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13 spots to buy gifts for Alberta Cooks

Westwood Restaurant in Black Diamond

For this week’s Insider List, we have 13 spots to buy gifts for Alberta cooks this holiday season. This list is comprised of independently owned Alberta businesses chock full of gifts to inspire home cooks throughout this season and every season.

1. Cookbook Co. Cooks has been Calgary’s culinary hub since 1984. It’s a food specialty store, culinary school and the place for all your cook’s kitchen gadgets. Plus, there’s one whole wall devoted to cookbooks. And, there’s MetroVinoWines at the back of the building, Noble Pie pizza beside it and Decadent Brûlée bakery in the basement. Now, you can also order online for delivery anywhere from this great Alberta stalwart.

2. Knifewear is hands down the best place to shop for hand-forged Japanese kitchen knives. As owner Kevin Kent says, “Because they are twice as sharp, you’ll do half the work.” They truly slice like butter. With stores in Edmonton and Calgary and online delivery anywhere, now the only question is what knife to spoil your cook with? A paring knife, turkey slicer, chef’s knife or veggie chopper? Pro Tip: These shops also have an incredible selection of cookbooks!

3. Britannia Kitchen and Home has been a part of the Calgary house ware’s scene since 1955. We love their selection of Sophie Conran tableware, great stocking stuffers and beautiful napkins and candles to bring light to your holiday home.

4. Most foodies will already know The Silk Road Spice Merchant is THE place to get fine spices, herbs and seasonings in both Edmonton and Calgary. Pro Tip: ORDER EARLY. They get unbelievably busy towards December 25.

5. From time tested brands to innovative gadgets Calgary’s Zest Kitchenware has everything to prepare an unforgettable holiday meal. Bakers will be especially happy with the supplies here.

6. Edmonton home cooks know that Barb’s Kitchen Centre is a great spot to buy kitchenware. They warehouse over 10,000 items so finding that special cook’s gift will be a breeze. And, if your cook already has enough stuff, buy a gift certificate for one of their classes. Pro Tip: If cooking classes are up your cook’s alley also check Awn Kitchen, Get Cooking and Kitchen by Brad.

7. Back in Calgary, The Compleat Cook  has been supplying a ‘complete’ selection of cookware, bakeware and dinnerware for over 20 years. Find them in Willow Park Shopping Centre and while you are there pop into Crave Cupcakes, Willow Park Wine Store, Springbank Cheeses and maybe treat yourself to lunch or dinner at Caesar’s Steakhouse – a true Calgary Classic.

8. With multiple locations in Calgary, not only can you buy great prepared food at Lina’s Italian Markets, but they have loads of housewares (many from Italy of course) for your home cook. Pro Tip: Remember to pick up a Panettone for Christmas morning!

9. Can’t get enough Italian? Same here. Luckily, both Edmonton and Calgary have several locations of Italian Centre Shops where you can pick up a culinary basket for your foodie or specialty items straight from the heart of Italy. Parmigiano-Reggiano is our fave. Psst: We also love the Ukrainian fare at Culina to Go and the Culina Family of restaurants. That Vegan Borscht!

10. Canmore and Cochrane cooks we haven’t forgotten about you.  The Kitchen Boutique’s locations are chalk full of everything from grilling tools to barware and cake baking supplies. While you are in Cochrane, be sure to pop into Cochrane Coffee Traders for an eggnog latte. In Canmore, Eclipse Coffee will supply a flavourful jolt to keep you shopping.

11. Down in Black Diamond, there’s a charming eatery called The Westwood. Not only do they have fabulous breakfasts and baking, they also have a small but great selection of comestibles. From hard to find Yuzu (Japanese lemon) juice and marmalade, to Korean Gochuchang paste and Joe Beef Ketchup to local honey, teas from Tender Living Farm and some of the tastiest coffee roasters, you’ll be delighted with what you find.

12. No trip to Lethbridge is complete for us without stopping at the Umami Shop. The husband and wife team of Sven and Patricia have impeccable taste, their own line of sauces, really fun cooking classes and their own holiday gift guide.

13. Last but not least, if you want edible, Alberta-made goodness, we hope you’ll consider our very own Alberta Cares Packages from our Eat Alberta First Store. Choose from three different Holiday themes – The North Pole Diet, Comfy Cozy and Holiday Morning. The boxes not only support 30 Alberta businesses, they also raise much needed funds for mental health programs and soup kitchens across Canada.

Pictures from left to right and top to bottom: The Westwood in Black Diamond, Culina to Go in Edmonton, Knifewear, The Silk Road Spice Merchant and Cookbook Co. Cooks