Gifts for Your Funny Valentine Who also Happens to Be a Foodie

What could say, “I love you … and your cooking” better than a chance to cook alongside one or more of New York’s A-list chefs (think David Bouley, Dan Barber, Marc Forgione, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Michael Psilakis, or culinary legend André Soltner, among others)? Opportunity becomes reality on May 4 and 5, when The International Culinary Center holds its fifth annual New York Culinary Experience.

Tickets, which are on sale at www.nymag.com/nyce, do not come cheap — the weekend-long event goes $1,395 — but the memories last a lifetime. This year’s event, moreover, will feature an auction package for a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience with three star Michelin Chef Alain Passard in France. The winner will receive a visit to Alain Passard’s potager outside of Paris followed by lunch at the garden prepared by Passard. Afterwards, the winner will be spirited off to Paris to spend a few hours in Passard’s L’Arpege kitchen before enjoying a degustation dinner at the world-renowned restaurant.

The price of Culinary Experience tickets includes breakfast, lunch, and a cocktail/wine reception each day. A portion of the proceeds are donated to The Future Chefs Scholarship, a program at The International Culinary Center established to provide scholarships for students who wish to pursue their dream of attending culinary school.

What do French pastry technique and ingredients from Japan have in common? The answer is “everything” at Kyotofu, in Hell’s Kitchen (705 Ninth Avenue, bet 48th and 49th Sts, New York, N.Y., 212-974-6012). The offerings, which combine such unlikely bedfellows (copper pot-fellows?) as Valrhona chocolate and buttery miso, are as delectable as they are unusual. A “Hearts” Miso Chocolate Brownie Gift Box is $40 — gluten-free, too. Or consider Strawberry Nama Chocolate Fudge, at $58, made with fresh cream, white chocolate, and strawberry. The Sweetheart Shortbread Cookie Assortment ($38) features Heart-shaped shortbread cookies made with Genmai toasted brown rice, black sesame, and Matcha green tea.

 

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