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Alright, folks. We’re about halfway through Menu for Hope 6 and we’re almost at the $20,000 mark. Thanks to all of you who contributed to this incredibly worthy cause!


However being an overachiever (in spite of what a therapist, or my editor, might say), I think we can do better. Like, a whole lot better. So just to remind you, here’s a list of a few bid items that you should hop over to the FirstGiving site and bid on immediately.

Or there is a super-awesome, easy-to-use Donation Widget that was just introduced which was so much fun to use, I dropped a few bucks myself.

So how about…..

cafebernachon bars

From the “You’d-have-to-be krazy-not-to-bid-on-this” file, a bar of Bernachon chocolate shipped to you once a month for a whole year? There’s only two places these very special bars of chocolate are available: at one shop in Paris, and at the Bernachon boutique in Lyon. Otherwise, forget it. Zip. Nada. You’re not getting any.

Well, except here. Or I should say “there”, because they’re gonna get shipped right to your door.

Bid item EU37

Italian Caffè

Speaking of chocolate, people always ask me, “Which country makes the best chocolate?” It’s a question where there just isn’t any answer. I mean, there’s nothing in the air particles or, say…the atmosphere in any particular country that makes their chocolate better or worse than the others.

Most people want to hear “Ooohhh…Belgian chocolate, of course!” or “Switzerland is the best!” Italy doesn’t come up because most people aren’t aware of the great chocolates of our friends in ‘the boot’, because many aren’t produced in sufficient quantities to export overseas. So here’s your chance to taste the best, from Slitti to Amadei, so you can come to your own conclusions. (Nudge: Slitti Italian chocolate is the best. But you didn’t hear that from me…)

Bid item EU01

olivier vigne

I wasn’t going to post this picture, for fear the traffic would bring my site down. But in the interest of charity, I suppose I must. Olivier (who recently sent me a text calling me “a sex machine”, the morning after a party where he told some of the women there that I was a “famous pornographer”) is offering two lucky couples a chance to spend a few hours in his wine cave. (Um, and he calls me a sex machine?)

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Or ladies and ladies. Or whatever you consenting adults want to do. You can spend a lazy afternoon smack dab in the middle of Olivier’s dungeon…er, historic wine cave…drinking it up with him or one of his studly sommeliers. And if you get a text a few hours later, don’t say I didn’t warn you. But be sure to take pictures.

Bid item EU03

les mecs

I’m furious with Cenk. I shouldn’t really be, because he’s the sweetest guy in all of Turkey, and debatably, beyond. But because during a recent visit, he gifted me a box of real Turkish delight (aka: Lokum) If you’ve had the gummy, icky stuff, you’re probably not racing to the FirstGiving site to bid on this. But if you have any sense at all, you will stop reading right now and bid on this fantastic confection.

Cenk, pronounced “Jenk”, will send you a wooden keepsake box, direct to your door, from Cemilzade. Yes, that’s right. You’ll get a full order of the best confectionary I’ve had in 2009. I’d love to say 2010 as well, but I’ve almost polished off my box. Cenk…come back!

Bid item EU11

dried beans

J’adore the Marché d’Aligre in Paris. It’s one of the great markets here, with amazing foods and even a flea market where—get this: the vendors are willing to bargain. Yes, you heard that right. A deal—in Paris!

So if you’re coming, why not visit with a real Parisian? Let Anne take you to the market, and explain the cheeses, vegetables, and pastries with true French pride. And although you won’t need it, if something catches your eye at the flea market, if you want to see how tough (or seductive) French women can be, ask her to haggle for you. You’ll need a jumbo shopping bag to haul home all your loot. But don’t worry if you don’t have one; they’re happy to sell you one of those, too.

Bid item EU17

Un demi verre

Hello? Did someone say “wine”?

Okay, so you’re not coming to Paris. Or maybe couples aren’t too tame for your tastes, and you prefer groups of eight. Hande in Rome is offering a wine tasting for you and up to 7 others. Mix and match, or meet some new friends at Vino Roma. And if you want to invite me and Olivier, we’ll be right over.

