Cutlery trophy for Lichfield Dash event

Lichfield Dash trophy

Event organisers for the popular Lichfield Dash running event have commissioned a new cutlery-themed trophy. The popular running race is fiercely  contested and as fans of the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire might know, has a rich heritage that you can read all about here.

The trophy made by renowned cutlery manufacturers Arthur Price consists of a solid mahogany wooden base with stainless steel cutlery in three spires; in gold, silver and bronze finishes. The three spires represent not only the three parts of the winners’ podium but also the three distinct spires of Lichfield Cathedral.

Simon Price, Chief Executive of Arthur Price said: “The Lichfield Dash is one of those events which make the city so unique. The original Dash was inspired by events leading up to the 1924 Olympics and so it’s fitting that in 2012 the event is part of the Torch celebrations. When KP Events asked us to contribute to the event we were delighted and I hope this year’s Dash is extra special.”

Kevin Wilson, of KP Events said: “I’d like to thank Arthur Price on behalf of the competitors, supporters and spectators for creating this magnificent trophy. It’s great that even during these difficult times local businesses take the time and effort to contribute to the local community and I will be very proud when Olympian Roger Black presents this trophy to the winner.”

Pictured above are Simon Price, of Arthur Price and Kevin Wilson of event organisers KP Events.

 

Warburtons Toastie Knife and a free solution

Bakers Warburtons have come up with the prototype toastie knife …a butter knife with a heated blade that’ll let you spread straight from the fridge butter onto your toast. Apparently the knife won’t be for sale in the shops but you can see it an action in the short video above.

To see what people are saying about the knife there’s a twitter hashtag to search.

But here’s a tip that works for me and you might like to try for yourself.

Simply run some warm water (from the kettle or the tap) over the blade of your knife, shake off any drops and you’ll be able spread stiff butter on your slice of toast 🙂

Got your own solution? Leave a comment below and share it with our readers.

John Cronin: Can’t cook without… Dualit toaster

John Cronin

John Cronin

Owner, CutleryDrawer.co.uk

I’m John Cronin. In winter 2011 I founded Cutlery Drawer, an online-only kitchenware store. I do pretty much everything myself, tasks like maintaining the store, processing orders and writing posts for the blog.

My background is in software development for commercial business systems but I’ve been publishing websites since 2003; the first one was about credit cards and was a total design shocker. I’m pretty awful at arty stuff so I rely on platforms such as wordpress and good theme designers.

Away from work I go running quite a bit. I’m currently training for the 2012 Liverpool Marathon having ran my one and only marathon in 2011 (also in Liverpool). Doing lots of running means I can eat more cake. I love cakes, especially home baked cakes. I’m interested in hyperlocal publishing (see wikipedia for an explanation) and I maintain a few websites for various places including this one for my home town of Hoylake.

Married. Children. Dog.

I can’t cook without…

The one thing I can’t cook without in our kitchen is my trusty Dualit toaster (current model pictured). Now you can argue the point that you don’t actually cook with a toaster but there’s no denying that it’s a pretty essential kitchen gadget. As a family we all use it, but it’s my Dualit. We’ve had for what must be eight years or more and it’s never gone wrong. I’d wanted one for ages so when the previous one – a cream coloured, nondescript plastic thing – went kaput I took the opportunity to purchase my dream toaster. They make different coloured ones but my Dualit had to be chrome – no other finish would do or would even be considered. There is something inherently beautiful about a chrome finish, all-aluminium Dualit – it’s a design classic.

dualit 4 slotThe toaster looks sturdy, somewhat squat with two curved ends. The fatter end houses the controls while the thinner end has the air grills and embossed Dualit logo. Ours is a 4-slice model which is much more practical for family use. It’s easy to wipe clean and the removable crumb tray while seeming a little rudimentary in design is a most practical way of cleaning away the toasted breadcrumbs that didn’t make it to the plate.

My Dualit, sorry our Dualit, is used just about everyday.   For making morning toast with jam. For making lunchtime toast to go with a steaming hot bowl of homemade leek and potato soup. For hot, New York style bagels as a Saturday morning treat. For toasted pita breads that when sliced open release enough latent heat to melt an iceberg. For crisping up leftover rounds of French stick to eat as an appetiser before dinner. It’s always got to be butter too by the way.

Pop your slices of bread in the slots. Use the lever to lower the bread into the toaster. Flick the red switch to 2 or 4-slice (a sometimes forgotten manual procedure on a 4-slice run – the newer models have a separate dial for that) and twist the timer knob. I never pay too much attention to how far I twist the timer. Somewhere around ‘2’ is fine, closer to ‘3’ if the bread is frozen. Let go. The whirring of the timer starts immediately. The heating elements make a popping sound. You’re in business and now all you’ve got to do wait. If you get impatient you can use the lever to lift the slice to see how they’re coming along. As the timer runs down the whirring accelerates …you’re nearly there! And then it stops. No automatic popping-up with a Dualit, it’s your last task to reach for the lever and eject your toast.

