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Dessert for D-Day

Dessert for D-Day Great British Menu chef Aktar Islam is calling on the general public around the country to spend time with their older neighbours by rustling up a dessert or pudding to share on 6th June, the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings.

The award-winning Birmingham chef wowed the judges on BBC 2’s Great British Menu with a show stopping, war-time inspired pudding complete with edible Churchill cigar. He is now urging everyone to offer a slice of friendship and make a Dessert for D-Day for an older neighbour they know or donate to Age UK, the Charity that supports vulnerable older people across the country.

Loneliness is a huge issue that affects people all year round with around one million older people regularly going an entire month without speaking to anyone and 600,000ii older people only leaving their house once a week or less.

Aktar, chef director at the award winning Lasan restaurant in Birmingham said: “Sharing food is a fantastic way to open doors, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a Battenburg, Bakewell or a Blancmange – by knocking on your neighbour’s door and sharing your Desserts for D-Day on Friday 6th June and throughout the weekend that follows you could be bringing a little comfort into someone’s life.”

Laurie Boult, Head of Fundraising at Age UK said: “At Age UK we know how devastating loneliness can be for older people so we are delighted to be involved in Desserts for D-Day. Sharing a pudding with an older neighbour you know is a lovely way to brighten up their day. If you can’t share a pudding, you can still make a difference simply by donating to Age UK. We support a wonderful range of services, such as befriending, social activities, lunch clubs and coffee mornings to give lonely older people the opportunity to feel more connected.”

To help Age UK end loneliness people can donate today by calling 0800 169 8787 or texting HELLO to 70004 to donate £3 and help make later life better. To find out more about ‘Desserts for D-Day’ log on to To find out more about Age UK’s work to tackle loneliness and how you can donate go to Share your photos from the day with Age UK on Twitter and Instagram using hashtag #lovelaterlife or post them on Age UK’s Facebook page.

Observer Food Monthly Awards

Demonstrating that Bordeaux wines are especially good with food, this year the CIVB (Bordeaux Wines) is the title sponsor of the 2011 Observer Food Monthly Awards.

Now in its 8th year, the OFM Awards are a highlight in the foodie calendar with voting open between April and June for award categories including Best Restaurant, Best Place to Drink and Reader’s Recipe. Judges including Observer food writer and chef Nigel Slater, Observer food critic Jay Rayner and chef/restaurateur Thomasina Miers will decide the winners in July and winners are announced in October.

Because “Good Food Would Choose Bordeaux,” guests at the ceremony (London venue to be announced) will be served red, white and rosé wines from the famous region of Bordeaux.

Douglas Morton of the CIVB comments: “We are very excited about this partnership with Observer Food Monthly. These awards celebrate all aspects of good food, from top restaurants to inspiring reader recipes. The affiliation is another strand to Bordeaux’s food strategy and reflects Bordeaux’s association with food from good basic ingredients to stylish cuisine.”

To be in with a chance of winning a range of prizes including the top prize of a wine trip to Bordeaux, nominate your favourite foodies at The deadline for entries is 24 June 2011.

Grand Food Porn – DMBLGIT February 2010

The food porn showcase – Does My Blog Look Good In This – has had the hosting baton passed on to The Well-Seasoned Cook for this month.

Each month food blog owners select one of their images as being the very best they can produce in the realm of food imaging (foodporn in short). A team of judges then rates each picture on the grounds of originality, edibility and aesthetics.

Fourty Three entries so far; showing original pictures that appeared on blogs during February. Over 100 entries is the ‘norm’ for DMBLGIT.

A SmugMug album has been created for your viewing pleasure. Our current favourites are the Brenebone Soup from Our Family Recipes in Indonesia and White and Wild Rice with Pomegranate from the Sweet Corner blog from The Netherlands.

The image here is the current winner – Kris Ngoei of Bake in Paris with Grateful. Full details of DMBLGIT are available on SpittoonExtra.

Restaurant In Our Living Room Interactive Map

restaurant in our living room interactive mapRestaurant In Our Living Room, a programme truly designed to tickle your taste buds. This new concept in competitive dining sees culinary couples going head-to-head to create the ultimate dining experience in their own homes.

To promote the show Virgin1 together with Holler are launching a social platform to accompany Restaurant In Our Living Room, elevating the show to a mass-participation, national event that genuinely enables viewers to get involved.

The platform brings together budding home restaurateurs, local producers and hungry diners to create their own home dining nights. For the first time the UK public will be able to easily access home dining events across the UK via a postcode driven mapping system.

To maximize excitement and buzz online, the platform has been completely constructed with word of mouth recommendation in mind – enabling users to automatically integrate the experience into their own social spaces – and in the process pull their own friends and peers to the map to take part themselves.

To check out the map head to:

Laphroaig and Maker’s Mark Masterclass- Live from Loretto, Kentucky

distillery_liveThe world of whisky is varied and fascinating – with the top distilleries employing centuries of exacting standards to ensure each bottle tastes like a dream. For those who know their Bourbon from their Malts, the history and provenance of their favourite dram adds a flavour of authenticity to the rich aromas and complex, smoky notes that assault the senses in such a seductive way.

This painstaking pursuit of perfection can reveal itself in unexpected and wonderful ways, like the link between Maker’s Mark Bourbon and Laphroaig. From the Ozark mountains from which Maker’s Mark source their oak to the special “air drying” techniques used in preparation of their barrels (after maturing Maker’s Mark to perfection) they are shipped nearly 4,000 miles from Loretto, Kentucky to the Laphroaig distillery on the south shore of the Isle of Islay to enjoy a second life creating the unique taste and world-class reputation that Laphroaig expressions are so famous for.

In 2007 Laphroaig held the world’s first ever live online whisky tasting in London garnering one of the highest online broadcast audiences ever, this was followed up by last year’s live broadcast direct from Laphroaig’s home on the Scottish island of Islay gaining an even larger audience.

Some of the world’s top whisky experts and Master Distillers are gathered together for Distillery Live 2009 direct from the Maker’s Mark distillery in Kentucky. Online a tasting of Maker’s Mark and a few of the different Laphroaig expressions will be hosted, exploring how they can be enjoyed in cocktails and even add their subtle flavours to food in cooking. However, there will of course be time to appreciate the glory of both Laphroaig and Maker’s Mark straight.

At this tasting will be President of Maker’s Mark Bill Samuels Jr and their Master Distiller Kevin Smith, as well as John Campbell, Distillery Manager for Laphroaig and famous whisky writer John Hansell.

Bill Samuel Jr, John Campbell, Kevin Smith and John Hansell will be live online at on Saturday 26th September at 01.00 BST (Friday 25th September 20:00 EST) to take part in this fascinating story of Laphroaig and Maker’s Mark.

Click here to submit questions before the chat Anyone whose question is read out during the live show will receive a special prize.