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Menu For Hope III: Last day, last chance

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Just a short reminder: Menu For Hope III bidding ends at 6 PM PST, which translates to 3 AM tomorrow morning (the 23rd) for those of us in the CET, midnight EST, 2 AM in Britain, 4 AM in Eastern Europe, etc. More than $46,000 has been raised already for the World Food Programme - sure to go over $50,000 don't you think?

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Menu For Hope III: Still time to donate!

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Wow. As of right now, more than $24,000 has been donated to the World Food Programme through Menu for Hope III. If you haven't send in your donation yet, there's still time!

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Top Chef Season 2, Episode 8: Let's party under fake snow

topchef_mia.jpgAll stressed out Mia continue reading...

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Top Chef Season 2, Episode 7: Role Reversals

I almost forgot that there was a new Top Chef episode last week, and since I was away from home I didn't get to watch it until tonight. Therefore this is a very brief recap.

The theme of this episode seems to be role reversals: much maligned Marcel wins the Quickfire challenge and gets immunity. Then the women end up as top three and the boys who are usually on top - Sam, Cliff and Frank - end up as the bottom three in the Elimination challenge. continue reading...

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Food Destinations #4 is announced!

Food Destinations #4 has been announced. The theme is My Favorite Gourmet Gift Shopping Spot, and the host is Paula of Mango and Lime. Go over to check out the details here. Paula is offering a great prize too!

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Is it possible to have bad food in France? Of course it is.

I think I'm guilty of waxing too lyrical about the food in France sometimes, and I'm certainly not alone in that. If you believe some people (many of whom have a vested interest in upholding the myth) you may think that French people eat delicious, fresh, well-prepared gourmet food and heavenly pastries all the time. That's just not true, of course. I'm just back from a two week stay in Provence, and while most of the food was wonderful as usual, there were some definite low lights. continue reading...

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Menu For Hope III

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[Update 2:] The auction is now over! Thank you everyone who donated! continue reading...

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The original Bunmeido Kasutera commercial

Via a comment from Ned (Thanks, Ned!) , here is the video of the original Bunmeido Kasutera commercial from the 1960s that I mentioned in my kasutera article:

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Three years of Just Hungry

Three years ago, I decided on a whim to branch off a bit from my main blog, which was mostly about web development and other matters, and start a blog about food, just food - and Just Hungry was born. On November 29, 2003, I posted my first entry. 450 or so entries later it's still here! It's now become a much more visited site than I ever imagined, and I am constantly amazed and surprised at how many people take the time to write me great emails or leave comments. continue reading...

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Top Chef Season 2, Episode 6

I hope everyone in the U.S. had a great Thanksgiving! Jumping into another Top Chef episode recap. continue reading...

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Surviving Thanksgiving, a Don't Panic! list for new cooks

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I've been living off and on in Switzerland since 1995, but I think this is the first year that I've actually not been in the U.S. for Thanksgiving. I usually made an effort to go there around that time, even if I didn't always spend it with my family. Of course there is no Thanksgiving celebration in Switzerland. We've already moved directly to Christmas season (which also encompasses St. Nicolas Day on December 6th). There are several Christmas markets on already in the area.

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Food Destinations #3 roundup is up

Emily of Chocolate in Context has posted her roundup of Food Destinations #3: My Favorite Chocolate Shop [edit: URL corrected now]. Be sure to check out the drool-worthy entries. Mmm, chocolate...

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75% vegetarian: meat is just a side dish

After reading my post yesterday about, among other things, the offal challenge on Top Chef, someone emailed me expressing surprise that I was not a vegetarian. I have been asked before by readers of this blog whether I was a vegetarian. I'm not, but let me qualify that. continue reading...

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Top Chef Season 2, Episode 5: Offal and bits

(This is an abbreviated recap/review of episode 5, since I'm up to my eyebrows in work at the moment with not much time to spare for blog-related stuff, reading as well as writing.)

One thing about Top Chef: if they suddenly feature someone they've been practically ignoring up to that point, like Josie in this episode, you can be sure that that person is going to get kicked off. continue reading...

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Top Chef Season 2, Episode 4: Cheating! Or is it?

So...let's get right to the end first. Were they right in eliminating no one? Was it a cop-out by the judges? Don't they have the cameras on all the time in the kitchen to check what people are doing? Was Sam right to bring up the 'cheating' issue before the judges - and then wimp out when asked to name names? Should Mia have pushed the issue on? continue reading...

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A site about molecular gastronomy, and a video about sake

Here are a couple of links that I wanted to get into a bit more detail than I can in the del.icio.us hosted daily links. continue reading...

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TV: Heston Blumenthal: In Search of Perfection

heston1.jpgHeston Blumenthal makes aerated chocolate with a vacuum cleaner, among other things continue reading...

