I know, I know. I haven’t even written my Halloween column yet and I’m already talking about holiday gifts.
But that’s only because the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book came out. Not that I shop at Neiman’s (not on my salary) but it’s fun to read about the fantasy gifts, those over-the-top, super pricey wonders that make you wonder who in the world would buy them.
This year there’s a limited edition Aston Martin, a 25-carat diamond, a Downton Abbey-style falcon hunting expedition and the ultimate His and Hers gift: An outdoor entertainment system that costs $1.5 million and includes a 201-inch viewing screen and two Apple mini iPads that serve as remotes.
Even if I had that kind of money, I’m thinking no.
But, in the spirit of the wish book here are some “fantasy” gifts I would buy. If I had the money.
1). A time machine and an invite to a dinner party at the Paris home of Paul and Julia Child. This gift includes sparkling conversation and sparkling wine, a five-course meal prepared by Julia that includes oysters, pâté of duck, her famous boeuf bourguignon and a slice of decadent Queen of Sheba cake. And more wine.
Price: Well, whatever you want to pay since time travel isn’t real.
2). Your own fully stocked test kitchen. A really big one full of the best food ingredients, hundreds of great cookbooks and all the latest cooking gadgets. Price: More than you can afford so keep dreaming and bumping your elbows in your own tiny kitchen.
3). A brand new food truck. You get to customize it anyway you want and have it stocked with whatever foods you crave. A ramen food truck that looks like a giant, take-out noodle container? Done.
Price: About $250,000 plus all the inspections, permits and licenses you’ll need.
4). A personal chef for a day. How much would you pay to have your favorite chef come to your home and prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner?
I’d love to have fancy restaurant meals prepared and laid out before me and never have to change out of my sweats. At least for one day.
The only problem would be choosing a chef. James Cole of Fleming’s Steakhouse and Wine Bar, Haven’s Randy Evans, Monica Pope, Chris Shepherd, the list is endless . . . how could you choose?
Price: Subject to chef.
5). Norma’s Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata. According to the Guinness Book of Records this dish is the most expensive omelet in the world, and with good reason.
It’s one pound of lobster meat, eggs and fried potatoes topped with 10 ounces of caviar. Price: $1,000. Plus shipping or air fare to New York City where you can eat it at the restaurant inside Le Parker Meridien but if you’re going to do that you might as well splurge, get a suite at the hotel and spend the weekend eating your way through the city.
Which sounds like fun, although I’m pretty happy eating my way through Houston, which — despite what Esquire thinks — has some of the best restaurants in the country.