Have This Celebrity NC Chef Make A Meal Just for You, and Other NC-Centric Holiday Gifts This Year

Charlotte chef Lisa Brooks was a finalist on the popular Food Network reality show "Chopped." One of our picks for NC-centric holiday gifts this year is a candlelit dinner prepared in your home by Chef Lisa. (Photo by James Ward)

By Vanessa Infanzon

December 2, 2022

Pottery, apparel, a candlelit dinner for two by Chef Lisa Brooks, and a Blue Ridge bike crawl: Mean it when you say ‘shop local’ and buy these North Carolina-made holiday gifts.

Ever find yourself stumped on what to present as a gift to friends and family during the holidays? You want to be imaginative and give something original, a present that fits a person’s personality and style. A little inspiration is all you need.

Cardinal & Pine searched the state for experience gifts, handmade products and unique presents for the art-loving, crafty, food-crazed, locavores (eat local foods), hodophiles (travel lovers) and all the drinkers (beer, spirits, tea and wine) on your list. And we didn’t stop there…you can find something for the alien fans in your life. 

Scroll through these 13 North Carolina-specific gift ideas…and there’s no harm in trying them out on yourself first.

Apparel, Recover Brands


Giving a hoodie, t-shirt or workout gear made from repurposed plastic waste will make you feel good about decreasing your carbon footprint. And surprisingly, the clothing is durable and comfy in a variety of colors, textures and styles. 

Shop: 1518 Bryant St., Charlotte and online

Candlelit Dinner for Two, Heart & Soul


Splurge on someone special with a chef-prepared meal by Chef Lisa Brooks, a “Chopped” finalist. Chef Lisa coordinates a multi-course candlelight dinner for two in the home or choose another option to fit your budget. Chef Lisa’s signature dishes include crab bisque, lobster beignets, low-country shrimp and grits and Southern marinated filet mignon.

Shop: Online gift card

eBike Brewery Crawl, Asheville Adventure Company

Combine biking and beer drinking on a four-hour roundtrip ride, covering eight to 12 miles on a Vida eBike by Giant. Send loved ones around Asheville, exploring the craft beer scene.

Bikes and beer Sure Photo via Asheville Adventure Co

Shop: E-Bike Brewery Crawl

Face Jug, Crystal King Pottery


Opening up a face jug on Christmas morning will certainly turn heads. Both of Crystal King’s parents are potters, recently retired. She’s followed her father, Terry King’s tradition of making face jugs. He was featured in 2003 on “Antiques Roadshow.” Catch Crystal opening her kiln in December for a special treat.

Shop: 2475 NC Hwy. 705, Seagrove and online

A Seagrove NC potter is behind these one of a kind face jugs Photo via Heart of NC Visitors Bureau

Holiday Tea, Main Street Books

The Pauline Tea Bar Apothecary specialty teas are displayed in a downtown Davidson bookshop. While there, pick up a book by local authors for the readers on your list. North Carolina-based writer Todd Calgi Gallicano writes the Sam London Adventure series from the Files of the Department of Mythical Wildlife, books for middle-grade to young adult readers.

Shop: 126 South Main Street, Davidson

Lexington Barbecue Smokehouse Sauce, Lexington Barbecue

You’ve given your mom the apron, the smoker and the tongs. This extra push – a bottle of smokehouse sauce from an iconic barbecue joint – may finally get you the meal you really want for the holidays. 

Shop: 100 Smokehouse Lane, Lexington and by phone, (336) 249-9814

Enough said Image via Leah Hughes

Lip Treatment Set, Anne’s Apothecary
Anne Suinner-Lawoyin, Raleigh native and former nurse, makes clean skincare products with cold-pressed herb-infused oils, clays, and other natural ingredients for clean and budget friendly skincare. 

Shop: online

Opal Flowers Mug, Liz Kelly Pottery
Liz Kelly, a Raleigh native, makes functional home goods including mugs, ornaments and planters. Add locally roasted coffee beans to the mug or pot a native plant in the ceramic planter and you’ve got something special to give for Hanukkah. 

Shop: 1201 W Lenoir St, Raleigh (schedule a studio visit here) and purchase at one of these retailers

Snug as a Mug in a Hug, Coastal Purl, LLC
Elizabeth City

Perfect for people itching for a new knitting project: Designer Barbara Sanders sells a ‘sweater for your mug’ pattern, yarn and two matching buttons in a gift bag. If you play your cards right, you might be the recipient of the final product.

Shop: 106 A Capital Trace, Elizabeth City and online

Yeah thats a sweater for a mug Photo via Coastal Purl

Southern Star Paragon, Southern Distilling Company

Impress your host with thiswheated straight bourbon whiskey.’ New to the market, it was recently recognized at the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition for Best In Class (Best Single Barrel Bourbon Up to 10 Years) and Best Overall Bourbon.

Shop: 211 Jennings Road, Statesville and at ABC stores across North Carolina 

Impress your guests with this decorated North Carolina made bourbon Photo via Southern Distilling Company

Stemless Wine Glasses, Page Pottery

Husband-and-wife team JR and Kirsten Page create a variety of pottery in their mountainside studio in Burnsville. Get creative with a Yadkin Valley Winter Wine and Beer Passport (see below) attached with ribbon to a Page Pottery wine glass.

Shop: 138 Dandelion Lane, Burnsville and online

Streetwear, DUPP&SWAT

Siblings Dion Galloway and Davita Galloway have designed a new capsule clothing collection including crewnecks and hoodies featuring alien designs – perfect for your Secret Santa sci-fi fan.

Shop: Camp North End, 1824 Statesville Ave. and duppandswat.com

Yadkin Valley Winter Wine & Beer Passport, Yadkin Valley
Yadkin Valley
Introduce family and friends to NC wine country with a wine and beer passport. Each passport provides tastings for one or two people at 13 wineries, four breweries and one distillery from Nov. 25 through March 26, 2023. Passport holders also receive discounts on dining and lodging.

Shop: Yadkin Valley Winter Wine & Beer Passport and at the 13 participating wineries


  • Vanessa Infanzon

    Vanessa Infanzon moved from New York to NC for college and never left. When she’s not writing, she’s paddle boarding at the Whitewater Center.

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