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Top Chef Season 2, episode 3: Cravable!

topchef2_tomrestrained.jpgFor some reason Tom Colicchio has to be held down by both Gail and Padma when Betty wins.

Compared to episode 2 this was a lot more entertaining. Team challenges are usually exercises in boring drama, while individual challenges focus a lot more on the food.

And I love that word they used, Cravable. Food should be cravable. continue reading...

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Top Chef Season 2, Episode 2: Don't take the lichees if you're on a reality TV show

This recap of episode 2 is brief since it's a week late due to my absence, and there really isn't that much to say about it. continue reading...

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Yahoo! Food launches

I am on ten gazillion mailing lists about food, and one of those that drifted in this past week was about the launch of Yahoo! Food. My first impression is that it looks great - clean design, not cluttered with moving bits like the Food TV site. It's similar to BBC Food, my current favorite non-blog food site. I particularly like the huge search box on the Yahoo! page, as well as the food related quotes. continue reading...

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Impressions of England, strictly food-related

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tavistock_bobscafesign.jpgI am back from England. As is usual when I go there, in a food sense it was a mixed bag. On the positive side, I got to experience two real, unique - and very different - highlights in The Pudding Club and The Fat Duck.

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Off to England

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I am off to England for about a week. While it's supposed to be partly for work, somehow I've managed to schedule an awful lot of food-related things in there. One of them will be my first molecular biology..I mean.. gastronomy... experience, at The Fat Duck, on Hallowe'en. Concidentally, BBC 2 is going to be showing part 1 of a two-part documentary about Heston Blumenthal that very evening. We're going to lunch so it should be fun to see that after having experienced the restaurant.

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TV: Fear of Fanny - resurrecting Fanny Cradock

Mark Gatiss as Johnnie and Julia Davis as Fanny Cradock on Fear of Fanny

Fear of Fanny is the second in a series of biopics being aired by BBC Four this month. This time, the subject is Fanny Cradock, who ruled as a TV chef in the U.K. in the '60s to the '70s. continue reading...

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The U.S. (allegedly) bans Vegemite...can Marmite be far behind?

I really had to look twice at the calendar to make sure I hadn't suddenly skipped ahead a few months to April 1st when I read this news story: continue reading...

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Off topic: my other site is up again

I know some people who follow Just Hungry also used to read my makikoitoh.com site, where I mostly talk about things like design in general, web design and development in particular, and so on. It's been dormant for a long time but I've just re-designed and revived it so please give it a visit!

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Top Chef Season 2, Episode 1: Flames, snails and frogs

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Well well, so season 2 is upon us.

15 contestants is way too many to start with, so I can barely remember half of them. The new host? I will reserve my judgement (more on the hosting position a bit later). Let us jump straight into the challenges. continue reading...

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TV: The Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton

mrsbeeton.jpg Mrs. Beeton attempts to hack off the head of a turtle, one of the skills required of a homemaker in Victorian times, as her maid looks on anxiously. (don't worry, she couldn't go through with it) continue reading...

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Truly hungry

Today, October 16th, is World Food Day, a day designated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations since 1945 as a day for promoting awareness of issues related to hunger, agriculture and food production.

While much of the time this site, like most food blogs, talk about indulging personal hunger and food cravings, there's a lot to think about on this subject these days, much of it rather sobering. continue reading...

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How to behave in a European restaurant, a guide for American (or Japanese) tourists

(Related to my previous post - this is something I was originally going to submit to the How To... event held by ProBlogger, but I ended up posting something else. To be taken it with a big grain of salt.) continue reading...

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There's a different pace in Europe

This month, Frank Bruni of the New York Times is writing about his experiences eating in Rome on his Diner's Journal blog. One of things he mentions is what he perceives as the inferior level of service in most Rome restaurants. A number of commenters chime in, some claiming variations of "it's because Europeans hate Americans". continue reading...

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A week of foodie inserts in The Guardian

If you live in the U.K., (or elsewhere where they sell U.K. newspapers complete with inserts) get ready for a week of food-related inserts starting tomorrow in The Guardian.

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The refrigerator report

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I've been living with my new refrigerator for about a month now, and I love it. What I particularly like about it are the "Biofresh" compartments - the sealed drawers with adjustable humidity for storing fresh food. (Biofresh is term used by the manufacturer, Liebherr, but other manufacturers use other terms for it.) The humidity can be set to low for meats, fish and cheeses, and high for fruit and vegetables. And, there are three big drawers - way more than a regular refrigerator.

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Top Chef Season 2 starts next week

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Set your TiVos or iTunes Music Store reminders. The second season of our favorite American cooking competition show is just a week away! New host, more contestants, change of venue to Los Angeles -- could be exciting! (Or, a disaster. We'll find out.) continue reading...

