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Bay Area Chefs Lend Their Talents to Pricey Pete Buttigieg Fundraiser



Every presidential candidate gets a certain level of scrutiny for their mealtime decisions. Who, for example, can forget the Republican candidate in the 2016 race for the White House and his fondness for taco bowls? This time around, it’s South Bend, Indiana mayor turned Democratic contender Pete Buttigieg, who has made headlines for eating a cinnamon roll “like a chicken wing,” for dining with potential donors in a Napa Valley “wine cave,” and now, for a chef-focused fundraiser that demands at least $250 from attendees — none of whom will even get to see the candidate in person.

News of the Chef’s For Pete fundraiser was broken by Recode’s Teddy Schleifer (the same scribe who first shared photos from the now-infamous wine cave event). “Tired: Wine caves,” Schleifer sniped. “Wired: ‘Culinary experiences.’” With that phrase, Schleifer tweeted an invitation to a January 26 fundraiser planned for somewhere in San Francisco.

According to the invitation, which is also live on, Buttigieg’s campaign site, food by Chez Panisse founder Alice Waters will be served to attendees of the event as part of a “Nationwide Chefs for Pete Culinary Experience.” The location of fundraiser will be “sent the week of the event.” In addition, guests will be subject to “personal appearances” by local restaurateur Mourad Lahlou (Aziza, Mourad) and chef Rodney Wages (Avery).

The event will apparently be video-linked with similar fundraisers (all featuring “chefs from across the country” that “will serve Pete supporters special tastes from their award-winning restaurants”) in spots like Chicago and Stamford, Connecticut. In those cases, the participating chefs have yet to be named, which seems to make Waters, Lahlou, and Wages the sole chefs who are proudly open about their support for Buttigieg.

Or are they? For, as Cari Wade Gervin noted in a tweeted response to Schleifer’s remarks, “chefs cater political events all the time,” and the participation of Waters, Lahlou, and Wages might not necessarily indicate support. “All I’m saying is that I have seen this a number of times, where catering in no way equaled an endorsement,” Gervin said.

A look at the Federal Election Commission’s campaign finance page does indeed show that Waters is an extremely active political donor, and that in August of 2019 she sent Buttigieg’s campaign $1,000 and donated $1,000 to Kamala Harris’s campaign last March. The FEC does not reflect any donations, at all, from Lahlou or Wages. Eater SF has reached out to Waters, Lahlou, and Wages to clarify their role in the Buttigieg campaign, but has not received a response as of publication time.

Tickets for the event started at $100, which the campaign calls the “friend” level. Buttigieg does not appear to want for friends, as that category is marked as “sold out,” but as of publication time, tickets remain for the $250 “Supporter” role and the $500 “Advocate” position. Folks hoping to actually rub shoulders with Buttigieg will actually have to shell out $1,000 for an “Investor” level ticket, however — as Buttigieg has no plans to attend the SF event himself, only by dropping $1,000 (or more) would an attendee be guaranteed “admission to a future event with Mayor Pete.”

Needless to say, Twitter users spent much of their weekend madly spinning about the news, with some decrying the alleged lack of working-class sympathy the event appeared to suggest, and others saying that they now plan to boycott Aziza and Chez Panisse. In a Reddit post on the national event, a Buttigieg supporter seemed aware that the San Francisco event might stoke those tweeted sentiments, and said that while Waters sounds “pretty cool,” the campaign had “better get some Guy Fieris and David Changs involved to balance out the look” and that “anyone who works on the Bon Appetit or Tasty YouTube channel would be really excellent if you can get them.” Guess that means if well-known food personality Carla pivots from banana bread to stumping for Buttigieg, Reddit user polarea11 deserves credit for the idea.


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Spanish olive oil maker Casas de Hualdo enters US market | Food Industry News



Casas de Hualdo – targeting US consumers

Casas de Hualdo, the Spanish olive oil business, is launching its products in the US.

The Toledo-based firm is offering four varieties of extra virgin olive oil – Arbequina, Cornicabra, Manzanilla and Picual – via retailers including Sprouts, Central Market and Fairway.

The olives in its products are sourced from the Casas de Hualdo estate in central Spain and the oil is extracted at the on-site mill within no more than six hours of harvest. 

Casas de Hualdo is hoping the provenance of its products from an estate alongside the Tagus river will appeal to US consumers.

It suggests its 4,000-hectare estate is distinguished by its “mosaic of crops and the closed-cycle nature of its agricultural practices”.

