Foodie Gifts and Giveaways Abound in the North Bay

One of the best parts of the holidays is the food. From sweet treats to sumptuous dinners, this season can’t be beat. Yet, in a pandemic, finding those foods that make the holidays special can seems like a daunting task. Here’s a few places to start your search for seasonal culinary favorites.

For the bread guy or gal in your life, there is The Model Bakery, an artisan mainstay in St. Helena since 1908. The Model Bakery will be spending its holidays preparing traditional favorites and special treats both for gift-giving and to help the home chef enjoy more time with family.

Now with locations in both Napa and St. Helena, as well as a curbside spot in Yountville, the Model Bakery is offering everything from breakfast to dessert, beginning with it’s famous morning pastries and English Muffins that keep ending up on “Oprah’s Favorite Things” List. There’s also the bakery’s signature Pain au Levain Boule and Walnut Sage Levain Batard. Then, there are the pies; Pumpkin and Pecan Pies, plus Apple Pie with Streusel topping.

“The holidays are absolutely our favorite time of year,” says proprietor Sarah Mitchell Hansen in a statement. “As bakers, it’s the one time of year that we love to show off what we can do. 2020 has been such a challenging year, here’s hoping some freshly baked artisan treats will add some comfort for family and friends.”

All of these items can be ordered online for curbside pickup, and the freshly baked goods pair well with The Model Bakery Cookbook, also available online at themodelbakery.com.

Beyond the bread, the best way to find culinary delights in Napa Valley the Holidays in Yountville virtual and in-person offerings, taking place through Jan. 1.

Due to the pandemic, this year’s iteration of the annual Holidays in Yountville offers more than 50 online events, including foodie events such as virtual wine tastings, cooking classes, wine pairings and chocolate seminars and more.

Online visitors can also find the Yountville Holiday Gift Guide, which lists 25 gift packages featuring Napa Valley wine, food, accessories and experiences. There is also the Yountville Community Cook Book, featuring 40 pages of recipes from the town’s wineries, restaurants and residents.

In addition to all the virtual offerings, the Town of Yountville is open and invites visitors and locals alike to safely see the town’s thousands of holiday lights that adorn local shops, tasting rooms, restaurants and hotels.

“2020 has been a challenging year, so the magic of Holidays in Yountville is even more needed to lift our spirits,” says Yountville Chamber President and CEO Whitney Diver McEvoy in a statement. “Whether you are able to spend a few days with us in person, or enjoy the Town of Yountville virtually from afar, we hope Holidays in Yountville brings much joy for family and friends this time of year.” See the full Holidays in Yountville listing at yountville.com.

For the vegan in your life, there’s no better place to begin looking for gifts than North Bay-based Miyoko’s Creamery, and the vegan cheesemakers are partnering with the organization In Defense of Animals to give away a year’s supply ($500) of vegan cheese.

Since launching in 2014, Miyoko’s Creamery has earned its founder, Miyoko Schinner, the title of “Queen of Vegan Cheese.” The creamery, which currently operates out of a 30,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility in Sonoma, is transforming local and national opinion about vegan cheese, and Miyoko’s products can be found in 1,000’s of stores across the country.

These products include artisanal cheese wheels and shredded and sliced cheeses, spreads, mozzarella, butter and cream cheese that are made entirely from plants, with no fillers, additives, artificial ingredients.

For Miyoko Schinner and other vegans, using these plant-based alternatives supports a compassionate and sustainable food system.

“Miyoko’s Creamery is thrilled to team up with In Defense of Animals to make the holiday season merry and bright for animal advocates and cheese-lovers alike,” says Schinner in a statement.

The giveaway is open to US residents over the age of 18. Interested individuals can enter to win on In Defense of Animals’ Instagram. All entries must be received by December 14 at 12:00 p.m. PT. The winner will be announced on December 15.

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