I hope that each and every one of you had a wonderful holiday! We at TVFF.com HQ are still easing back into the swing of things.
Did Santa (or whichever gift-bringing supernatural being you recognize) deliver any good food-related gifts? We picked up two new cookbooks, a whole mess of wine and a creme brulee set (complete with ramekins and blowtorch), so we'll be cooking well in the new year.
Of course, the holiday season is not about what you get, but what you're able to give. And two food celebrities, Gordon Ramsay and Alton Brown, got in the holiday spirit and gave to those who could really use it.
Taking a break from cooking for the guests at his New York restaurant, Gordon Ramsay flew to Afghanistan in order to prepare meals for the British troops. Although you would imagine that anything is an improvement over the usual food, the Hell's Kitchen star got rave reviews for his cooking.
Commenting on the chef's Christmas grub, Royal Marine Lee Oliver from 42 Commando said "the food was absolutely delicious."
Alton Brown also decided to do some good this year. Normally, whenever I hear about someone making a donation to a charity in lieu of giving gifts, I have visions of George Costanza and The Human Fund. However, Alton chose an interesting and worthy charity.
Through his production company, Be Square, Inc., Alton has been making donations to a charity called Heifer International, which provides livestock to farmers around the world in an effort to create sustainable solutions to combat hunger. The Associated Press spoke with Brown, who described why he is taking this approach:
''If I can get a couple of cows in Russia, bees to people in Kentucky, or a couple of flocks of geese to folks in China, that actually matters and I feel really good about it.''
Be Square Productions donates a Gift Ark every year -- a $5,000 donation that includes two each of Heifer's animals including cows, sheep, camels, oxen, water buffalo and rabbits, among many others. The animals go wherever they are needed most.
Brown donates money himself and in the names of his clients. Many times, he said, the people whose name the donation was given in are honored when they receive the gift card explaining that others will benefit from the money.
So, if you've ever wanted to give the gift of a camel but just haven't been able to find the right recipient, here's your chance.