go Foobuzz!

Ryan Stern sent me this press release! Great news for Foodbuzz! Congrats...

San Francisco – April 23, 2009: Foodbuzz announced today that is has surpassed 2,000 food bloggers in its online food community. These partner food blog websites, when combined with the foodbuzz.com “hub” website, reached 6.7 million people per month according to third-party traffic measurement service Quantcast. This ranks Foodbuzz as the third largest online food property after less than two years of operation. (See Quantcast Media Planner.)

“Our goal is to be the number one online food community by promoting the talent, enthusiasm and knowledge of food bloggers around the globe,” said Ben Dehan, founder and CEO of Foodbuzz. Of the top three properties, Foodbuzz is the only true community that combines social networking for foodies with food content search for everyone. “Both our monthly users and page views grew over 1000% in 2008, and we are on pace to reach the number one spot within the next 12 months”, said Mr. Dehan.

Foodbuzz digs deep into the “long tail” of food publishing to discover and promote thousands of small, yet high-quality, food bloggers. “We are providing a platform for food bloggers to pursue their passion in a community that nurtures and encourages the sharing of quality food and dining content daily,” said Ryan Stern, Director of Publishing. Foodbuzz offers these bloggers a compelling solution for building their traffic, connecting with like-minded foodies, and making money. Foodbuzz has exclusive advertising relationships with partner bloggers which provide brand advertisers the reach and share-of-voice they need to effectively engage the food community.

About Foodbuzz
Based in San Francisco, Foodbuzz is a global online food community of over 2,000 food bloggers connected by the foodbuzz.com “hub” website. In the past month, this community reached 6.7 million people and 33 million impressions according to Quantcast. Foodbuzz.com provides a full suite of social networking features enabling foodies to interact and share their food experiences. With over 900,000 high-quality food blog posts in its searchable database, foodbuzz.com is an essential resource for everyone interested in exploring the world of food. Foodbuzz is a 2009 Webby Awards Honoree!


american pesticide industry vs. Michelle Obama

I really loved this article!  

how celebrity chefs change the way Brits eat

My labmate Abi sent me this nice little article from the BBC News website this morning.  It talks all about the influence of British celebrity chefs, like monsieur Oliver, have had on the way people eat.  It's got a vintage picture of Delia Smith.  Classic!


slow-roast lamb, tsourekia, and galaktobouriko

Christos Anesti!  I had a beautiful weekend with my friends in Oxford, as we embraced the Greek Orthodox Easter.  Saturday night, we attended the Orthodox Church in North Oxford (near my old place on Winchester Road in my first year of DPhil).  Last year, this time - my mum was visiting.  We had a feast at Catherine Street with over 30 people in our backyard. Great memories.

After the church ('meta tin Anastash') my mate Eleni and George (not Magdis, but Trichas) booked a table at Santorini (formerly called Farat), a new Greek restaurant in the Cowley Rd. area run by a lovely Kurdish guy who studied engineering in Thessaloniki.  It's as if we walked into Greece as we entered the restaurant. Surreal.  Greeted by warm smiles, we were treated to home-made magiritsa (it was indeed wonderful), and then we all ate like pigs.  I loved the lamb kebab, and the soutzoukakia especially.  The red wine was lovely, and the service superb.  We danced until 2am after we ate.  And  alot of Mitropanos music, which brought me back to Thessaloniki.

Sunday was spent making two trays of galaktobouriko (courtesy of a filo pastry from the lovely Turkish guys at Bar Meze in Headington), and other random jobs in Eleni's kitchen.  Trichas was the head chef for the day, having prepared three shoulders of lamb, slow-roasted with potatoes and parsnips.  Our friend Abigail made her grandmother's rich baklava and also ice cream with mastic.    Did I forget she actually succeeded making tsoureki that was just like the kind you get from Terkenlh in Thessaloniki?  I was very impressed (and happy during the taste test). Our mate Andreas brought this beautiful spinach tart.

