The pictures and stories out of southeastern Minnesota are heartbreaking and awe-inspiring at the same time. We all need to help out with this, especially those of us in the food biz. So after much talk from many quarters about helping out the Winona County flood relief efforts, here is what I know from Scott Pampuch at Corner Table and J. D. Fratzke from Muffuletta, two guys who are mobilizing all their resources. Way to go, fellas. And after all that, we'll need a laugh or two, so enjoy.
1. The biggest thing that people can do, now more than ever, is support the restaurants, supermarkets, and co-ops who buy local product.
2. These two are working on an online auction for gift certificates and "packages" that will raise money for the Red Cross Winona Chapter that is the hub for relief efforts in Rushford, Stockton, Minnesota City, etc.
3. Stay tuned to these pages about the September 8 citywide night-out restaurant event. The idea is that you go out to eat at a participating restaurant on that night and a portion of the proceeds benefits the Red Cross in Winona County.
4. Scottt and J. D. are talking with Lori Callister at Farm in the Market about doing something at Midtown Global Market.
So if you want to help, or have ideas, call or email these guys at their restaurants. You can also network with other like-minded people here on these pages.
Now the news of the weird . . .
First there was the spilled McDonald’s coffee, then the Wendy’s finger-in-the-chili incident, now comes this tale . . . a complete waste of time and money. A twelve-year-old boy has charges for assault dropped. The original charge? He threw a sausage. A cocktail wiener, to be exact.
And speaking of the Golden Arches, the Big Mac turned forty years old . . .
And speaking of fast food, those folks have known for years about how smell works to entice patrons to buy certain products. Realtors know the power of cookies baking in a prospective home’s oven. Now from Canada comes tales of a liquor store that uses the smell of fresh cut grass to sell beer, baguettes to sell wine, and coconuts to sell rum.
From NYC comes the news of the Acatemy . . . and yes, it’s a mighty stretch to assume anyone cares about cats and their diets, but our cat Belle Zimmern could use something like this . . . and my buddy Cat Cora was there cooking.
They are now selling a fork that encourages dieting. I kid you not. But what if you use your hands?
Leave it to the Japanese to chime in first and loudest on increasing beer consumption in China, where they're raising a few billion pints to their own success.
Would you like some Hepatitis A with your Jamba Juice?
And finally, for anyone who thinks I treat food (like snakes) differently than other people treat food, check this out . . .
On a personal note I am doing the Today show on October 1. Fun.