Cooksister | Food, Travel, Photography

Menu for Hope 2007 – let the bidding begin!

Right, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for.  Today is the day that the fourth Menu for Hope fundraising campaign kicks off!  In case you don’t know, this charity event is the brainchild of Pim of Chez Pim and involves bloggers and other donors from around the world each donating something to be raffled off online for the benefit of the UN World Food Programme charity.   This year’s campaign runs from 10-21 December and all the funds raised will be allocated to a school feeeding programme in Lesotho, a little landlocked kingdom in the middle of my home country of South Africa, where over half the population survive on less than $2 (or £1) per day.  Please rememebr this when deciding how many tickets you are going to buy!

Below is a list of all the prizes generously sponsored by foodbloggers and associated restaurants and businesses in the UK this year.  And in the unlikely event that you can’t find something to tempt you there, Check out the global list of prizes as well as more details about this year’s campaign on Chez Pim.

Details on how the buying of tickets will work follow at the end of the post, but for now just feast your eyes on the deliciously diverse array of prizes that co-host Johanna and I have managed to cajole out of our generous sponsors…   

Vouchers for Cooking Classes at Eat Drink Talk

This prize is from Jennifer for two £55 vouchers which can be redeemed for any cooking class(es) at Eat Drink Talk in London. The vouchers are valid to June 30th 2008 and can be redeemed for any class in the schedule. A class at Eat Drink Talk is sure to be a fun and delicious experience and you can choose from a huge range of classes covering everything from Vietnamese Cooking to Dim Sum to creating a Modern British feast.
Shipping anywhere in the world.
Prize codes: UK01 and UK02

Organic Chocolate Hamper from Natural Collection

You’ll be in seventh heaven with this irresistible Deluxe Organic Chocolate Hamper from Natural Collection, the eco-friendly alternative to convenient online shopping! It’s packed with organic chocolate treats including (are you ready for this?) enrobed ginger in dark chocolate, milk chocolate peanutbutter truffle stars, dark chocolate peppermint fondant stars, white champagne truffle stars, a white chocolate with blueberry and blackcurrant chunky bar, a chunky dark chocolate bar studded with brazils and sultanas, and a bag of milk and white chocolate snowmen and trees. All organic, all made in the UK and all deeply moreish… Comes gift boxed in a beautiful red box, finished with a ribbon.
Shipping within the UK only.
Prize code: UK03

Foodie tour of London

For the second year running, Abby from eat the right stuff is offering to take you on a customised foodie tour around London. Whether you want to visit some of London’s famous food markets, the fabulous food-halls and delicatessens hidden around the capital or you’d prefer to cross a few chocolate shop visits off your list, this is a great hassle-free way for up to two people to explore London’s vibrant food community.  You have until 1 December to claim this prize, and you will have to get yourself to London, but from there you’ll be in Abby’s safe hands.
Prize code:  UK04

Private wine tasting for you and your friends in your own home

Antonia Lloyd of Food, Glorious Food has the enviable career of hosting private and corporate wine events for a living.  She’s offering to host a private tasting for the winner and up to 7 friends ( i.e. maximum 8 people) in their own home. The winner could choose from a selection of tasting themes (e.g. countries, cultivars or styles of wine) which can be tailored to suit their requirements. Antonia will supply the wines (max value £80, though the winner may contribute further if they wish to do a Champagne tasting or fine wine tasting). Think of it as having a private sommelier in your home for the night! Prize must be claimed in, or within an hour’s drive of, London.
Prize code:  UK05

Paella kit

Want to bring a little piece of Spain into your kitchen at home?  This paella from Ambrosia and Nectar kit gives you all you need to make your own authentic paella. The kit includes a paella pan for two, 1 kilo of calasparra rice, Spanish saffron, sweet paprika, and a booklet that AnneMarie has specially compiled with selected paella recipes to get your imagination sparking.
Prize code:  UK06

Calling all single malt whisky lovers!

