Rebekah Denn

Did you hear about Captain Underpants?

Excuse me a moment while I shout something that will make me the most popular person in the nation’s elementary schools: DAV PILKEY HAS A NEW “CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS” BOOK COMING OUT THIS SUMMER.

Thanks, I’m back.


Are Muir Glen tomatoes BPA-free?

From Eat All About It:

I was plenty interested in seeing what Jason Stratton of Spinasse was doing with organic tomatoes at this event Tuesday night. But the first question I hear when I say “Muir Glen” these days, I told the organizers, is when their tomato cans will be free of BPA.

The company announced last year that it would have BPA-free cans with “the next harvest,” delighting customers who are tearing out their hair trying to find ways to avoid the endocrine disrupter, but leaving them without a firm date.

Good news: “It’s already happened,” said Julie Johnson, an internal marketing communications consultant for General Mills, which owns Muir Glen. The harvest in question was the fall one, the tomatoes have already been packaged in BPA-free, non-epoxy-lined cans, and “they are literally hitting the stores now.” When the shipments are complete the company will announce the news from the rooftops. So for now, the Muir Glen tomatoes you find at the market might be BPA-free.





‘Glass of Gratitude’

New arrivals


Michael Pollan interview

How many farmers markets are too many?


The 50 best cookbooks ever?

Hungering for a heated debate? The Guardian/Observer newspaper just listed its picks for the “50 Best Cookbooks of All Time,” and there are plenty of bones to pick with it. Momofuku made the list, but not The French Laundry Cookbook? Jamie Oliver at #15? The Rice Book by Sri Owen, but nothing from Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid? No Bittman, no Blumenthal, no Michael Ruhlman, no Peter Reinhart…? Yes to Simon Hopkinson, who was also a panelist (#5), but no Jeffrey Steingarten? (Perhaps Steingarten doesn’t technically count under “cookbooks,” but neither do some of the others.) Delia Smith’s “Complete How To Cook,” but no “Joy of Cooking“? (It was a British-centric panel, of course, which might explain that one.)

Full story…

Michael Pollan interview

Check out the Sunday edition of The Seattle Times for my Q&A with Michael Pollan.

I had lunch with Pollan a few years ago, and was impressed even then with his smart, thoughtful take on what we were eating and where our country was headed. I’ve always admired his combination of shoe-leather reporting and clear thinking; how he can, for instance, cut through the endless circular arguments over whether high-fructose corn syrup is worse than sugar. (There are entirely different reasons to avoid foods containing HFCS, he says — it’s a “reliable marker for a food product that has been highly processed,” and it has some significant environmental problems.)

The issues Pollan deals with have become stunningly mainstream, and it was a treat to get to follow up on some of the topics we had talked about when they were less in the public eye. (He had this to say about health care reform and the insurance industry: “What the food movement has lacked until now is a powerful corporate ally, and it may have gotten one.”)

And, Pollan himself is now being looked to as a leader in the good-food movement as much as a reporter — not a role most journalists are comfortable juggling. I asked how he felt about that:

“This is a movement that is in need of leadership…But it’s not a role I’m well suited to. I’m not a political actor…” (more)


more at Eat All About It

‘Goat meat can get you in at any farmers market’

“Goat meat can get you in at any farmers market.”

That’s just one of the interesting tidbits of information in a generally comprehensive and frank new study on farmers markets in King County. Staff from the county Agriculture Program surveyed market managers and farmers for the report, yielding a nice trove of data on the challenges markets face and some paths toward improving their long-term stability.

Some of the summaries and conclusions will be no-brainers to dedicated market watchers: Farmers markets need good, long-term locations, which are in short supply. Having more vendors process debit cards and food stamp benefits would increase sales. It’s frustrating that so many shoppers believe prices are higher at farmers markets than grocery stores, and frustrating that grocery stores are now grabbing the “locally grown” label while selling a very different product…

Here’s a random sampling of points that caught my eye: (more)



more here at Eat All About It



How to eat right in 2010: Indulge adventurously

I wrote about our old friends the Mangalitsa pigs in the new issue of Cooking Light, as part of the magazine’s list of ten ways to eat right in 2010. Yes, those pigs — the ones that inevitably draw the words “fatty, lardy, rich” in any word association game — in Cooking Light.

The logic is that the porkers fall under the heading of “Indulge Adventurously,” meaning that “a healthy approach to eating includes permission to satisfy that part of the soul that craves truffles, butter, chocolate, or cheese –in modest proportions.” (more)

Roadfood junkies Jane and Michael Stern in town; Top Pot Doughnuts was their fav last time

Jane and Michael Stern are coming to Benaroya Hall Tuesday as part of the Seattle Arts & Lectures series. I wrote a bit on Al Dente about whether the Sterns and their Roadfood writings are still relevant in the age of Yelp. (The answer: Heck yes.) 

The last time the Sterns came to Seattle, I had the happy task of trying to share some of Seattle’s best Roadfood bets with them. (more)

Rebekah Denn: Crowdsourced cookbook coming from Foodista

Always dreamed of writing a cookbook for a major publishing house? How about… well, contributing a recipe to a group cookbook? Winners of a cookbook contest at will have their recipes in a Foodista cookbook published by Andrews McMeel in 2010. I wrote about it in today’s Christian Science Monitor, over here.

And check out Rebekah’s Eat All About It site.

Reality TV “Master Chef” auditions; want to try to work with Mr. “SHUT IT DOWN”?

We’re finally seeing more Seattle chefs compete on reality TV, now some of our amateur cooks are going to get a chance too.

Master Chef, the new Fox TV reality show featuring Gordon Ramsey, is scheduling auditions in Seattle for Jan. 16. The Hollywood Reporter calls the show, based on a hit show in the U.K. and Australia,  ”a culinary American Idol” where contestents around the country will create dishes for a judging panel to consider.

Read more here

Eat All About It: Critic Kauffman leaves Weekly for San Francisco

This is one of the saddest pieces of Seattle restaurant news I’ve heard since the Beeliner Diner and the Dog House closed: Jonathan Kauffman, restaurant critic for Seattle Weekly, is heading back to his old Bay Area eating grounds. Starting Jan. 1, he’ll take the critic’s job at SF Weekly.

Read more here from Rebekah Denn at Eat All About it.