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Friday, December 18, 2009

Menu for Hope, these are a few of my favorite things

I've been busy with other tasks for Menu for Hope that I've neglected to point out my own favorite things that I've gathered for the raffle.  Every year I ask friends who are chefs and producers of amazing things to help offer up the results of their hard work to entice you -yes, you- to donate to our Menu for Hope.  Here's the list of this year's items.  I hope some of these will strike your fancy. 

UW04  Dinner for two at the Michelin 2-star Manresa.

UW04You'll be invite to feast on the Grand Tasting Menu wine pairing and a personal tour of the restaurant's biodynamic kitchen garden at Love Apple Farm.  The Grand Tasting Menu+wine pairings for two at Michelin 2-star Manresa, AND a tour of the restaurant's biodynamic garden at Love Apple Farm.  Manresa is, of course, my favorite restaurant in the world - and that's not only because I live with the chef ;-) but also because I am fully aware of the care and the love he pours into his restaurant.  David's food is not only delicious but also thoughtful, rooted, and always inspiring.  If you haven't had a chance to try it, this will be an experience you will not soon forget. 

UW06  Dinner for two at Daniel Patterson's Michelin 2-star Coi. Plus, dinner for two at his more casual spot at the Ferry Plaza, Il Cane Rosso.

UW06Daniel is not only a good friend, but he's also my favorite chef in San Francisco.  His flagship Coi is an intimate restaurant, an oasis in the midst of the craziness that is North Beach.  But don't let the location deter you, once you're inside Coi you'll be treated to such a calming, rejuvenating atmosphere and the kind of food that'll make you rethink what you thought you knew about an ingredient.  Daniel's second spot, the casual Il Cane Rosso at the Ferry Building, is his new venture, and it's no les delightful.  The tiny Il Cane Rosso serves family style dinner, with scrumptious home-y food but with top notch ingredients and perfect preparation.   

WB22 Dinner with the indomitable Randall Grahm at Cellar Door in Santa Cruz, plus Been Doon So Long

WB22 My dear friend and neighbor Randall Grahm is one of the most influential figures in the American wine industry. Founder of Bonny Doon Vineyard, Randall pioneered many things that are commonplace today in winemaking and wine marketing. Still at the helm of Bonny Doon, Grahm has completely changed his approach to winemaking in the last few years, going from high production to low production and embracing Biodynamic winemaking to the fullest.

For Menu for Hope, Randall invites you (and your +1) to join him for dinner at his Cellar Door cafe at the Bonny Doon winery and tasting room in downtown Santa Cruz.  He'll pull a special bottle out of the esteemed cellar, and bring a long a copy of his latest book, Been Doon So Long, which he'll gladly sign, just for you.

UW05  Six jars of Chez Pim’s artisan marmalade and jam, plus an autographed copy of The Foodie Handbook

UW05I wrote about this already, but in case you haven't seen it, I'm also offering a personally autographed copy of my book, The Foodie Handbook: the (almost) definitive guide to gastronomy, plus six jars of my own line of jam and marmalade.  I'll pick you some of my favorite varieties and personally sign the copy of my book for you, plus, I'll ship them anywhere in the world even.  Did I say I'll ship them anywhere in the world?  I did?  Good!  Because I really will ship them anywhere in the world (though any Customs problems will be between you and your Customs agents.)  More about this prize here. 

UW07  Four months subscription to Citizen Bean, plus the Welcome Kit

UW07I've been a fan of Citizen Bean service for almost two years now.  They have beans from some of the best names like Victrola, Gimme, and Counter Culture.  But the best part about Citizen Bean is how they introduce me to tiny roasters from faraway places I would never otherwise know about, like Doma in Post Falls, Idaho ( their Ruby's Organic Espresso is on my favorite list) and Kickapoo in Viroqua, Wisconsin which has just been named Roast Magazine 2010 Roaster of the year.  Citizen Bean sent me beans from Kickapoo long before this top honor.  Mal, the proprietor of Citizen Bean, who's also become a friend, has a nose for this kind of thing.  For your $10 donation to Menu for Hope, plus a little luck, Mal will send you four months subscription, and also the welcome kit which has just about everything you'll need to be properly caffeinated every morning.

UW08  *emera Camera Tote Bag

UW08Get an *emera bag of your own!  Tote your favorite DSLR in style in my favorite camera bag, the one-and-only *emera Bag!   It's a camera bag that doesn't look at all like a camera bag.  Instead, it's a very comfortable, stylish tote bag that comes with the kind of protection you'd expect from any good camera bag, plus there's enough room for my purse, keys, and even my magic make-up pouch.  I took the bag with me to Tokyo on my recent trip, and I can't tell you how many timesI was stopped and asked where I got my gorgeous camera bag.  I might have opened a whole new market for them! You'll love one too, I'm sure.

UW09  Two spots in a hands-on butchering class by Ryan Farr of "4505 Meats" in San Francisco

UW09Haven't you heard?  Butchers are the new rock stars!  Or maybe it's butchers are the new black.  Ok, whatever.  But butchers are sure hot right now.  Julie Powell wrote a book about it.  So did my friend Tea.  Even Epicurious agrees.  And if you want to try your hands at being one, or just get a little closer to learning where the meats we eat come from, you'll love to join one of Ryan's classes at 4505 Meats in San Francisco.  You can learn how to butcher a whole pig, or a lamb, or how to make your own sausages.  You'll learn lots and even become a little more hip in the process.  How can you beat that? 

MFH6logoFor the full raffle item list organized by theme, go to this post.

For the donation form and our spiffy bid selector tool, go here.

Or if you want to browse the list by region, visit our regional host blogs:

Europe (hosted by David Lebovitz)
Asia Pacific (hosted by Ed of Tomato)
USA: East Coast (hosted by Helen of Tartelette)
USA: West Coast (hosted by Shauna of Gluten Free Girl)
Canada (hosted by Tara of Seven Spoons)

plusour special wine blog host: plus Alder of Vinography

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