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Rice Cube

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I wasn’t planning on posting this– until I watched the video. One word: Awesome!

The Rice Cube can make sushi in seconds. Head over and check out the video. Even a three year old could use it.

Steven Smith Teamaker

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If you like tea, you’ve probably heard of Lipton or Bigelow and probably of Stash or Tazo, but not Steven Smith. That is ironic, because Steven Smith created (and subsequently sold) both Stash and Tazo. Then, he retired to France! But, being the serial entrepreneur he was, he couldn’t just let things be. Instead, he returned to the state he loved most and opened a tea shop in Portland, Oregon. There, Steven Smith Teamaker produces about 35 different offerings ranging from single dedicated flavors like Yunnan to blends like Fez (green tea with spearmint) or your classic Chai.

I am a huge tea lover. I love coffee too but at work I brew at least two cups a day of tea. I was recently made aware of Smith’s story and became fascinated. I learned that a new coffee shop in town was carrying his wares so I swung by after an early morning and bought a box of Fez. I split it with a friend and we both agreed – this was some good tea. Smith has a knack for blending but also packaging. The boxes hold 15 packets and inside each bag is a sachet. Teas need room to breath and unfurl while they brew. That’s why I always use loose leaf tea and a tea basket. However, sometimes this is not practical. Sometimes, you need the convenience of a disposable, self-contained vessel. The Smith teabags are a light mesh material in a pillow (sometimes pyramid) shape. There’s a a lot more volume for the tea to swirl around compared to your typical tea bag.

High end food/cooking stores like Williams-Sonoma and even clothing shops like Portland’s own Blackbird are catching on; they are carrying his line of teas. This all comes at a price though. The teas do cost a premium, about $12 for a box of 15. However, that’s always been Smith’s style. When he introduced Tazo, he priced them at more than double what other brands were asking. If you’d pay for premium beer or coffee, why not tea? So, if you’re a tea drinker, invest in a box. I’d recommend a variety box to start off with. I keep one at home for guests. It makes a great presentation and they’ll be impressed when you present them with something other than that old package at the back of your pantry.

The Story of Sushi

The Story of Sushi from Bamboo Sushi on Vimeo.

I really enjoyed this beautiful video about the Story of Sushi made for Bamboo Sushi in Portland, Oregon. The video was shot over 7 months using entirely 100% handcrafted miniatures.

Bamboo Sushi is proud to be the first certified, sustainable sushi restaurant in the world. It is Bamboo Sushi’s mission to provide exceptional contemporary Japanese cuisine using the freshest fish, meats, and produce available while adhering to the highest standards of marine stewardship and sustainability.

This is what the world of sushi lovers need. I can’t wait to check out Bamboo Sushi on my next trip to Portland.

Chocolate Invader

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Ah yes, the Chocolate Invader. Molded with single origin 66% Dark Chocolate crafted from Costa Rican cacao. Made in New York. Deliciously geeky.

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Buy now and it will arrive in a laser engraved wooden box– inside you will find a small poster, sticker, postcard and a bunch of pixels that you can eat. It looks like they’re made to order as it takes 4 days to get. Costs $25. Yum!

Gotham Greens

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Jeff tipped me off to this. For better or for worse (I think the former), this is the future.

Gotham Greens is a hydroponic farm located on a rooftop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. They will be growing a diverse range of lettuce, salad greens and culinary herbs. They just began harvesting this month!

Yoshii Restaurant: Sydney

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Wandering around Sydney on my second night here, I found what turned out to be the gem of all gems– a small sushi restaurant in The Rocks area of town called Yoshii. No a la carte, just three different prix fixe menus to choose from.

I chose the Sashimi and Sushi course, which started with a small appetizer, and then a delightful array of beautiful fresh sashimi, and then sushi. The tuna, salmon (Tasmanian I assume) and unagi melted in my mouth. As good as any I’ve ever tasted. Between the sashimi and sushi courses I was given a lemon grass champagne sorbet to cleanse my pallet. A fantastic idea!

Next time I definitely need to try the long Yoshii Course menu though– with kitchen dish highlights like a seafood crepe filled with whiting and crystal bay prawn, and deep fried tooth fish tempura. I’ll be back before my trip is over, that’s for sure!

Derry Church Artisan Chocolates

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I love a good underdog story. Who else makes chocolate in Hershey, Pennsylvania (or the small farming community of Derry Church)? Well, Derry Church Artisan Chocolates does. They hand-produce world-class French style chocolate bon bons. They make a point on their website to note that their delicious gourmet chocolates are produced in small batches, by human beings, not machines. Who might they be comparing themselves to? They also use 100% organic and natural ingredients (and all their cream and butter comes from local PA dairy farms).

My favorite is the chocolate in a Japanese Bento Box. So great. Support Chef Cayton and the local underdogs!

Andy Warhol x Dom Perignon Tribute

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I’ll definitely be grabbing some of these limited edition Dom Perignon Andy Warhol champagne bottles when they’re out in the USA. So gorgeous. Jean has more shots.

Inspired by Warhol’s unconventional representation of icons, and the playful use of codes and colour in his work, Dom Pérignon commissioned the Design Laboratory at Central Saint Martin’s School of Art & Design to reinterpret its timeless bottle. The result is a unique collection of three bottles, each with its distinct label in red, blue or yellow, paying homage to Warhol’s iconic colour games.

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