Category: Hope

a few more great prizes and the final days of Menu for Hope V

Mfh5smallMenu for Hope has quietly crept up to over $47K now, with just under three more days to go.  I am blown away and also ever-so-humbled by the generosity of everyone even in times like these. 

We have four more prizes to add to the West Coast and Wine blog list today.  I think these are fantastic prizes that should be enough to entice more of you to donate $10 or $20 (or another $10 if you've already given) to help us help the WFP this year.  These prize entries might be late, but they are really favorite

UW40: Dinner for two with wine pairings at Michelin-2-star Coi in San Francisco

My friend the talented chef (and also a contributor to the NY Times Food Section) Daniel Patterson will treat a lucky winner of this Menu for Hope prize (plus her/his even luckier friend) to a scrumptious tasting menu at Daniel's two Michelin stars restaurant Coi in San Francisco.  The post dinner sojourn next door is on you, however – wink, wink.  If you've never been to Coi, this is your chance to try.  I know I'm biased, Daniel and his gorgeous wife Alexandra are very dear friends of ours, but I'm telling you, Coi is the most exciting restaurant in San Francisco–there is nowhere else I'd rather eat at the moment.  Drop a tenner and try your chance?

UW42 Barrel Tasting & Vineyard Tour at Windy Oaks

Windy Oaks Estate Winery and Vineyards is located at the southern, coastal end of the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation, 1,000 feet up on a ridge overlooking the Monterey Bay.  They also happens to be one of my favorite wine makers, not locally but anywhere.  They make delicate, elegant wines with judicious use of oak and fruit.  Just delicious, delicious stuff that's also very food-friendly.  They are offerring to host a private cheese and barrel tasting of their award-winning, highly rated estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, for 8 people.  Judy & Jim Schultze, the proprietors and winemakers, will lead the tour and provide the barrel tasting.  The afternoon will consist of a walking tour of the beautiful 15-acre vineyard, with wine tasting on the ridge overlooking the Monterey Bay.  Artisanal cheeses and local breads to complement the wines will accompany the sample tasting.   After the walk, you will return to the winery, nestled in the redwoods, and taste from our unreleased vintages still in their French oak barrels. Jim, the master winemaker, will explain his Burgundian style, innovative all-gravity winemaking techniques, from harvest and crush, through to barrel aging.  The event will last approximately 2 hours.  This is a perfect event for anyone who is interested in how premier grapes are grown, and artisan wine is made, in a small family estate vineyard and winery.

UW41: two tickets to the Lexus Grand Tasting, the finale event at Pebble Beach Food & Wine

Sunday's Lexus Grand Tasting at Pebble Beach Food & Wine is the
final event of this sure-to-be fantastic weekend.  The impressive chef line-ups include Traci Des Jardin of Jardiniere in
San Francisco; Bill Corbett, Pastry Chef at Restaurant Michael Mina in San
Francisco; Michael Mina; David Myers
of Sona in Los Angeles; Nancy Oakes of Boulevard in San Francisco; and
Michel Richard of Citronelle in Washington DC.  Enjoy over 300 wines
from 200 of the world's most prestigious wineries.  There will
also be opportunities for book signings and photo sessions with some of the
weekend's chefs.  I look forward to be at the event and hopefully meet the lucky winners of this prize!

UW35 Rancho Gordo gift set

Our good friend the rancho gordo Steve himself offer this prize, which includes a selection of his world-renown beans plus his fantabulous new book, Heirloom Beans.  He's promised to sign it for you too, in the most elaborate Rancho Gordo manner, even.

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Menu for Hope campaign extended to Dec. 31st

We are doing so well considering the economic climate, let’s see if we could raise a little bit more money if we extended the campaign for a few more days.  The new deadline for Menu for Hope raffle is December 31st, midnight PDT.

Thank you so much for your support, and happy holidays to you and yours.

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Kicking the second week into gear, Menu for Hope is now over $20K!

Mfh5smallThe second week of our Menu for Hope V has begun, and we're doing marvelously well – all things considered – at over US$ 20K.  At this very moment I am writing this post we are at $20,465.00, to be precise.  We have quite a way to go before catching up with what we did last year at $90K, so please don't quit yet.  If you've already given and tried your luck at a few prizes, perhaps you can tell a few friends and see if they had a tenner to spare for us and the children and farmers in Lesotho?

Something of a tradition now for us, going into the second week, is our customary pimping out – as our friend David Lebovitz elegantly put it – of prizes that are great and deserving of a little more lurve.  David himself pointed up – or pimped up, to stay with our metaphor – quite a few himself.

Of course, as the grande poobah of this campaign, I must first say I love all the prizes evenly (thanks food blogging and food-wine loving friends for offering these amazing prizes!).  But as a greedy fool who wishes she could play in the raffle herself, I guess I could point out a few that I would love love love to win…

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Through their eyes

Mfh5smallJust like we did before last year’s Menu for Hope, not long before this year’s campaign began our friend Richard Lee at the WFP dropped off a bunch of disposable cameras with the children at White Hill Primary School, one of the beneficiary schools in the remote areas of Lesotho.  We wanted those children to share with us their world, through their own eyes and not mediated by the lens of the pros. 

What returned with the cameras was no less than astonishing, especially considering that some of these children have hardly seen a camera, never mind having worked with one.  Here’s a selection of my favorite shots from this year’s lot, and if you haven’t seen the ones from last year, you should check them out as well. 

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Menu for Hope and the World Food Program


Last year’s Menu for Hope raised over $90K.  In case you’re wondering about what happened to that money, here’s a little report from the World Food Program.

WfplogosmallIt bought 388,000 meals in Lesotho schools, which fed over 19,000 poor hungry children with school meals for a whole month.  The children received food in primary schools across the remote mountainous areas of Lesotho, which are the poorest and hungriest parts of the country. 

Some of the money was used to buy food from local small scale farmers practicing sustainable farming methods in remote areas, providing them with guaranteed market for their products.  In 2007, the WFP bought 8 tons of maize from local farmers.  In 2008, with the funds from Menu for Hope 4, we bought 36 tons of maize from small scale farmers, four times as much as the year before.  This increase is very important, as showing the promise of a reliable market encourages farmers to invest more on their farms and in turn produce more.


This buy-local initiative is a win all around, for the farmers, for the children and the WFP, since it costs around $150 less overall per ton to buy from the local small scale farmers in Lesotho than buying and transporting the food in from abroad to the remote areas of the country.  This is also a win for the environment, as it uses a lot less fuel in transport.

Why should we continue our support for this program?

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