In addition to “premium” olive varietals, the estate’s crops include pistachios, corn, rye grass, barley, alfalfa, green peas and nearly 2,000 sheep.

Casas de Hualdo products on sale in the US will range in price from US$10.99 for a 250ml bottle to $21 for a 500ml bottle.


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KID-FRIENDLY RECIPES: AYSHA SIDDIKA – 4 Questions – Healthy Food Happy Kids Summit



Excerpt from an interview on The Healthy Food, Happy Kids Summit 2020.

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If you really want to change your kids health and lifetime eating habits, but you’re worried about restrictive diets, or making a lot of effort with no real improvements, then here’s your answer! I’m speaking at an online summit – “The Healthy Food, Happy Kids Summit” – Improve your kids health through wholesome food, even if they’re picky and you’re too tired to cook!

My presentation is called:

Kid-Friendly Recipes

Here’s a synopsis:

Aysha Siddika is a recipe phenomenon with over 1 million worldwide followers. In this engaging session, Aysha shares her most popular kid-food recipes and her favorite tricks to keep her kids engaged and healthy. If you love international flavors and influences, then this session is not to be missed!

Registration is free!

The Healthy Food, Happy Kids Summit

You really can improve your kids’ diet and safeguard their health… even if your kids are picky eaters or you’re too busy (or too tired) to cook!

This online event brings together 25+ of the world’s best chefs, authors, doctors and child experts to teach you their best PRACTICAL and ACTIONABLE methods, recipes, tips & tricks FREE (for a limited time).

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More poisonings in Brazil linked to beer; officials urge extreme caution



More than 20 people are suspected to have been poisoned and four have died in Brazil after drinking contaminated batches of beer. Tests have found diethylene glycol in 32 lots of 10 Backer beers.

Officials from the Minas Gerais State Department of Health recommended no beer produced by Backer should be consumed. The agency advised people who have any beers made by Backer to not dispose of them in sinks or toilets or place them in the garbage. Instead they should be identified with an inscription such as: “Do not ingest. Product unsuitable for consumption”, stored separately from other foods and taken to a designated reception point.

A total of 22 suspected cases of poisoning by diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical used in antifreeze, have been reported including 19 men and three women. They live in Belo Horizonte, Capelinha, Nova Lima, Pompéu, São João Del Rei, São Lourenço, Ubá and Viçosa, according to the Minas Gerais State Department of Health.

Four have been confirmed and the remaining 18 are under investigation because they presented symptoms suggesting intoxication by diethylene glycol and reported having the product.

For one of the four deaths, presence of diethylene glycol in the blood was confirmed. The man was admitted to a hospital in Juiz de Fora and died on Jan. 7, 2020. The other three deaths are a man who died on January 15 in Belo Horizonte; another man who died the day after in Belo Horizonte and a woman, who died on Dec. 28, 2019 in Pompéu but cause of death has not been determined.

The first person was admitted to hospital on Dec. 30, 2019, suffering from acute renal failure and neurological issues. However, health authorities were also informed of two cases with symptoms similar to intoxication by diethylene glycol with exposure before October 2019 and an investigation is ongoing.

Beers recalled and banned
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (Mapa) revealed tests have found diethylene glycol in 32 lots of 10 Backer beers. Affected drinks are Belorizontina, Capixaba, Capitão Senra, Pele Vermelha, Fargo 46, Backer Pilsen, Brown, Backer D2, Corleone and Backer Trigo. Monoethylene glycol has also been found in some lots of Belorizontina brand beers. Only monoethylene glycol, which is less toxic, is used in operations, according to the company.

Brewery officials said it was collaborating with the recall, official enquiries and internally investigating the issue.

The Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (Anvisa) provisionally banned all Backer beers across the country with an expiration date from August 2020 onwards. The ban will last until the company proves absence of diethylene glycol and monoethylene glycol in its beers and the Três Lobos production site in Belo Horizonte remains closed.

Belorizontina brand beer with lots L1 1348, L2 1348 and L2 1354 and Capixaba beer lot L2 1348 are prohibited and must be collected by Backer as contamination has been proven. Preventive action has been taken for 90 days on all lots of a number of other beers with a date after August 2020 so they cannot be delivered to the consumer and must be removed from shelves.

Tests by MAPA confirmed contamination in the water used by Backer to make its beers.

Several lines of enquiry are being followed including leakage, misuse of monoethylene glycol and possible sabotage by an employee.

On average gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain, appear 72 hours after drinking contaminated products before renal failure or neurological signs including facial paralysis, visual blurring, sensory changes and seizure.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)


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