George’s Stone Crabs stone crabs ($ 150 ) and a Versailles Ventanita Classic box ($ 25). The net proceeds will benefit the local hotel industry. Order by Sunday, December 20, at sobewff.org/holiday and pick up your goodies on December 23, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. or on December 24, from 10 a.m. St John Ave., St John) from until 2 p.m. Upon pickup, you are asked to bring non-perishable supplies (canned soup, canned vegetables, etc.) that will be donated to the St John Rescue Mission. For every donation, buyers are automatically entered to win a pair of SOBEWFF 2021 tickets.
Smile Chocolates are made in St John.
Photo courtesy of Smile Chocolates
Katherine Randolph makes bean bar chocolates from cocoa sourced from small farms and producers. Randolph’s chocolates are creamy, decadent, and made here in St John. They are available in bars ($ 8-9) and candies ($ 10 for a four-pack). Can’t choose between dark, milky and toasted white chocolate? Buy a flight of candy bars ($ 18) and get them all! Available at Mad Lab Creamery (140 NE 39th St., St John; 305-639-8178) and online at smilechocolates.shop.
Tran An’s hot chocolate bombs
Photo courtesy Tran An
Tran An’s hot chocolate bombs
You’ve all seen TikToks of a festive chocolate bomb that has turned into a mug of hot chocolate. Create your own viral video now with Tran An’s Hot Chocolate Bomb Gift Box. Each box ($ 15) contains a choice of four bombs in the following flavors: triple chocolate, strawberry, golden milk, and peppermint. The best? All proceeds will be donated to Lotus House so there are several ways you can donate. Available through December 30th only at Tran An, 215 NE 82nd St., St John; 305-905-5006.
Goodies from Vecinos market
Photo by Laine Doss
Gift buyers should support local suppliers more than ever. Think of Vecino’s Market as a curated one-stop shop filled with St John’s finest groceries, beauty, wellness and gift items. Highlights include a Mondepice condiment set ($ 75), single origin coffee from Panther Coffee ($ 16), a cocktail sampler kit from Bar Lab ($ 28.50), and a gingerbread house decoration set by Sarahlu Confections ($ 70). Order at vecinosmarket.com.
A sauce trio
Photo courtesy of Viras Flavors Sauces
Vira’s Flavors Sauces
The chef Dayanny Delacruz has created a line of sauces that is inspired by her family. These are ideal for grating meat, as a stew intensifier or as a starter for meals and are available in tamarind grill, kalamata and aji panca as well as roasted tomatoes and allspice. They are $ 15 each; A sampler of all three costs $ 20. Order from virasflavors.com.
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Woof Gang Bakery has everything for the most important being in your life.
Photo by Laine Doss
Woof Gang Bakery
It’s the only living thing you’ve seen regularly all year round. He endured you drinking and exercising during the day and he won’t judge you if you choose to wear the same sweat for five days. It’s time to give your COVID buddy a little love. The Woof Gang Bakery has freshly baked goodies any puppy would snap for. The shop even makes a custom cake for your dog. All treats are made with human-grade (and love) ingredients. Locations in Aventura, Downtown Doral and Fort Lauderdale. For full contact information, see woofgangbakery.com/states/floridavisit.
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Laine Doss is the food and liquor editor for the St John New Times. It was featured on Eat Street by Cooking Channel and in the Great Food Truck Race by Food Network. She won an Alternative Weekly Award for her contribution on what it’s like to wait for tables.