Congrats, Winners

First: a huge salute to Pim and everyone who participated in this year’s Menu for Hope. We raised a staggering $91,188.00 for the UN World Food Programme. Everyone deserves a big pat on the back; what a wonderful use of food blogs and the web.

As for who won my prizes, the winners both already contacted me but here are their names for all the world to cheer: congrats to Michael Ridder who won dinner for two at Blue Hill Stone Barns (UE01); and congrats to Jaspreet Chowdhary who won two copies of my book and a homemade Amateur Gourmet pastry. Whatever will I make her? A coffee cake shaped like my head?

Once again, thanks to all involved. I finally feel good about myself.

Excitement & Needling

Yesterday was a big day for your friend The Amateur Gourmet. What happened? I can’t tell you yet and it’s not entirely clear what the future holds, but I promise to share more in January. Sorry for being a tease!

In the mean time, don’t forget to donate to Menu For Hope IV. I noticed many of you bid on the dinner at Blue Hill at Stone Barns (UE01) but very few of you bid on an autographed copy of my book and an authentically made Amateur Gourmet pastry (UE02). What does that say about your allegiance, loyal reader? Must you stomp on my ego as you raise money for charity? Show a little compassion, will you? Happy holidays!

Menu For Hope IV: Dinner For Two At Blue Hill Stone Barns (UE01) OR Autographed Amateur Gourmet Books With A Pastry (UE02)

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“Menu for Hope,” Pim’s extraordinary food blog fundraiser, raised $60,000 last year for the UN World Food Programme. This year we’re raising money for the UN again only the money is being directed to a wonderful cause: the school lunch program in Lesotho, Africa. Says Pim: “We chose to support the program in Lesotho because it is a model program in local procurement – buying food locally to support local farmers and the local economy. Instead of shipping surplus corn across the ocean, the WFP is buying directly from local subsistent farmers who practice conservation farming methods in Lesotho to feed the children there. We feed the kids, keep them in school, and support their parents and community farming. This sustainable approach to aid is something we believe in and strongly support.”

This year I wanted a prize that’d raise the most money possible. And while the previous prizes I’ve offered have been fun–New York in a Box comes to mind–I know that my cooking and shopping skills, however laudable, are not the kind of skills that inspire the masses to open their wallets.

So whose would?

The answer came easy: Dan Barber. Here’s a chef at the top of his game, foodies adore him, and his restaurant–Blue Hill at Stone Barns–is a restaurant I once called my new favorite restaurant. Now it’s my absolute favorite restaurant, Craig’s too, and in the interest of giving you, my beloved readers, a chance to make it YOUR favorite restaurant, I reached out to them.

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And would you believe it, Blue Hill at Stone Barns saw me reaching out, said “hey!” and is now generously donating a dinner for two PLUS a tour of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. The prize is for food only and the reservation can only be for a Wednesday, Thursday, or Sunday at 5 PM or 9 PM. Those are the only stipulations. Otherwise, a dinner for two at Blue Hill Stone Barns can be YOURS for as little as $10–all you need is the prize code: UE01.

Here’s how you do it:

1. Go to the donation page;

2. Specify which prize you’d like in the “Personal Message” using the prize code (UE01). The amount you donate correlates to how many times you’ll be entered: each “entry” costs $10, so you can enter 1000 times for $10,000.

(For more detailed instructions, go here.)

Now to those of you who say, “Adam, I love that you got this awesome awesome prize for your readers, but you live far far away from me–I live in Iceland, my name is Bjork–and I can’t go eat dinner in a barn in New York. I’d rather you sent me two autographed copies of your book and a homemade pastry. Can you do that?’

Well, Bjork, unfortunately I can’t ship pastries to Iceland: that’d be too expensive. But if you live in America I will send you 2 autographed copies of my book and a homemade pastry with prize code UE02. And if you’re international, I’ll send you two autographed copies of my book and some souveniers from my kitchen. Hey, that’s not fancy but it’s fun, isn’t it?

For the full list of East Coast prizes click here (thanks to Adam Kuban and Serious Eats for organizing the east coast) and for a full world-wide list of prizes, head to Chez Pim.

Here’s hoping we raise lots and lots of money. Thanks to Pim and to all the other food bloggers participating: it’s an honor to do this again.