Known as the water of life, Scottish whisky is famous all over the world – and rightly so!  This is your chance fo acquire a bottle of the good stuff from the wee lass at A Wee Bit of Cooking.  Located in the windswept central Highlands, the Dalwhinnie distillery has been producing spirits since the late 1800s.   This traditional Scottish whisky has been matured for 15 years and is renowned for its mellow smokiness and heather-honeyed sweetness.
Prize code:  UK07

Custom-designed wedding cake

Getting married next year in London or south-west England?  Or know somebody who is?  Why not stand a chance of winning a custom-designed, hand-made wedding cake by the multi-talented Inge from Vanielje Kitchen?  The cake will be maximum 3 tiers, custom designed and decorated using all organic ingredients where possible.  Fruit cake,  chocolate cake, flavoured sponge or a mix (different layers different flavours) – it’s up to you.  Inge will consult with the winner and produce three designs for the winner to choose from.  The cake will be delivered anywhere in the London, Bath or Bristol area (winners in other areas will have to collect from Inge).  Prize is valid until September 2008, providing Inge is available on the date chosen.
Prize code:  UK08

5-course Tasting Menu for Two at Les Trois Garcons restaurant in London, E1

Les Trois Garçons has become legendary amongst food lovers in London. Inspired by luxury and executed with impeccable taste a place to marvel, a warm homely welcome to comfort with a hint of decadence. Baroque courtesan’s parlour meets Parisian antique market: stuffed monkeys, tigers, swans and giraffe swathed in necklaces. Gigantic wine glasses filled with bejeweled fruit, underneath an impressive collection of chandeliers.
Attention to detail is Les Trois Garçons’ motto, especially with regards to food.   Chef Jérôme Henry draws from his Swiss-French roots to create elaborate dishes packed with flavours, top ingredients juxta-posed to compliment each other without fuss. He will be devising a 5-course tasting menu for you and a companion and pair them with matching wines. Say goodbye to the real world. True escapism awaits. Let Les Trois Garçons take you on a journey.
Voucher can be sent anywhere in the world, restaurant is in London.
Prize code: UK09

Taste of Mexico gift box

Xochitl of Xochitl Cooks will beam her ancestry straight into your kitchen with this generous selection of Mexican delicacies, including dried chiles, tortillas, salsa for enchiladas, a tin of chipotle chiles, Mexican hot chocolate, and much, much more.  Of course the whole lot will come with mouth-watering Mexican recipes from her grandmother’s recipe book so that you can shine with authentic Mexican food at your next dinner party.
Prize code:  UK10

Set of i-Car novelty MP3 player speakers

Dusty Traveller presents a car that rocks! plug in your digital music player and the car springs to life with coloured lights that illuminate the wheel wells, rims and undercarriage, and the high quality stereo speakers pump out the sound.  The i-Car brings an element of sound and vision to your music unlike anything that’s come before.  Don’t have your i-Pod handy?  No problem!  The i-Car comes with its own cool music and is ready to do its thing at a moment’s notice.  Just want to listen to your tunes?  The i-Car has a speaker-only mode as well.
Prize code: UK11

Indian cooking bible – normally not available outside India!

Up fpr grabs on Quick Indian Cooking is the only Indian cookbook you will ever need: the National Indian Association of Women cookbookA seminal work, this little wonder has been passed down the generations to many a hapless bride, emigrating student, or clueless batchelor.  It contains the most popular classic Indian dishes from around the country, contributed by the women who know them well, aunty’s, mummyjis and even the Oberoi Group of hotels.  If you have ever wondered how to cook a real pork Vindaloo, this book is for you.  It is only sold in India so a special copy will be sourced for the winner.
Prize code:  UK12

Digital portrait retouching

Ever wished your hair was less flyaway; your teeth whiter; or your double chin non-existent?  Or just want to look your best on Facebook? Well, there is a way to achieve this without cosmetic surgery: simply have your portrait digitally retouched!  Margot of Coffee and Vanilla has years of experience digitally improving on what nature gave you.  All you need to do is to send one high resolution digital image (240dpi or higher) of yourself and Margot will do the rest before electronically sending you your retouched portrait.  You can request specific enhancements, but Margot will generally do full retouching: skin airbrushing, teeth whitening, eyes enhancement etc.
Prize code:  UK13

