F&W Chef-in-Residence Mario Batali and meat master Pat LaFrieda are teaming up for EAT (RED), DRINK (RED), SAVE LIVES.
There is a new restaurant model that’s gaining traction across the country and around the world: pay-what-you-want spots.
On February 20, Food & Wine will help kick off the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF).
These kids are busy figuring out how to feed hungry children around the world, fight child slavery and get rid of Styrofoam.
It’s the last day to bid on some terrific cookbooks for a worthy cause: the Invisible Child Fund, which has been set up through the Legal Aid Society.
Here, incredible gifts for a cause from stylish tote bags that help fund the education of Haitian children to beautiful jewelry that supports hunger relief. The artisan sweets (left) are part of a decadent set including dark chocolate-covered honey cakes and buttery Irish shortbread by Clairesquares. The gift box is sold by San Francisco's La Cocina, an "Incubator Kitchen" that supports low-income food entrepreneurs, many of them women. Browse the full slideshow for more charitable gift ideas.
Related: Chefs Make Change
The world's most passionate young chefs, including René Redzepi and David Chang, are rallying around a Somali restaurateur who continues to rebuild his restaurant after it has been repeatedly destroyed by bombs in war-torn Mogadishu, Somalia. The latest attack occurred on Saturday, killing fifteen and injuring twenty more. Owner Ahmed Jama, who now has five area branches of The Village, released a statement declaring: “I won’t let this stop me. I will start clean up tomorrow.”
So how does a chef with a few local restaurants capture the attention of the most famous chef on the planet? Redzepi first read about Jama via CNN (tied to previous bombings) and invited him to speak at last month's summit for food-world luminaries, MAD3 Symposium in Copenhagen. "Given that Ahmed is a chef and the bombing took place in his restaurant, his story naturally hit close to home," explains MAD’s director Ali Kurshat Altinsoy. Knowing they wanted him there was one thing, getting in touch was another: “It was difficult to even make contact—in Somalia, the internet still remains restricted to land-based dial up and the telephones simply don't ring.”
They did make contact, and Jama shared his story with a large crowd in August: “In 2008, I closed my restaurant in London and moved back to my homeland to open a restaurant in Mogadishu. They thought I was crazy to do it in a war zone,” he said. “We only have a negative history in Somalia. I want my restaurant to change the history of my country, I want it to add a positive message to the world’s perception of Somalia.”
Jama opened The Village to serve Somali dishes like wood-grilled kingfish with green-chili sauce and camel meat with warmly-spiced rice, carrots, and raisins. The recipes reflect the country's heritage as a crossroads for Italians, Ethiopians, Persians and Middle Easterners. But his goal goes far beyond preserving culinary traditions. "It’s the place to come together to build an understanding amongst people,” said Jama. His clientele includes politicians, academics and journalists.
Following last week's tragic events, the friends he made in Denmark have established a $12,500 crowdfunding campaign to raise money for rebuilding efforts. Donations pouring in from around the world, including those from culinary favorites like David Chang, Daniel Patterson of San Francisco's Coi and writer Francis Lam, have already fulfilled over seventy percent of the fundraising goal.
Altinsoy says, “We hope that this small effort can result in something positive for him and those around him.” As Jama undertakes the painful rebuilding process once more, his statement at MAD, “I always believed that food can change society. Often, it is the only way,” seems more poignant than ever.
Related: More Chefs Make Change
Tonight at 11 pm ET, Vinny Guadagnino and his castmates from MTV’s Jersey Shore are hosting Restore the Shore, a one hour special to encourage viewers to make donations that will help rebuild Seaside Heights, NJ, which was badly damaged during Hurricane Sandy.
Guadagino will soon host his own talk show with a food angle, according to an announcement by MTV. On The Show With Vinny, he will interview celebrities at his family’s Staten Island house and serve them homemade Italian food, likely made by his mother Paula Guadagnino, who cooks enormous Italian meals for her family every day.
Courtesy of Daniel Boulud
The dinners and food-related events to assist Hurricane Sandy victims are still coming fast and furious. Like Eleven Madison Park's benefit to help rebuild the DUMBO restaurant Governor on November 20th. I applaud every single person who has done something in the kitchen or out of it, to help and urge everyone to keep up their great efforts.
I don’t know how most of those fund-raising meals came about. But I did hear the backstory of Momofuku and Café Boulud for NYC, the $495-per-person, one-night-only extravaganza which raised thousands of dollars for the Red Cross on November 2nd. And I got this groovy photo. So I wanted to tell the story.
The Players: Superchef Daniel Boulud and Momofuku’s Dave Chang. And Ben Leventhal (Eater.com’s co-founder and food-world rainmaker) who had the idea to bring downtown uptown, then got Boulud and Chang together. Along with Café Boulud chef Gavin Kaysen and a bunch of Momofuku staff who wanted to do something, but couldn’t because their downtown restaurants were closed.
The Location: The elite Café Boulud (a place where Chang was once a harried line cook).
The Complications: Chang was in Toronto during the Hurricane; his return flight was repeatedly cancelled. So the chef jumped in a rental car and drove back to NYC. Stories of speeding tickets and empty gas tanks can’t be confirmed or denied.
The Café Boulud & Momofuku Menu:
scallop - chick-pea miso, tamari
matsutake agnolotti - buckwheat, french toast
veal sweetbreads - yuzu kosho, labne, asian pear
foie gras - lychee, pine nut
duck - wild rice, apple, brussels sprouts
To book seats at Eleven Madison Park's dinner in support of Governor restaurant on November 20th, call 212-995-0905.
And for more on Boulud and Chang, and another great photo of the two together, check out the Toronto story in the December issue of F&W (I happened to write it).
It's not every day that Mario Batali hands out a Golden Pie Service Award. In fact, he'd never given one out before Sunday night, when he handed one to President Bill Clinton. Clinton was the star of an astonishing crowd that came out to support the Mario Batali Foundation, which works to keep kids well fed, well read and well cared for. Read more >