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Isabella Beeton, Fanny Cradock, and Elizabeth David on the BBC

fannycradock_bbc.jpg Julia Davis as Fanny Cradock in Fear of Fanny continue reading...

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Food Destinations no. 3: All about chocolate!

Food Destinations is back for round 3! This time, it's hosted by Emily of Chocolate in Context, and the theme is My Favorite Chocolate Shop. Mmm, chocolate. Go over to Emily's site and read up on the details! The deadline is October 30th.

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Pesticides, cabbages, and onion sandwiches

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Yesterday's musings on the priciness of at least some organic produce reminded me of a very useful guide to pesticides on popular fruits and vegetables, published by the Environmental Working Group. I've listed it before in my Daily Links, but I'm repeating it here in case you missed it. It's a wallet-sized guide to the produce that has the most pesticides (so worth buying organic) down to the ones that have the least (so perhaps worth buying conventional.

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The $9 organic burger at Farm Aid

I am old enough to recall the '80s rather clearly (and, isn't it a bit scary how '80s fashion like humongous oversized sweaters seem to be making a comeback now? What's next, the return of footballer-sized Dynasty shoulder pads?), so I remember when the first Farm Aid concert took place. At that time, family farms in the U.S. were in dire straights, so a bunch of musical artists, inspired by the massive Live Aid concert, got together to raise money and awareness for the plight of the American farmer. continue reading...

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Reading: Heat

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Heat book coverIt has actually been a while since I last put down Heat - or to give its full title, Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany.

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Produce: Grapes

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Let's start this with an important question. When you eat grapes, do you: continue reading...

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My new energy efficient refrigerator and freezer

My new refrigerator finally got installed on Friday. After some long hours of procrastination and drooling over appliance porn, I eventually went with a smaller, less-feature-rich, yet much "greener" model. (Actually two models, since we got a separate small freezer to go with the fridge.) It's not as sexy as the glamorous models in those appliance centerfolds, but it has a lot of features that suit the way I cook and shop for food. continue reading...

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Other food blogs: Tigers and Strawberries

Most people who familiar with the world of food blogs know Tigers and Strawberries already, but for those of you who don't, now is as good a time as any to introduce you to Barbara and her vigorous writing. Why? Because she's just had a beautiful baby girl. You can see a picture of tiny Kat. continue reading...

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Wine Blogging Wednesday #25: Champagne Fleury

(Posted by Max: Maki is out of commission since her Powerbook's system disk went belly up yesterday.)

When Sam from Becks & Posh announced the Wine Blogging Wednesday #25 to be about Champagne, it gave me a reason to dig a bit through the cellar, where I found a long-forgotten bottle of a Champagne Fleury which must be almost 10 years old.

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Food and being green on the BBC

I am eternally grateful that the BBC broadcasts free-to-air on satellite, and that I live within reception range. I feel a bit guilty that I don't have to pay anything to view the Beeb as UK residents do, and believe me if they started to bill me something I'd pay it without question. The BBC has the best programming, bar none, of any network I've ever seen in any country. (I'm even a closet East Enders watcher, but don't tell anyone.) continue reading...

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Miso soup wrapup, and choosing and caring for lacquered soup bowls

misosoupbowls.jpg The top black bowl is resin; the bottom two are real lacquered bowls. continue reading...

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Food Destinations #2 roundup coming very soon

Just a quick note to say, first of all, a big thanks to everyone who participated in this second round of Food Destinations. The roundup will be posted very soon (hopefully today...just waiting for a couple of promised late entries... :))

Food Destinations #2: Lebensmittel Markt am Helvetiaplatz, Zurich, Switzerland

Everything looks so good

This is my entry for Food Destinations #2: My Local Market.

There are several fresh food markets in Zürich. I was actually going to talk about another one, but someone else had covered it already (as you'll see in the roundup!), so I decided to head to the market at Helvetiaplatz. continue reading...

BlogDay linking to non-food sites

Today, August 31st, is Blogday 2006, the idea of which is to link to 5 blogs that you would normally not link to on your blog. (The site seems to be having some issues right now, hopefully they will recover before the day is done.) One of my other major passions besides food and cooking is design, and there are a number of great blogs that concentrate on what's new in the design world, from various angles.

It was really hard to pick just five out of many great design blogs, but here are some of the best out there. continue reading...

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Food Destinations sneak peek

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fdshinybuttonblue.jpgOne of the best things about hosting, or participating in, a food blogging event that it can lead you to blogs that you've never encountered before. Such an entry came in just this morning, from Hungary via Belgium. Chili & Vanilla is written by Zsofi, who is from Hungary but currently lives in Belgium.

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maki Just Hungry is a site about food. There are lots of recipes and much more. You may want to read about Just Hungry, or contact the site owner, Makiko Itoh. To dive in real deep, try the site map.

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