A pair of Irish cookbooks

Niamheen of Eat Like a Girl is offering two Irish cookbooks that give her great pleasure.  The first is the Ballymaloe Cookery Course, a fantastic book written by Darina Allen, one of the co-founders and teachers at the renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland, containing 1175 recipes, 320 variations, and more than 100 basic skills.  The second is Wild Garlic, Gooseberries and Me: A Chef’s Stories and Recipes from the Land, the latest cookbook from award-winning food writer and restauranteur Dennis Cotter. Cotter created a considerable stir with Cafe Paradiso and the award-winning Paradiso Seasons, both books that brought fresh and innovative elements into food writing.  This is a winningly written, often very funny collection of anecdotes and tempting vegetarian recipes.
Prize code:  UK14 

Box of home-made traditional British cookies

What’s the Recipe Today, Jim? is getting busy in the kitchen, baking some all-time favourites from the British baking repertoire for you. Coconut ice, cherry & almond biscotti, and Scottish table are just a few of the treats that you’ll find in this tempting selection of hand-made sweets and biscuits, all made with love.  How can you resist?  You gotta lose a few Pounds to gain a few pounds, right?
Prize code:  UK15

Dinner at yours?

Waz and Lenny from Crash Test Kitchen are offering a three-course lunch/dinner, prepared by them, at your place, in London (UK), based on any of the dishes they’ve cooked on their video blog/podcast.  Waz and Lenny do a popular warts-and-all video cooking podcast that was featured in Time magazine’s "The Person of the Year is You" edition. They produce monthly videos for the Guardian/Observer Food Monthly blog Word of Mouth. Be warned: they are just a pair of foodies, not professional chefs, and just like on their show, the results of your dinner may vary. The day/time of the dinner will be at a time that suits everyone involved, and conditions include that you have a kitchen and are not an axe-murderer. It has to be in greater London UK, too, unless you’re paying for the plane tickets to London Ontario 🙂
Prize code:  UK16

Meal at 1802 restaurant in the London Docklands

1802, named after the year the West India Quay rum and tea warehouse in which it is housed was built, provides the best in modern British food. Referred to as “… a menu that pushes all the right buttons” by The Square Meal Guide, the a la carte lunch menu always includes such favourites as the now famous 1802 lamb burger with tzatziki, while innovative seasonal dishes such as roast haddock with smoked pork belly or poached crayfish with samphire also feature. With South African chef Gustav Leipoldt at the helm in the kitchen, you may even find traditional tomato bredie or a traditional Cape Malay curry on the menu!  Voucher is for £75, to be redeemed against any food or drink bill until 30 March 2008.
Prize code:  UK17

Sourdough Bread Baking Starter Kit

Johanna’s contribution this year will be to spread the passion that is bread baking. Says Johanna:"Surely I am not alone in being appalled by the poor quality of bread available in this country (the few specialist or artisan bakeries we have are not only dying a slow death, we are also, lets face it, just too busy to be seeking out that special loaf every single day). I got very lucky last spring when a dear German blogger sent me two cultures of sourdough she has been using in her own baking for years and years… I have since not only been nurturing these cultures, but also experimenting with various recipes over the months, with the result that both myself and the rest of the family will now only reluctantly eat anything bought at the supermarket!"
With your raffle ticket, you’re buying a chance to win a sourdough baking starter kit containing the following:

"I never thought it would be so easy to produce consistently great bread that rivals the bakeries around me. The secret is not in the recipe or any miracle flour used, you don’t need a special oven to make it either: it’s all about the starter you use and the one that’s up for grabs will make you one very happy baker and very popular with the people surrounding you (if you decide to share your bread that is!)"
Will send anywhere within Europe (the starters would probably not survive shipment anywhere else in the world).
Prize code: UK18