Bid item EU23


Some of my vegetarian friends who were visiting Paris went to a vegetarian restaurant and were surprised to find out there weren’t any vegetables on the menu. (#wtf)

But there are wonderful vegetarian and plant-based cuisines to be found in Paris, and Terresa will teach you how to create them in her kitchen. And being France, no meal would be complete without wine (hey, raisins are a fruit…right?), she’ll pair wonderful natural wines with your meal.

Bid item EU05


Not a day goes by, when I don’t look out my window, and say, “Gee, I wish I was looking at the Italian alps.” If you’re anything like me, why not make that wish come true? A two night stay at an Italian B&B will set you right up. And if that’s not enough, you’ll visit an Italian market stocked with products from those alps, like cheese and breads, that you’ll remember forever.

Bid item EU35


I swear, if one more person complains to me about how expensive stand mixers are in Europe, I’m going to whip them into a frothy genoise. If you don’t fancy being made into a spongecake, then bid on this amazing Kenwood mixer. It’s 220V, so you don’t have to worry about blowing a fuse, and it’s superior mixing power will fend off any whipping with a paddle attachment I might make toward you.

Bid item EU36

David's Books

And because it’s my site, don’t forget my collection of books—never to be seen again! You will be the envy of all your friends and family when they see these lovely books in your kitchen. They’re almost too good to use!

Bid item EU39

That’s just a smattering of items on offer, in no particular order, that I dug out of the amazing mix at random. There are plenty more that are just waiting for you to pounce on.

So what the heck are you waiting for?

You can see the entire list of Europe and UK Menu for Hope 6 bid items at that link, and check out use the all-new donation form and bid on these items there.

Other Menu for Hope Hosts Worldwide

Asia Pacific (Tomatom)

USA: East Coast (Tartelette)

USA: West Coast (Gluten Free Girl)

Canada (Seven Spoons)

Wine and Spirits (Vinography)



    • Loulou

    The choices are so good, I can’t decide what to bid on!

    • David

    Foolishly, I put up a few items I’m bidding on. Hint: I’ve already spent plenty of time with Olivier. It’s someone else’s turn ; )

    But those Bernachon bars are amazing and it’s a chance to get them shipped RIGHT TO YOUR DOOR. If people don’t bid on those, then all hope for humanity is lost.

    • Rijk Jansonius

    Bonsoir David.
    Just tried to donate ánd get my hands on your books in this way via the new widget. However it didn’t work. I hope the ‘Menu for hope” will not loose potential intrestees this way. Good luck with the programme and I do like your Blog. Interesting ánd funny. Merci

    • David

    I had a minor problem bidding and called FirstGiving, and they said to try another browser, which worked perfectly. I was using Firefox but he said with all the stuff on people’s computers, things happen like that.

    But the widget worked for me…a little too well! I ended up bidding on quite a few things..

    You could just go to the FirstGiving site and skip the widget, as well.

    • Jenny

    I skipped the widget too – but wish they would increase the character count in the submission field. I bid on a bunch of things and had to submit more than once. But it’s all good – there are wonderful items up there, and a perfect cause. David, I hope I score your books!

    • cdelphine

    When does the bidding end? I’m eyeing those Bernachon bars…

    • David

    Jenny: I think the widget took quite a bit of time (and energy) to build, but will give them your feedback for next year. This is the first time we’ve used it. Thanks for the donation!

    cdelphine: The auction ends December 25th. Those Bernachon bars are an amazing treat and I was going to bid on them, but decided that I lived close enough to get my own and I should give someone else a chance at ’em…

    • Lisa

    Great choices! Fun to dream about having/giving these fun items — or just to have the $$ go to a wonderful cause. My favorite holiday shopping by far this year. And the widget worked beautifully.

    • Foodie Froggy

    Hi David,
    Thanks for the reminder about my Aligre Market tour ! But I am not happy that you did the same with Olivier’s wine class because I bidded on it and I wanted to be the winner !! Ooops, I feel that I need to specify that I am a very happy married woman (to the sexiest pharmacist in Paris, according to all my female american friends) !!

    • parisbreakfast

    Thanks very much for the reminder David!
    Nothing shameless or grovelesque about it.
    I am delighted to be able to contribute to an exceptional cause.

    • alvarosa

    How funny, you won the French Conversation Classes!
    Seems karma matches the items to them who need them most ;o]


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