Still not sure what to give your favorite foodie? Want some suggestions from opinionated eaters? We called a few of our favorites to ask what it would take to fulfill their food fantasies. Here's what they said:
Michael Caine, actor/restaurateur: Beluga caviar with all the accouterments . . . tons and tons of it. What I would really like is the golden, but its very expensive and very difficult to get, so I'll settle for the Beluga.
Beluga caviar is sold at Van Rex Gourmet Foods, 5850 Washington Blvd., Culver City. (213) 965-1320.
Angela Lansbury, actress. Famous for meat pies in Broadway's "Sweeny Todd": More caviar.
See Van Rex, above.
Patrick Terrail, assistant to the president, Hiram Walker: On Christmas Eve in France it's traditional to have oysters, but being that I love New Year's Eve I would want to have some nice foie gras , some caviar and a good bottle of Champagne, preferably Lanson.
Foie gras can be ordered from D'Artagnan Inc. 399 St. Pauls Ave., Jersey City, N.J. 07306. (800) DARTAGN.
Julia Phillips, author of "You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again": The roast chicken stuffed with mushrooms and dressing and garlic mashed potatoes from Monkey Bar. That place is such an absolute scene right now, if someone had it sent to my home I'd be happy. And except for the mashed potatoes it is really low-cal.
Monkey Bar, 8225 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 658-6005.
Piero Selvaggio, owner of Valentino, Primi and Posto restaurants: Truffle. But truffles are very hard to come by, and I don't know of anyone that is willing to pay the price. The second thing, believe it or not, are some wonderful rustic cold cuts--an assortment of prosciutto, salami and country bread. But I don't know of a super Italian deli in L.A.
We do . It's Domingo's, 17548 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 981-4466.
Shel Brucker, president, Avery Restaurant Supply: Chocolate covered cherries from Edelweiss Chocolate. Chocolate does it for me.
Edelweiss Chocolate, 444 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 275-0341.
Tony Bill, director/restaurateur: Fresh, homemade chocolate chip cookies with nuts. Whenever you get them in a store, they don't keep long before they get stale. I don't know why that is.
Gerard Ferry, owner, L'Orangerie restaurant: Something from Fauchon in Paris is nice. They do wonderful (gift) baskets.
To order from Fauchon, just fax the French gourmet food emporium at 001 331 47 42 28 71 with your order and a valid credit card number.
Kathy Bates, actress, "Fried Green Tomatoes." A basket full of peas on earth.
Fresh garden peas are available at Irvine Ranch Market, 6401 Canoga Ave., Woodland Hills. (818) 704-0485.
John Sedlar, chef/owner, Bikini restaurant: Pounds and pounds and pounds of chocolate. I eat at least a pound a day. I especially love the chocolate from Teuscher.
Teuscher Chocolate, 9548 Brighton Way, Beverly Hills. (310) 276-2776.
Ken Frank, chef/owner, La Toque restaurant: I get a box of the Harry and David Royal Riviera Pears every year. I take the box and I hide it when it comes.
Harry and David, Medford, Ore. 97501-0713. (800) 547-0713.
Ben Gateau-Cumin, restaurant headhunter: Honey from the roof of the Paris Opera--it's sold at Fauchon. Jean Pocton, the Opera's beekeeper, has more than 10,000 worker bees making gallons of the stuff.
See Fauchon above.
Ronald Reagan, former President: A spokeswoman says former President Reagan is appreciative of all the wonderful items he receives. But, she says, it would be a real problem if he named one: "If he said he liked cranberries," she says, "he'd get tons of them." But hey, we all know our former President is crazy about Jelly Bellies.
Jelly Bellies are available from the Herman Goelitz Candy Co., 2400 N. Watney Way, Fairfield, Calif. 94533. (707) 428-2800.