The Moro cookbook trilogy

The Traveler’s Lunchbox is offering the full trilogy of cookbooks from the celebrated London restaurant Moro, which is world-famous for rustic, imaginative Hispano-Middle Eastern cuisine. She will be happy to ship these books anywhere in the world, provided ships there normally (please check this yourself if in doubt). Please note that these are UK versions of these cookbooks which contain metric measurements, but if this presents a problem to anyone Melissa offers all the help she can give in converting the recipes for your own kitchen.
Prize code:  UK20

Ripe London, right on your doorstep

A customised care package of Ripe London favourites worth £50 GBP ($101 USD) including the addictive chocolate bar you’ll wish you had at your corner store, Borough Market’s best coffee, need-them-now chocolate-dipped flapjacks, pasta from one of the city’s busiest Italians…plus your requests.  Free delivery, too! Ripe London: It’s Ready. Are You?
Prize code:  UK21

Thermomix Box of Tricks & Treats

Johanna has written about the Thermomix and all the wonderful things it can do a lot on this blog – the ultimate kitchen gadget that professional chefs like Raymond Blanc, Heston BLumenthal and Adrian Ferra swear by. It never fails to impress whether it’s whipping up a frothy hollandaise in 6 minutes flat, stirring the ultimate, smooth bechamel sauce without you getting into a sweat or making a creamy risotto from start to finish…
The prize donated by UK Thermomix is a box of wonderful goodies:  5 delicious home-made liqueurs plus two dozen chocolate biscuits plus two dozen parmesan shortbread biscuits.  The biscuits will be made with all organic ingredients and the liqueurs will be made with organic fruits, organic sugar, organic coffee, organic eggs: Creamy Orange Liqueur, Limoncello, Coffee Liqueur, Cranberry Raspberry Cordial Liqueur (for grown-ups only!) and Egg Cognac Liqueur. All these goodies will be made using the Thermomix TM31, the food processor that weighs and cooks.  They will be made fresh just before being sent out to the prize-winner.
Courier delivery within the UK only.

Prize code: UK22

2 sets of Indian Cooking cookbook with a  Keralan spice kit

Anjum Anand, the author of the cookbook up for grabs here, creates delicious Indian food that is light and healthy and bursting with flavour. Beginning with easy finger food and light grills and then curries, to snacks, desserts and drinks. These dishes all use fresh, local and seasonal produce with all the ingredients readily available in supermarkets. Throughout the book, there are tips and techniques as well as expert secrets from some of the country’s top Indian chefs. Padmaja of Spicyandhra is also throwing in some authentic spices to go with the book which will make it easier for you to try those wonderful recipes and venture into the unknown world of Indian Cooking. You’re sure to be loving it!
Prize code:  UK23 and UK29

Farmers Market Round the Seasons cookbook and Hampshire goodie bag

Dianne of Gluten Free Journey has put together a Hampshire-themed parcel consisting of the ‘Farmers Market – Round the Seasons Cookbook’ by Ysanne Spevack. The book features such delicacies as Roasted Shallot and Squash Salad and Rhubarb and Ginger ice cream!  Together with the book, the winner will receive some traditional Hampshire goodies – Dianne tells me she hasn’t bought the goodies yet at the time of writing, but is hoping to find a jar of English honey with the honeycomb, or maybe some good English mustard.
Prize code:  UK24

Choose one of five original photographs

Ever looked at a picture on Cooksister and thought “man, that looks good enough to eat”?  Well, the good news is that you can now win one of five pictures that have appeared on Cooksister over the past year. The picture will be printed on gloss paper in 8×12" format and will be matted.  The prize can be shipped anywhere in the world and would make a perfect gift for a foodie friend – or yourself!
Prize code:  UK25

