A Haute Gift Guide Exclusively Yours, From IfOnly

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S'mores with drinking chocolate, shortbread cookie and marshmallows at Dandelion Chocolate
S’mores with drinking chocolate, shortbread cookie and marshmallows at Dandelion Chocolate

Whether you want to sail around Cuba for 11 days or tour Lake Tahoe by helicopter, Trevor Traina’s online experience platform, IfOnly, allows you to do so. Prefer to go on a bike trip trough Maine with Patrick Dempsey? Spend an afternoon with chef Jonathan Waxman learning how to cook? Get a styling session with the ladies behind Veronica Beard? All of these experiences—and much more—can be arranged through the website making it the hautest place around to shop for one-of-a-kind gifts. “This holiday consumers seem to be interested in group learning activities,” Traina tells Haute Living. “Cooking classes, wine education, even drone classes seem to be sparking the imagination. We offer amazing glass blowing with partner Glassybaby and a doctorate in burger making with Marlowe.  People with children seem to love our unique experiences at the zoo like feeding the giraffes and petting the red panda.” On his personal wish list? “A day of private hiking in Napa, a food tour of Brooklyn and, in case I have been extra good, a private dinner in the Doge’s Palace in Venice.” To ensure that you’re gifting the most exclusive experiences, we scoured IfOnly in search of the coolest San Francisco-based adventures. Here is how to make memories that will last a lifetime with most dearest loved ones.

Learn all things chocolate with Todd Masonis, the co-founder of Dandelion Chocolate. Take a tour of their factory and learn how beans are harvested and turned into chocolate bars using traditional centuries old techniques. You’ll enjoy a selection of Dandelion’s chocolate bars and an indulgent chocolate-themed dessert sampler made by pastry chef Lisa Vega, formerly of Gary Danko.

Why not surprise the caviar lover in your life on New Year’s Eve with everything they’ll need to host the ultimate caviar party? The California Caviar Company’s Deborah Keane has curated this gift which includes a kilo of golden Russian osetra caviar, a 4-piece silver Christofle Vertigo set, silver caviar ice bowl and lid, and a silver champagne cooler. A kilo of caviar will generously serve more than 30 people.

Is there an ultimate 49ers fan in your life? Why not treat them to the following? On Christmas Eve, they’ll hop on the team’s private jet and fly down to Los Angeles for the Rams game. They’ll ride on the team’s private bus to and from the game. Then, during the main event, they’ll get an up-close-and-personal view of the 49ers with a thrilling on-field experience.

Custom jewelry by Mabel Chong
Custom jewelry by Mabel Chong

An incredibly special piece of jewelry is a timeless gift that lasts a lifetime—and beyond. Make it even more unique by handcrafting the jewelry with Mabel Chong, a local jewelry designer who works with gemstones, pearls, silver, and gold. Craft whatever you want, be it a glittering necklace, chunky bracelet, or sparkly earrings.

Chef Alejandra Espinoza is an Ecuadorean born French-trained chef and COO of Ground Kitchen, a culinary company that teaches people how to cook. With her IfOnly experience that benefits the Meals on Wheels foundation, she’ll teach you how to prepare a french Michelin-star menu that could feature flambeed scallops or duck leg confit raviolis with chestnut puree.

Giants lovers will jump at the chance to get an insider’s look at the baseball champions with Fox Sports reporter Bonnie-Jill Laffin. She’ll guide you through an all-access day at AT&T Park, introduce you to players and Bruce Bochy, and provide you with two lower reserve seat tickets.

Marlow’s burger is one of the best burgers in San Francisco. It’s so good it has a cult following—and rightly so! IfOnly has persuaded chef Jennifer Puccio to share the secrets of her burger. In the hands-on class you’ll learn the mysterious ingredient that gives the burger its sensational flavor and the proper fat to lean meat ratio. After the lesson, you’ll sit down to a celebratory dinner with Anna Weinberg and her husband, James Nicholas, the owners of Marlowe, Park Tavern, and the Cavalier.

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