Our evening ended with the 'parea' (group of friends) huddled in Eleni's living room playing cards.  Well, everyone played except me.  I took a nap.

Happy and healthy Easter to all people on this beautiful planet.


what's the quintessential Greek dessert (other than baklava)?

I'm doing a survey.....will it be kourabiedes, galaktobouriko?  I can't wait to hear your responses, mates.


sea bass baked in a crust of sea salt

This is for a friend of mine who has some ridiculous amount of sea bass.  So, Karen, here you go darling... I used a version of this recipe (without the fennel, which works just fine) for a dinner I once cooked for my mate Cindy.  She provided Dom Perignon champagne.  Not a bad marriage in having the finest champagne with this beautifully prepared fish.  

1 sea bass, cleaned and scaled, get a nice piece around 1kg from your fishmonger
1 tbsp of fresh (or dried) oregano, preferably from Greece
2 thin slices of lemon
1 spring of fennel
over 2kg of sea salt (coarse)
freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp of olive oil

1. Preheat your oven to 220 degrees C.   Get it nice and hot, folks.
2. Wash your sea bass under cold water and pat dry afterwards.  Lightly season the cavity with salt and generously with pepper, and stuff it with lemon, fennel, oregano, and olive oil.
3. Spread half the salt on the bottom of a shallow baking tray (Pyrex works fine), and lay the sea bass on top.  Cover the fish with the rest of the salt, and make sure you press down with your hand to get the salt crystals nicely packed.  I like to spray some water (or just drizzle) on the top layer of salt before placing in the oven.
4. Bake for around 35-45 minutes (or until you see the salt crust getting a light golden colour).

Serve with a freshly-prepared tomatoe salsa with some Kalamata olives on the side.  Also a nice garlic paste complements the sea bass.  And get really nice bread, like sourdough, to deep into the juices (as we call it 'paparra').

By the way, happy Easter today to everyone who's not celebrating next weekend.  We're going to have a big feast in Oxford with my mates to celebrate the Orthodox Easter (we like to use the lunar calendar that our Jewish brethren resort to).


italian earthquake relief at the Red Cross

dear friends, I encourage you all to help in whatever way you can to help families affected by the tragic earthquake in Italy.  The Italian Red Cross has a special relief fund for victims.

why I like the Guardian

Because it's a newspaper that's not afraid to show the truth.  I think many people are very upset about this throughout Britain.  The 47-year old man who was shoved by the police at the G20 protests last week in London - and who later had a heart-attack and died.  All captured on video.


mr. Jamie Oliver cooks a traditional British feast (Welsh lamb and a bakewell tart) for the G20 leaders in London

Some reports say he had a team of 8 chefs.  Others say it was a team of 15.  Whatever the real number was, in the end, one of Britain's great chefs entertained Mr. Obama and the rest of the powerhouse that met over the past few days at the Staple Centre in London for the G20 summit.

I was debating with friends whether the dessert choice (bakewell tart) was a bit understated.  I love the bakewell tart served at Jamie's Italian, don't get me wrong - but I would have liked some combination of  my beloved English strawberries (sadly, they're not in season) and the finest shortbread Mr. Oliver could muster.  

No one got sick (no Fat Duck episodes on Jamie's watch), and the G20 leaders left extremely happy with their meal.  They ended up reaching an agreement afterall today.

Just to recap:

STARTER:  organic Scottish salmon served with samphire and sea kale, and a selection of vegetables from Sussex, Surrey and Kent.

MAIN:  slow-roasted shoulder of lamb from the Elwy Valley in north Wales, with Jersey Royal potatoes, wild mushrooms and mint sauce.

DESSERT:  bakewell tart and custard using free-range eggs from an organic farm (Prince Charles').

And India's PM must have eaten the vegetarian option - a goat’s cheese starter followed by lovage and potato dumplings for the main course.  (shoot, I forgot to mention ABC News in the US did a nice piece on their evening news segment on Jamie)