Le Creuset mini cocotte

Who doesn’t love Le Creuset?  Here’s what Leemei of My Cooking Hut says about the Le Creuset Mini Cocotte that she’s putting up as a prize:  "First, I personally think that it’s cute.  Second, if you are a fan of Le Creuset (like me) and already have a good collection of Le Creuset cast iron pots and pans, why not add this little cocotte to your collection? Third, the mini cocotte can be used to serve any small portion of food in a nice and stylish way. Last but not least, this cast iron little cocotte can retain heat and it will not let you down and bring you 100% satisfaction in your cooking!"  And did she mention… it’s cute?!
Prize Code: UK26

Dinner for two at Patterson’s restaurant in London

Who doesn’t love Patterson’s? Rachel of Yumchia certainly loves going there: she adores the food, the inventive dishes, the superb service, the squashy plants on the table. And for Menu for Hope she will share the love and let one lucky winner dine at there to see for themselves. You’re bidding for a three-course meal for two (without beverages) at Patterson’s.
Prize code:  UK27

A home winemaking book

The Cottage Smallholder is donating a copy of Complete Home Wine Making by Gillian Pearks. This beautiful hardback book is sadly out of print and hard to get hold of in the UK. It has all the essential information for making homemade fruit wine. The book is packed with useful tips and written in a calm clear style. The recipes work well and include a range of liqueurs using natural ingredients rather than chemicals. Gillian Pearks was one of the great country winemakers, ran courses and was somewhat of an authority on making homemade wine and this book of hers appeals to both the beginner and more experienced country winemaker.
Prize code:  UK28

English tea goodie box

Are you a homesick Brit? Do you miss Marmite on toast or a cup of proper tea and a good ol’ Chocolate Hob Nob? Then this is for you. Xochitl Cooks is putting a CARE packet together that will leave no wishes open – she is even taking orders from you and will be buying goodies of your choice, as long as they can be legally shipped to where you are. Perfect!
Prize code:  UK30

Choose one of two original foodie watercolours

Those of you who have visited fellow-South African foodie Ronell’s blog My French Kitchen will know that she is a woman of many talents, combining her love of food and her love of art to create mouth-watering watercolours, often with a food-related theme.  She is offering you a choice between two beautiful signed watercolour paintings, to be shipped to anywhere in the world.  All you need is some space on the wall 🙂 
Prize code:  UK31

A one day stage with Nuno Mendes and dinner at Bacchus

Bacchus is well-known as one of London’s most innovative restaurants (thanks largely to chef Nuno Mendes).  It is also a proponent of the sous vide cooking technique, where food is cooked at extremely low temperatures to preserve its flavours.  The winner of this prize will get to do a one day stage shadowing Nuno in the kitchen at Bacchus, followed by dinner for one in the restaurant.  Thanks to Bacchus for this generous prize!
Restaurant is in London
Prize code:  UK32

Heston Blumenthal’s menu for two at the Hinds Head

Win a unique historic British menu for two at the Hinds Head from Heston Blumenthal. Heston will meet the winner and present  autographed copies of all his three books. The more public side of Heston Blumenthal is the pre-eminent chef-scientist at the Michelin three-star restaurant The Fat Duck, while  the side lesser known is the passionate researcher and restorer of  historic British dishes.  The lucky winner of this prize (and a guest) will dine on a menu that is literally a representation of British cuisine from the 17th and 18th century.  Heston promise that they will be outstanding, and some of them will never have been tested before!
Prize code: UK33

A companion spot with Jay Rayner for doing a restaurant review for the Observer

Jay said "This meal will be a London review, so no point bidding if  they ain’t nearby or planning to be there. (Note from Pim: Menu for  Hope won’t fly you over either so you’re on your own there.)  And  secondly, I do not guarantee that the cost of the meal I take them on will in any way match the amount they spent on raffle tickets. Somebody here in London recently bid £500 for my company which is a ludicrous sum. Do I now have to be £500 funny?  Oh, and it will be at a time convenient to us both but within the next, say, six months.  How does that sound?"
Prize code:  UK34

San Lorenzo hamper of delicacies worth £70

You are bidding for a hamper filled to the brim with the ultimate selection of Italian delicacies: Apricot Extra jam, rice biscuits, organic linguine, organic pesto alla Genovese, organic sun-dried tomatoes in extra-virgin olive oil, organic black Ligurian olives in brine (Taggiasca cultivar), organic 100% Italian extra-virgin olive oil, Italian chestnut honey, organic peeled tomatoes, Alma Rosada tuna in olive oil, anchovy fillets, Chianti Classico
d.o.c.g. 2004, and Moscato d’Asti d.o.c.g. 2007.

