Spicy tuna rolls, the kind served in supermarkets around the country, even here in Minnesota have been linked to a salmonella outbreak in more than a dozen states. I think its time once again to realize that commoditized ‘cheap’ food, mass produced and mass distributed is dangerous. Imagine what will happen when this happens in a local school lunch program? Or senior center? Like traffic sign placements, do people have to die to get our state government to start legislating this issue? This stuff should scare you. Sorry for the downer, but seriously . . . farther down I link you to a study from my pals at Share Our Strength that reminds us once again that in America eating well is sadly a class issue.
I just got back from Cabo and had a chance to hang for a while with Sammy Hagar, a serious food nerd. Backstage in his private clubhouse at CaboWabo he has pictures taken with every rockstar in the world, and about a dozen famous chefs. No sports stars or astronauts, just chefs. The guy knows his way around a meal; he is also one of the nicest, most sincere, and most fun guys I have met in a long time. Look for him in a future Travel Channel special I shot last week in Mexico. Anyone who is going to Cabo San Lucas would do well to check out the chow at Taqueria Guss, Taqueria el Paisa, Mariscos el Juanillo, and get a room at One and Only Palmilla. You wont be disappointed.
Here’s a cool thing: Check out the Webby Awards and vote for your favorite nominees. I am thrilled that Appetite for Life on msn.com has been nominated. Plus, I am featured on this. The winners are selected by the public through the Webby People’s Voice Awards. The polls are open. The winners will be announced at the Webby Awards event on May 21. Joshua Cogans brilliant video called “Risks of Photographing Andrew”is also nominated in the Travel & Adventure category.
You should also Go to tablespoon.com/themunchies and vote for your favorite, well, everything. It’s a people’s choice food award program that has a curated list of nominees created by a panel if experts. Check it out.
Last weekend the Food Network aired its first documentary effort, Hunger Hits Home, which offered a first-hand look at the crisis of childhood hunger in America through the eyes of the parents, children, anti-hunger activists, educators, and politicians on the frontlines of the battle. Check out the trailer here. Please plan to check out the re-runs if you missed it. No Kid Hungry is more than just the doc, and because children’s wellness issues are drastically under served (this is a real crisis folks). I thought I should point out some news regarding NKH:
· No Kid Hungry Month is moving to September to align more strongly with other anti-hunger initiatives and the back-to-school time frame.
· NoKidHungry2.org has launched the site features an online Youth Action Center featuring facts, figures, online and offline games, activities, and ideas for action surrounding the No Kid Hungry Campaign, as well as a place for parents and teachers to go to teach their children or students about childhood hunger in America and in their own state. Check it out today!
· Following personal testimonials by many governors about the importance of No Kid Hungry at their annual assembly in February, the National Governor’s Association voted unanimously to make child nutrition one of its three core legislative priorities for the next two years. Our focus on engaging governors, overlooked by many of our colleague organizations, is one of the reasons we have been as successful as we have in affecting change quickly.
· It’s Dinnertime, Cooking Matter’s comprehensive study on nutrition/dining trends in low-income households was released in February. This groundbreaking report has generated powerful discussions among influential food writers and those who follow them and is bringing practical information about eating healthier on a limited budget to consumers across the country. The study confirms that families view cost as the PRIMARY BARRIER TO EATING WELL . . . everyone should read this important post.
Palm Beach Food and Wine weekend just ended and the highlight for many was the Thomas Keller tribute dinner. Check out this amazing photo timeline. I was privileged enough to work for him in the late ’80s in NYC at Rakel and seeing TK in some of these pictures reminds me how calm, happy, and serene he has been in recent years. I think he is particularly proud of the legions of chefs he has turned loose on the world, all of whom are better cooks and human beings for the experience. Hard to think of other chefs in their prime who stay focused on their restaurant career and not with other distractions and makes me wonder if our digital era and frenetic “bright shiny objects” modernist lifestyle means fewer chefs of his stature will ever emerge? His legacy of mentoring, teaching, and inspiring will be unmatched in my opinion.