Mother’s Day gifts for food-lovers

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Slacking on your Mother’s Day shopping this year? Whether she’s a talented cook or just a chocoholic, here are five last-minute gift ideas to impress a foodie Mom this Sunday.

A box of chocolates may sound like a lame Mother’s Day gift, but not when they’re from Inman Park’s new Cacao Laboratoire du Chocolat. Owner and chocolatier Kristin Hard’s work is exquisite, right down to the beautiful packages imprinted with her silver wing logo. The confections inside are not cheap—most run about $2 to $3 a piece—but if Mom loves chocolate, she’ll swoon over the peppermint patties and chocolates like the Honey Heaven, spiked with honey and ginseng. Plus, picking out an assortment for Mom from the jewelry store-like glass cases in this elegant boutique is fun for the gift-giver, too.
Cacao Laboratoire du Chocolat and Boutique, 312-C N. Highland Ave.; 404-221-2626; cacaoatlanta.com

A true gastronome can never own enough cookbooks. Add a new one to Mom’s collection: “Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, With Recipes,” by Jennifer McLagan (Ten Speed Press) was just named cookbook of the year at the James Beard Awards. Sure, it includes some decadent recipes, but McLagan also delves into the many health benefits of fats. If your Mom is more waistline-conscious, “The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life,” by Ellie Krieger (Taunton) might be a better choice—it won the Beard Foundation’s prize for best “healthy focus” cookbook this year.

There are plenty of great foodie gifts on the shelves at Cook’s Warehouse—and free shipping on all orders over $49, a perk if your Mom lives out of town. But if she’s local or due for a visit to Atlanta, treat her to a cooking class at one of the store’s three locations. The wide range of classes include everything from basic knife skills to Thai cuisine to bread-baking. Local restaurant chefs often teach courses here—browse the listings for upcoming classes and look out for teachers like Joe Truex of Repast and Jay Swift of 4th and Swift.
Midtown: 549-I Amsterdam Ave. N.E., 404-815-4993; Brookhaven: 4062 Peachtree Rd., 404-949-9945; Decatur: 180 West Ponce de Leon Ave., 404-377-4005; cookswarehouse.com/ClassReg/Public/classes.asp

No matter if mom’s a serious oenophile or typically sticks with her Pinot Grigio—the Atlanta Wine School offers a wide range of wine tasting courses with something for everyone. Classes are held at a few different locations around the city, and upcoming choices include wine and cheese pairings and the wines of Southern Italy. There’s also a class on how to taste wine like a pro. Those who planned ahead and already checked off Mom’s gift should keep this one in mind for next year—the school even offers a special Mother’s Day course, but it’s all booked for this weekend.
Atlanta Wine School; 770-668-0435; atlantawineschool.com

Bella Cucina’s Virginia-Highland shop (pictured above) is packed with good gifts for anyone yearning for that trip to Italy that’s probably not in the cards this year. Owner Alisa Barry’s newest Italian import is the hand-crafted, Alice Waters-inspired Tuscan Grill. The grills—which come in two sizes, originale and grande—are made for cooking over hardwood and according to Waters and Barry, they produce food with an amazing hickory flavor. If you don’t have $195 or $350 to shell out for one of these babies, check out the tablewares or anything in a jar. I’m tempted by the “Chef’s Collection” pesto gift box—it’s hard to choose among Bella Cucina’s delicious pestos, and this pretty package includes jars of lemon-artichoke, walnut-sage, and sweet pepper ($39). Too pressed for time to make it over to the store? Order online and have a mouth-watering assortment sent straight to Mom.
Bella Cucina Artful Food, 1050 North Highland Ave.; 404-347-6476; bellacucina.com

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