Prize can only be shipped to the UK, Ireland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Austria, Germany or Italy.
Prize code: UK35

Bottle of Chapel Down English methode champenoise sparkling wine

If you ever wanted final proof that English fizz can compete with the best in the world, this is it.  Chapel Down winery sources grapes from all over the south-east of England and the non-vintage Brut that’s up for grabs has won a bronze medal at the prestigious International Wine Challenge competition.  The wine has good depth, crisp fruit and yeasty undertones – and best of all, Superfood is offering a bottle as a prize.  Can be shipped anywhere in the UK.
Prize code:  UK37

Traditional NIgerian egusi stew recipe and spices

Are you, or do you know, a homesick Nigerian living abroad?  Or are you just fascinated by the tastes and spices of faraway lands? Then this is the prize for you. Nigerian blogger Sokari will send you not only her recipe for egusi stew/soup, but also the Nigerian spices and seasonings that you will need to get the authentic taste right. The recipe is intriguing in that it contains both meat and seafood and the dish is named after the egusi (melon) seeds that are crushed and stirred into the dish to thicken it. The perfect prize if you want to recreate the taste of Nigeria wherever you may be!
Prize code:  UK36

Gift box packed with best of British tea-time treats

If there’s one thing the British know all about, it’s afternoon tea.  Joy of Almanzo’s Belly has decided that these treats are too good to be kept to ourselves and is offering some up for grabs – she has even written a poem:
Home-made spiced parkin and loose tea from Fortnum’s
Shortbread and fruitcake from my home to your tums
Beutifully wrapped up and tied tight with string
I hope that you enjoy these tea-time things!

She’ll even throw in some Wensleydale cheese to enjoy with your fruitcake in the clasically Enlish way!
Prize code:  UK38

Tasting menu at The Sportsman and tour of local farms with chef Stephen Harris

Ever been to Seasalter in Kent?  Well, here’s a good excuse.  The winner of this prize wins a tasting menu at chef Stephen Harris’s cult restaurant The Sportsman in Seasalter, as well as accompanying him on a tour of the local farms that supply the restaurant.  Harris forages, cures his own meat, churns his own butter and… makes his own salt! So clearly, a lot of love and care has gone into everything on your plate and it shows in the taste.
Prize code:  UK39

Tempted?  Want to know how to buy a ticket?  Here’s how:

1. Choose the prize or prizes of your choice from the main Menu for Hope site. (This is the global list of all prizes donated this year. Alternatively, you can see only the UK prizes on Cooksister.) You must make sure to check the terms and conditions for the individual prizes BEFORE you bid, as some will come with restrictions regarding where they ship to or how long the prize is valid for.

2. Go to the donation site and make a donation.  The hosts do not handle the cash at all – it goes directly to Justgiving to be passed on to the World Food Programme.

3. Please specify the prize code of the prize you’d like in the ‘Personal Message’ section in the donation form when confirming your donation. Each $10 you donate will give you one raffle ticket toward a prize of your choice. If you are buying more than one ticket, please indicate how you would like the tickets to be allocated. For example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for EU01 and 3 tickets for EU02. Please write 2xEU01, 3xEU02.

4. If your company matches your charity donation, please check the box and fill in the information so we could claim the corporate match.

5. Please check the box to allow us to see your email address so that we could contact you in case you win. Your email address will not be shared with anyone.

Remember to check back on Chez Pim on Wednesday January 9 for the results of the raffle.