Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Menu For Hope 4. Win Dinner at Camaje or Hammacher Schlemmer's Upside-Down Tomato Garden

***Update: At the close of bidding we raised more than $90,000! There were 38 bids on the Hammacher Schlemmer Upside-Down Tomato Garden and 31 on the dinner for two at CAMAJE. Thank you all so much, and good luck in the drawing!!!***

It is my great pleasure and honor to offer not one, but two fantastic gift prizes for this years Menu for Hope 4.

What am I talking about?

I am talking about an annual online raffle event started by food blogger/philanthropist/all around fab lady, Pim Techamuanvivit, to raise money for a worthy cause during the holiday season.

This year, we (and by we, I mean me and you and international food bloggers galore) will be raising funds for the UN World Food Programme. We are specifically going to help provide school lunches for children living in Lesotho, Africa.

To explain, allow me to quote Pim, "The program 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." And by providing these lunches, a child stays healthy, misses less school and has a better chance in life.

A worthy cause indeed.

So, as I said, I am extremely proud to be offering two fantastic and very food-centric gifts that for a minimum of a $10 donation, you may win in our raffle!

Now open up your wallets and join on in!

The first, (CODE UW19) is dinner for two* at the ever-excellent Camaje Bistro & Lounge on MacDougal Street in New York City. (And yes, you must be in, or go to, NYC to eat the meal...)

I was supremely fortunate to be treated to a fantastic dinner at Camaje recently. After the first sublime bite, I knew had to ask Chef/Owner (Friend/Inspiration) Abigail Hitchcock if she would be willing to help out with this cause. And because she is such an amazing soul, she did!

I just wanted so much to share with one of you the wonderful experience I had. It is such a warm and inviting space and the food, well, the food is superb. It is restaurant that will capture your heart.

Chef Abby makes a meal like none other. Delicious, refined and daring, it is without parallel. I love this woman, I love her food.

I hope you will bid on item UW19 to experience for yourself just how rewarding a meal at Camaje can be.

For loads more info, visit her website to read all the glowing accolades and tempt yourself with a few sample menus...and check out her cooking classes and dark dining... they are amazing.

Next up, the incredibly generous people of New York's Hammacher Schlemmer (America's longest running catalog, known since 1848 for carrying the Best, the Only, and the Unexpected.) have kindly donated an Upside-Down Hanging Tomato Garden! (CODE UW20)

The garden is an ingenious, compact planter that "takes the toil out of tomatoes by elevating the planting bed so vines grow downward. Hanging vines need almost no attention as tomatoes ripen in the air (not on the ground) where they won't rot. Complementary plants like basil, parsley, rosemary, and peppers can be planted on top, which holds up to 80 lbs. of topsoil."

It is a marvel. And wow, talk about eating local...nothing is more local than your own home!

Think about it kids...this could be all yours, for donating to a good cause.

Now get donating and let's make this year a great year for the children of Lesotho.

Here are the simple instructions on how...

1. Choose a prize. (There are many more listed on food blog website Chez Pim too! Don't feel limited to these.)

2. Go to our donation page at First Giving.

3. Specify the prize you would like in the 'Personal Message' section in the donation form. Each $10 you donate will give you one raffle ticket toward a prize of your choice. For example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for UW19 and 3 tickets for UW20. You just write 2xUW19, 3xUW20.

And that's it!

Bids will be accepted until the end of day, December 21st 2007. Winners will be announced on January 9th on Chez Pim.

Thank you all SO much, in advance, for your generous support of this event!

*Some restrictions apply.

Please visit Hammacher Schlemmer online to see their amazing array of products, or if you are in NYC, their landmark store is located at 147 E. 57th Street New York, NY 10022. They can also be reached toll free at (800) 421-9002

CAMAJE Bistro & Lounge is located at 85 MacDougal Street (between Bleecker and Houston)New York, NY 10012. The telephone number is 212-673-8184. Zagat's 2008: Food: 23, Decor: 15, Service: 19, Cost: $35. "With the air of a "secret" find on an "out-of-the-way Paris street", this "terrific little" Village bistro's French-American fare comes via a "sweet" staff; it can be a "squeeze", but it's "romantic" for dining a deux; P.S. "try the cooking classes" or don a blindfold for one of their 'Dark Dining' events."


You are so generous! I remember the first year I was blogging I won a knife you donated, which I'm still using and loving!
Kalyn, I am so glad to hear that!
I'm such a huge fan of Hammacher Schlemmer, I want their entire catalog.
Good work. It is always better to purchase the food locally where ever possible. You are very generous of you. I am looking forward to join. Hope I will grab a Amazing Prize as well. Hope you will come up with many programs like these in the future. Thank you.
hi rachel, i'm one of your lucky winners. what do i do next?
Maomau - just email me with your mailing info. (freshrachael(at)gmail(dot) com)

Thanks for bidding!
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