Food Stuff 

Battle of the brunches — Seldom Blues and Sweet Georgia Brown will both be holding Easter brunches on Sunday, April 16, offering a fit opportunity to sample the rebirth of downtown Detroit dining. Seldom Blues promises a gourmet Easter brunch and buffet, with fare ranging from high cuisine to homestyle, and live entertainment from the Johnnie Bassett Trio. Sweet Georgia Brown offers an Easter Champagne brunch, with a specially prepared menu and live music from Herbie Russ. Seldom Blues' brunch runs 11 a.m.-5 p.m. in Tower 400 of the Renaissance Center; $42 per person minus tax and tip; call 313-567-7301, ext. 2 for reservations. Sweet Georgia Brown's event runs 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at 1045 Brush St.; $40 per person minus tax or tip; call 313-965-1245.

Growth of the soil — Avalon International Breads' has a special Earth Day promotion through the end of April called Dig Detroit. When bread lovers buy any of Avalon's featured products, the bakery will make a donation supporting the Detroit Garden Resource Program, a group that promotes community gardening in the city. At 422 W. Willis St., Detroit; 313-832-0008.

Greasy kids' stuff — School lunch was always bad, but now it's often bad for you to boot. That's the impetus behind a competition that asks young people to design healthy lunch menus that eschew the empty calorie. Each semifinalist will win $5,000 to go toward their school to promote healthful eating; grand prize is a $100,000 scholarship. For more information, visit


Eat the Page

In 1992, Marcel Desaulniers, wrote Death by Chocolate, The Last Word On A Consuming Passion ($35, Rizzoli International Publications Inc.), a predecessor to the many chocolate cookbooks that are being published today, seemingly in the face of our diet-crazed consciousness. This is still a book to drool over, with mouthwatering color photographs. Many of the recipes are uncomplicated, many are not, but the results are guaranteed to make you a star. Try the caramel rum delirium ice cream cake.

A Tasty Beverage

Wines from Down Under have long been considered good buys, and Australia's Penfolds wines are no exception. At any price level, you get what you pay for — and then some. Their Koonunga Hill Shiraz — available for $9.99 at Papa Joe's in Birmingham — is deliciously fruity, tasting of blackberry and loganberry, with a little spice. What's more, at this price, it's worth a try.

It Works

If you are concerned about food-borne illnesses that can be transmitted in undercooked meat, or about the flavor and texture of overcooked meat, you need a meat thermometer. At one end of the spectrum is a small, handheld, instant-read probe that you merely stick into the thickest part of the food — careful not to touch a bone — and immediately learn the temperature. At the other end of the spectrum is the wireless model with a digital readout ($30 and up) that can alert you when the pork butt smoking on your barbecue is ready to shred.

Know of any new restaurants, special dinners or food-related events? Let us know. Send comments to

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