Category: Hope

Curry night @ The Picnic Basket – a fundraising for Thai flood victims

It’s not easy to cook a hot meal in 5ft of floodwater. This Sunday November 13, my friends at the Picnic Basketthe Penny Ice Creamery and I will take the time to appreciate our warm, dry kitchen by making a delicious Thai curry to benefit the people of Thailand who have been struggling with catastrophic floods and unable to cook a meal of their own for some time.

Come join us in a bowl of Khao Soi, a curry noodle dish from the Northern region of Thailand. Picture a piping hot bowl of tender egg noodles, smothered in fragrant, warmly spiced curry, topped with squiggles of crispy noodles, pickled mustard greens, shallots, and a wedge of lime. The cilantro on top is optional. As are the fried chili and the smoky, spicy chili oil that you can add if you like it super spicy. Sounds good, no? Even better, the curry will be made entirely from scratch, and with no shrimp paste (so no need to worry if you’re allergic.) There will be two versions of the curry available, one with Mary’s free range chicken, the other tofu (and no fish sauce) – because vegetarians love people too.

All proceeds go directly to people on the ground in Thailand working to feed those in need. And if you’re on Facebook you will be able to follow our progress and see directly how your money goes to help.

Now you’re interested? Good! To make sure things go smoothly, and that we have enough food for all of you, we’ve set up a ticket system on EventBrite. You can buy a bowl of curry now (for $10, $20, or $50, your heart and/or pocketbook may decide), and tell us which block of time you’ll be coming for your curry (5-7pm, 7-9pm, or 9-11pm). There will likely be curry for walk-ins that day too, but the priority will be given to those who bought the tickets. There will also be other refreshing and delicious items to purchase too, and the proceeds from that go as well to feed those in need in Thailand.

I hope to see you all there. We’ll have a great time and make some good karma together. Thank you ever so much!

P.S. Even if you can’t come, you can still help us by buying a ticket. You’ll get a virtual bowl of curry and a very huge thank you from us! And did I mention extra good karma too? (We’ll bring all leftover to a local shelter so your virtual bowl of curry won’t go to waste but instead will go to help feed those in need right here in Santa Cruz.)

What: Curry Night with Pim at the Picnic Basket

Where: The Picnic Basket, 125 Beach Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (right across the street from the Santa Cruz Wharf)

When: Sunday, November 13, from 5pm – 11pm

Buy your curry ticket(s) here:

P.P.S. Julia Hartz, Co-Founder & President of Eventbrite, who also happens to be a homegirl here in Santa Cruz, just told us that Eventbrite will waive their fees on the tickets so that more money we raise goes to support the relief efforts in Thailand. This is awesome, thanks so much Julia and Eventbrite. You’re awesome!

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Lend a hand to chefs of tomorrow

Stagiaires are young, often unpaid cooks-in-training.  Those working at Mugaritz lost their valuable knives in the devastating fire recently.  Replacing their costly tools of the trade will be difficult for these young cooks, yet not having them is not an option.  Their plight is surely insignificant in the face of the disasters in Haiti and Chile.  But what price a dream?

If you're a frequent visitor to one of the many food forums on the web, you might recognize the name John Sconzo, docsconz as he is known thereabouts.  John has set up a fund via the Slow Food chapter in Saratoga to help these young cooks replace their knives.  Their goal is to raise $2,500, and they are ever-so-close.  So, if you could spare even a few dollars – give up your $4 latte tomorrow morning perhaps – please consider helping these young cooks continue in their pursuits.

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Menu for Hope 6 raffle winners

Menu for Hope 6 logoSo here it is, the results of our sixth annual Menu for Hope – with the help of two hundred bloggers, two hundred and four delectable items on our raffle list, and in the span of just over two weeks, we raised $78,898.00 in support of the UN World Food Program.  Yes, nearly $78K, in a recession year no less!  Not bad at all.  And none of these would be possible without your support – food lovers, businesses, bloggers, and our readers and supporters from all over the world.  A huge big shout-out also goes to our wonderful, hard-working hosts without whose help Menu for Hope 6 wouldn't have existed – Alder of Vinography, David of The Sweet Life in Paris, Ed of Tomato, Helen of Tartelette, Shauna of Gluten Free Girl, and Tara of Seven Spoons

Now that I'm done with thanking the academy, let's get to the fun part.  Check out the list of our raffle winners below to see if you've won anything.  If your name is on the list here, you'll be receiving an email about how to claim your prize in the next day or two!

Read more »

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Menu for Hope 6 final total ($78,818!) and minor housekeeping

MFH6logo Just a quickie note here to let you know that our Menu for Hope 6 now has a final total $78,818!  Nearly $80K – nothing to sneer at in a recession, huh?  That's a lot of farmers we'll be supporting and lots of hungry people we're going to be feeding via the good work of the WFP.

Derrick and I are doing the final tally and picking the raffle winners, but before we can finish we're doing a bit of housekeeping on the donation records and raffle picks.  If you see an email from us today, that means there's a problem with your raffle pick (nothing big, usually just invalid item codes), please reply asap so that we can correct the records and make sure all of your raffle choices are accounted for. 

We're still on for final raffle announcement on Monday January 18.  Check back here to see if your good karma pays off!

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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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