About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Monday, December 11, 2006
Menu For Hope III

Well, the big day is finally here.

This is the day when you you can choose to make a difference to someone's life, to put food in their mouth. For a food blogger that should be a natural thing, feeding people is what we like to do, but in the world most of us inhabit, feeding someone means giving food to be enjoyed and I don't think that any of us would know what it felt like to be starving and then from out of the blue someone gives you food so that you can at least stay alive for another day.

That is what this project means.

For every $10 donation you make will keep not just one person alive but several, a family perhaps. This is your chance to make a difference in the world and even though you can't actually see what your money has done, I can tell you that you will have saved people somewhere.

Think of it as CPR for the belly.

This isn't some Rachael Ray $40 a day to feed just one person, your ten dollars will feed a lot of people. Hell, buy a few tickets and you can feed a whole village, because your dollars can go further than you think. Buy those tickets because you are privileged to live in countries where poverty and attendant hunger are not well known. Buy these tickets because you can. Buy a few because you can. Choose to make a difference.

Okay, now you can see who has been choosing to help and I have been fortunate to be working with a couple of very generous people who are giving you every reason to donate your hard earned for a chance at some great prizes.

First up are Robin Wickens, the chef, and Gavin van Staden, the restaurant manager, from Melbourne's Interlude restaurant who have donated the brilliant prize of a degustation dinner for two with matching wines to the value of $400.

Interlude is a rising star in the restaurant world, where cutting edge dining is the order of the day. Simply amazing dishes that you have never tried before have been created by Robin to surprise and delight you. Winner of 'Best Young Chef' in The Age's 2005 Good Food Guide, Robin has worked in some of the great restaurant kitchens including Pied a Terre, Bibendum and The Glasshouse before arriving in Melbourne in 2000, where he immediately set to work to create some of the finest food this city has seen. His hard work has paid off with also being awarded two chef's hats in the same guide. This is simply a dining experience not to be missed, based as it is on classical French techniques with special twists.
Prize code AP18 - Interlude, 211 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Tel: (03) 9415 7300. Please note:- This prize cannot be taken Saturday evening.

Next up are my old friends Prince Wine Store, who are no strangers to you either as they have occasionaly featured on this blog due to the outstanding Saturday wine tastings they put on. But it is not just the wine tastings that make this my preferred wine shop, it's the breadth and scope of their entire range that has made me a regular customer. If I were to be marooned on a desert island and had one choice of wine shop, Prince Wine Store would be the one I would choose. In fact, I would voluntarily go to a desert island if I knew they would supply all the wine!
Whether you are looking for an up and coming winemaker or a great range of imported wine, even that special bottle or wine education, all at reasonable prices, this is the store for you. Thank-you Michael McNamara for your terrific prize of a voucher to the value of $100 worth of your fantastic wines.
Prize code AP33 - Prince Wine Store, 177 Bank Street, South Melbourne and 2 Acland street, St Kilda

Now it's my turn. I'm sure that all of you have read that I make fruit based liqueurs, but so far have seen no evidence of it at all on my blog. Well, I'm willing to make the evidence available to you, wherever you are in the world, so long as you have a reliable postal service. What is on offer is a 500ml bottle of cherry vodka, made to an authentic Polish recipe. This liqueur is made from sour cherries, sugar and distilled spirits. It has the flavour of sun kissed cherries along with a deep cherry kernel essence derived from prolonged contact with the pure spirit (95%). This amazing liqueur is about 30% alcohol and is absolutely heavenly drunk straight or poured over ice cream. It costs about $50 dollars a bottle to produce and I know the prize winner will not be able to thank me enough!
Prize code AP12 Cherry Vodka, courtesy of At My Table

Here's what you should do next...

Check out the Asia/Pacific donation page at http://grabyourfork.blogspot.com/2006/12/menu-for-hope.html

Go to the donation page at http://www.firstgiving.com/menuforhopeIII

Make a donation. Each US$10 will grant you one raffle ticket towards a prize of your choice. Please use the unique prize code to specify which prize or prizes you'd like in the 'Personal Message' section in the donation form. Do tell us how many tickets per prize, and please use the prize code eg. a donation of US$50 could be 2 tickets for AP01 and 3 for AP02.

For US donors, if your company matches your charity donation, please remember to check the box and fill in the information so we may claim the corporate match.

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.

Check Chez Pim on January 15, 2007 when we announce the results of the raffle. Prize drawing will be done electronically. Our friend, the code wizard Derrick at Obsession with Food, is responsible for the wicked application that will do the job.

I know that you want to win a prize, but after all this is for charity, so tell your friends about it, try and get everyone you know to buy at least one ticket. If you work in an office, get your workmates on board.

Support all the businesses that have donated such great prizes. Go and shop there and be sure to tell them that you noticed that they donated to such a worthy cause.

Good Luck!!!

  posted at 7:53 am

At 6:16 pm, Blogger plum said...

Excellent prizes Neil! And such a good cause. Mmmm, Interlude ...

At 9:46 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic Prizes Neil, I've already bought a couple of tix for Interlude (amongst others)

At 1:02 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil, awesome prizes. One of these days I have to make a trip to Australia so I can dine at some of the great sounding restaurants there. Your sour cherry infused vodka is especially enticing. Will you ship to the US?

At 1:42 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi plum, awww go on.

Hi ange, good for you and the hungry. Good luck.

Hi brett, it will go anywhere that the postman goes to. Keep an eye out for the recipe on this blog within the next two weeks.

At 11:30 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have finally gotten the chance to start reading your blog without the kids nipping at my heels. Honestly, I just love the way you write your blog. I have never been very articulate. But in my opinion it is just really great. Put's a really big smile on my face. Again I just love your blog :)

At 5:11 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi amelita, thanks for the compliment, I'm sure your blog is going to turn out great.

At 8:51 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cherry infused vodka...the cherry sounds really fantastic but vodka is way over my top. You surprize me and I know I shouldn't be when I've read so many times the part about the fruit liqueurs.
Cherry infused vodka...

At 4:49 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi tanna, I thought I saw your name with a bid, guess I was wrong. There will be a post soon about it. We only drink small glasses of it and we worked out it comes to about 30% alcohol, a lot less than most spirits.

At 9:20 pm, Anonymous Carl Torres said...

Keep the good work up.Can I know when you are going to organizing Menu for Hope next? I like your charity concept very much.I love cherry vodka. I like to enjoy my cherry vodka drink with Cuban Cigars .As my favorite cigars are not easily available in the local market, so I buy them online. Thanks for sharing .


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