Kal & Al's Gift Guide

For Hungry Taste Buds

La Boite Harvest Color Biscuit Box
This seasonal biscuit tin is a collaboration between La Boite and NY based chef Helen Park, celebrating the flavors, textures, and colors of their favorite ingredients. The beautifully decorated tin includes five different biscuit flavors in globally inspired combinations like Zuta and marzipan, and Makrut lime and quince.  

PODI Life Sampler Pack
PODIs are the secret weapon of many South Indian cooks—flavorful, spicy powders that form the backbone of many of the incredible dishes from the tip of the subcontinent. This little sprinkler set introduces you not just to some of the very best flavors of the region, but also to PODI Life’s adorable, adventurous mascot, Peeku! We have a feeling Peeku and Kalamata would go on some fantastic food adventures together, and so should you! 

Tagmo Chef Surbhi’s Collection
Chef Sahni Surbhi has put together a collection of her favorite mithai for both classic and adventurous lovers of sweets! A perfect addition to your assortment of holiday treats—and we don’t think Santa would mine a few of these being left out with the cookies and milk. We know Al Dente definitely wouldn’t. 

Malai + Kalamata’s Kitchen Goldbelly Pack
What could be better than one of Pooja’s creamy, dreamy ice creams? How about FOUR of them, shipped straight to your door? For this ice cream adventure pack, we partnered with our friends at Malai to pick out four of Kalamata’s absolute favorite flavors—and we even included a pack of Spicewalla cardamom so you can make Pooja’s paal payasum-inspired topping! 

Brooklyn Dehli Tomato Achaar
There are very few things that can improve Kalamata’s favorite dal recipe, but this tomato achaar is definitely one of them! We like it on pretty much everything, from dal to avocado toast to sandwiches… or straight from the jar! 

Spicewalla Kalamata’s Kitchen Collection
Our friends at Spicewalla have a huge assortment of incredible spices, herbs, and blends to make traveling without leaving your own kitchen as easy as opening your cabinets. We teamed up with them to create a dal-mighty adventure trio, featuring the spices used in Kalamata’s favorite dal recipe!  

For Food Adventurers Big & Small

Diaspora Spicy Dish Towel Trio
While our pals at Diaspora Co. might be more well known for their gorgeous single-origin spices, they’re also trying to make your kitchen as bright and cheerful as can be! These colorful dish towels are sourced from one of Diaspora founder Sana’s aunts in India, and make clean up time a little more joyful.  

Made In Paella Pan
Made In makes some of the best cookware in the business—just ask any one of the top chefs across the country who use their pans and knives in their professional kitchens! We love feeling like pros in our own kitchens with our Made In tools, and this gorgeous paella pan makes it easy to ace that socarrat like the best of them.  

Honey Paw Beanie
Because nothing could stop us from eating Honeypaw’s honeycomb ice cream, not even the winter chill. But to stave off the brain freeze just a little, check out these snuggly and warm beanies! 

Hometown BBQ Onesie
Because it’s never too early to show your appreciation for great barbecue! This adorable onesie from our friend Billy Durney is for our tiniest Taste Buds and those up to 24 months. Let everyone know that a love of pastrami bacon starts young.  

Frank’s Olive Oil 
This rich and fruity olive oil is made by our friends the Franks at Frankies Spuntino in Brooklyn. The award-winning oil is fragrant, bright, and perfect for cooking or just drizzled on bread or salads—you’ll be amazed at how frequently you reach for it once you’ve tried it! 

North Market Hoodie
Every time we go to the North Market in Columbus, OH, we have a fantastic Food Adventure. We’d go every day if we could, but for the days where we just can’t make it, we rep our affection with this super-soft and stylish hoodie featuring local artist Nicholas Nocera’s awesome rendering of the front of the building. 

For Grown-Up Readers

Southern Grit: 100+ Down-Home Recipes for the Modern Cook 
By Kelsey Barnard Clark
Chef Kelsey’s ode to Southern cooking showcases not just some incredible recipes, but tips on entertaining, stocking a pantry, and sharing experiences with family and friends. Her warmth and hospitality comes through on every page.  

Zoe's Ghana Kitchen: An Introduction to New African Cuisine – From Ghana With Love
By Zoe Adjonyoh
Chef Zoe celebrates and remixes classic Ghanaian dishes in this colorful, exciting cookbook, packed with bold flavors and tips ranging from quick and simple to full on feasts. We drool every time we think of the peanut butter stew with lamb!  

