Food Stuff

Hidden whiskey, art on display, organics brought to your door and more

Booze hunt — This week, 29-year-old St. Clair Shores resident Alex Chepeska is off to look for a case of Canadian Club whiskey. Between 1967 and 1991, Canadian Club hid cases of whiskey in some of the harshest and most breathtaking regions of the world, from Death Valley to Loch Ness. The game is called "Hide a Case," and Chepeska is one of four looking for the hidden spirits in Tonga, a kingdom of 176 islands in the South Pacific. It doesn't hurt that the reward for finding the case is $100,000. Chepeska, a General Motors employee who recently had to cancel his plans of working the midnight shift there to undertake the arduous trip, says, "I am excited about the whole adventure of it. I mean, it's pretty surreal. You go on a treasure hunt around the world, and ... it sounds pretty nuts." Keep up with Chepeska via blog at

View and chew — There's a new art show going up at Detroit's Cass Cafe. The exhibit is titled 5W-30, and will feature collaborative work from Christopher Samuels, David Flaugher and Travis Galloway. The artists say that the title of the show connotes "the sort of psychological endurance typified by living in Detroit and Michigan. It means having to drive, and or dealing with the reality of maintaining a motor vehicle. The repetition of having to drive to work every day, and taking care of routine vehicle maintenance." Get in gear with the opening, from 7 to 10 p.m. April 16, at 4620 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-1400;

Think inside the box — A group called Door to Door Organics is introducing a home delivery service of locally produced food. The Livonia-based company "seeks opportunities to support local farmers whenever possible," and promises that, during the peak of the Michigan growing season, as much as 75 percent of their produce will be sourced from local farmers. Not good enough? For locavores who want to eat exclusively locally, Door to Door will offer a "Local Farm Box" from mid-June through mid-October, with 100 percent Michigan-grown produce. They will deliver throughout metro Detroit, Ann Arbor, Flint and Lansing. For more information see

Perfect pairing — Local couple Joe and Wendy Cucinello have opened a new shop called Giuseppe's International Oils and Vinegars in the Mall at Partridge Creek in Clinton Township. The store specializes in "the freshest, broadest selection of high quality single cultivar extra virgin olive oils from award-winning producers, and aged balsamic vinegars from Modena, Italy." Choices of natural extra virgin olive oil include Arbequina, Cerasuola, Coratina and Organic Tunisian Phoenician. What's more, they'll bottle and seal it for you right there. They're at 17330 Hall Rd., Ste. 199, Clinton Twp.; 586-263-4200;

Food/Thought More than just a compilation of 50 recipes, Tuscany (Phaidon, $39.95) is an ode to the birthplace of Italian cuisine, a poetic and photographic exploration of the region and its culinary evolution. Dazzling photos illustrate the countryside, the colorful ingredients, the region's working kitchens and the finished dishes. The recipe for pancotto di viareggio, a bread and seafood soup, sounds and looks sumptuous, laden with prawns, squid rings, clams and tomatoes in a wine-infused fish stock. Serve it with nudi, light spinach and ricotta dumplings covered with butter and sage.

Bottoms Up When we needed a full liter of inexpensive wine to fill our Spanish wine skin for Marche du Nain Rouge, we snagged a container of Yellow + Blue malbec. Produced with organically grown, hand-harvested Argentine grapes and fermented in steel tanks with indigenous yeast, it's a quality, poundable wine with ample fresh dark fruit flavors balanced by light tannins and a fine acidity — a superb value for $10. By using lightweight packaging traditionally associated with juice boxes, the importer is able to cut both the cost and carbon footprint roughly in half.

The Works Quality kitchen tools simplify prepping, cooking and serving food, making them worth the price — which is often considerably higher than inferior products. Wusthof, long a highly regarded brand of cutlery, offers this Silverpoint II carving set, perfect for slicing poultry, pork and beef roasts, easing the task at hand with a laser-cut knife that is precisely tempered, allowing the blade to maintain its edge longer than inferior products. Combine this with a straight, pronged fork to make carving a breeze, allowing you to use the prongs as a guide without damaging the blade. And it comes with a lifetime warranty.

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