New World Sourdough: Artisan Techniques for Creative Homemade Fermented Breads; With Recipes for Birote, Bagels, Pan de Coco, Beignets, and More 
By Bryan Ford 
Chef Bryan is a master baker, and in this book, invites you to learn some of the tips and techniques he has developed in his years of making breads. Inspired by his Honduran roots and his time growing up in New Orleans, Chef Bryan showcases a wide range of influence and flavor without overcomplicating anything, even for a first-time baker! 

Chaat: Recipes from the Kitchens, Markets, and Railways of India: A Cookbook 
By Maneet Chauhan
Chef Maneet is someone who knows how to dazzle with her dishes and her stories, and this book is a perfect combination of both. She recounts personal experiences and memories with exciting recipes from her time traveling around and living in India, celebrating what makes individual regions and traditions so special and delicious.

Vegetable Simple: A Cookbook 
By Eric Ripert
Chef Eric is perhaps best known for his stunning seafood dishes at Michelin 3 star restaurant Le Bernardin, but this cookbook is all about celebrating the simplicity of vegetables. Chef Eric doesn’t need to tell us twice to eat our veggies—and this book makes it easy to want to do so in our own kitchens. 

Kristen Kish Cooking: Recipes and Techniques: A Cookbook 
By Kristen Kish
Chef Kristen has so many incredible stories to share, and she dives into them and the recipes they inspired in her amazing cookbook. Through more than 80 recipes, she celebrates her Korean heritage, her Michigan upbringing, and her years of training and cooking with flavorful, unique techniques and ingredients. 

For Little Readers

Ambitious Girl 
By Meena Harris 
We love this story for celebrating something we know very well-- that little girls are limitless, and that ambition doesn’t just mean competing for a top spot, it means being the best version of yourself, for yourself and for others.

Every Night is Pizza Night 
By J. Kenji López-Alt, Illustrations by Gianna Ruggiero
Which food is the best food? I love Pipo’s food adventure as she discovers that ‘best’ means different things to different people. We love adventures that get kids excited to learn about the lives of others through food. The illustrations are warm and whimsical, and definitely make us eager for our own next Food Adventures!

Dumplings for Lili 
by Melissa Iwai 
Lili loves to make baos with her Nai Nai—and in this energetic and adorable story, she learns that everyone makes dumplings in their own ways. I love that Lili learns about beef patties, ravioli, pierogies, and more through the grandmothers in her building, emphasizing the importance of preserving and sharing our delicious traditions.  

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story 
By Kevin Noble Maillard, Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
This lovely book has a rhythmic verse to it that makes it both comforting and engaging to read outloud. The story follows a Native American family as the little ones learn that fry bread is much more than food—it’s a representation of history, family, and community. 

Change Sings: A Children's Anthem 
By Amanda Gorman, Illustrated by Loren Long
Amanda Gorman is one of Kalamata’s heroes, a shining example of a young woman leading the way and inspiring others as she does it. This book is perfect for the budding young leaders in our lives, reminding us all that we have the power to make changes, big and small, that make the world, ourselves, and each other a little better.  

It’s All in the Sauce 
By Kristen Kish 
Chef Kristen is a pro in so many ways—and now she can add ‘author’ to the list! She kept journals throughout her culinary journey, which she used for self-reflection and ultimately realizing that her story was important to share and celebrate in its most authentic form. She teamed up with upwork to create a version for kids to encourage them to do the same. All proceeds benefit What’s In the Mirror, a justice movement providing mental health awareness and support to communities of color through care, advocacy, and art. 

Al Dente's Wishlist

Not one to be left out of the merrymaking, Al made his own list of gifts that he’d give his best buds (but would probably keep for himself!). 

Little Dumpling Booties

Celebs on Sandwiches: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Cup Noodles Yahtzee Game

Pasta Socks

Squishy Gummy Bear Light

Nacho Cheese Candle

Grunge Music Baby Romper

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Sarah Thomas

Sarah Thomas is the co-founder and Chief Imaginator at Kalamata’s Kitchen. As a former sommelier, she’s also very proud of her unofficial title as  “Professional-Try-Things-Twicer”, and is on a mission to keep minds open and forks ready everywhere.

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