Paul Dack: Cook & Eat utensils

cook-eat

UK product and furniture designer Paul Dack has designed an innovative and fun range of kitchenware that has its origins in a chemists lab.

Dack has taken laboratory glassware and produced a range of items that makes serving condiments fun and humorous. I especially like the vinegar bottle …it’s a laboratory pipette and is a clever way of putting vinegar on your chips! In a passing nod to chefs such as Heston Blumenthal Dack says of the kitchenware:

[The collection brightens] up any kitchen worktop or dining table. Their fun and playful, yet elegant forms take inspiration from laboratory glassware and molecular gastronomy. The Cook&eat kitchenware collection aims to inject pleasure and enjoyment into the cooking and dining experience.

The four piece set consists of an oil flask, vinegar bottle and salt and pepper mills. The mills are non-spill and adjustable and the flask and bottle are dishwasher safe. See more images right here.

Big Appetites: Little people on big food

big appetites hot dog

I stumbled upon a fabulous series of food images that I’m sure you’ll like.

Seattle-based photographer, writer, artist and filmmaker Christopher Boffoli has produced a series of entitled Big Appetites featuring character toys and food, beautifully shot with wry captions.

Boffoli says of the work: “If the sight of whimsical toy-like figures conjures pleasant memories from childhood, so too do the comforts of food. The sensual experience of eating accesses primal instincts that stretch back to the earliest days of our evolution. Whether we are reflecting on the comfort food of childhood, celebrating food’s tremendous diversity, or obsessing over calories and nutrition, cuisine is one of those rare topics that most people can speak about with authority and yet largely without controversy. So the choice of food as a backdrop of the environments of the Big Appetites series is certainly calculated. But even more simply, food can be beautiful, with colors and textures that perfectly suit macro photography.”

After much deliberation I chose the hot dog as my favourite; partly because I like the way the mustard is being raked over the sausage by the toy but mainly because the caption made me laugh more than the others. Actually, the captions remind of a Gary Larson Far Side desk calendar that a friend and colleague had a few years back.

Many thanks to Christopher Boffoli for allowing me to republish the image. Choose your favourite by visiting Big Appetites and feel free to comment on your favourite.

Apprentice finalist launching ‘Whisk’

BBC Apprentice finalist Nick Holzherr is launching the business idea that he proposed to Lord Sugar in the final of the recent business TV series.

Nick HolzherrHolzherr (pictured) is now accepting sign-ups for Whisk, his new online recipe and ingredients buying idea. Whisk will allow users to add multiple recipes to a single basket via the web or app. The site then finds the list of ingredients needed and creates a shopping list of items to buy from a selection of supermarkets.

Holzherr comments: “To start off with we will have an iPhone app and a web service. It is a website primarily, but what we have launched first is a preview app to flick through a couple of pages. We are looking to launch it fully in the summer.” The service will earn revenue from both advertising and affiliate commissions.

Holzherr adds: “Every time we check out a basket there are affiliate systems in place where supermarkets pay you to send traffic to them. For example the user will be sent to a supermarket website and the basket will automatically fill up so you don’t have to search for all the ingredients. The supermarket then pays us to do that. Brands can also pay to place products in your basket, so if cream cheese is needed Kraft can pay us to put Philadelphia in your basket rather than another brand. The user will always be told that is happening so it’s a bit like a Google ad for your basket.”

It seems that Holzherr has received some financial backing from ASAP Ventures; a company that has enjoyed success with other online services such as carrentals.co.uk and discountvouchers.co.uk.

 

6302 Spoons sculpture

6302 spoons sculpture

This unusual “wall lamp” sculpture is entitled 6302 spoons and was created by Najla El Zein, an artist, interior architect and product designer based in Beirut, Lebanon.

The sculpture really is made from 6302 stainless steel spoons that are welded to a frame in such a way that light runs through them. From a distance the spoons create a reptile skin texture. Close up of course each individual spoon reflects light as seen in the photo:

spoons closeup

El Zein says of the piece: “The spoons become a material in itself. The rudimentary transforms into a rich and unique material, taking here the shape of an aquatic, reptile-like skin allowing different reflections of light and movement.The spoon becomes beautiful, gains value and is seen from a totally new perspective.”

We’ve previously seen spoons being used in a Darth Vader sculpture.

Food Glorious Food: Cowell aims for Eggs Factor in the kitchen

Simon Cowell eatingSimon Cowell will be hoping that contestants on his forthcoming cookery contest will have the Eggs-Factor and come up with something slightly more inventive than an apple!

The music talent show supremo (pictured) is launching a new cooking programme on ITV1 entitled Food Glorious Food! which will give the winner a “once in a lifetime opportunity to get your recipe on the shelves of M&S”. And if that’s not glory enough there’s a £20,000 cash prize too!

The producers are proclaiming that it’ll be the biggest search ever for Britain’s best loved recipe, giving the nation an opportunity to share “a special recipe that tugs at your heart strings, makes you smile, brings back memories and sums up all that’s great about food.” The winning dish will be made into a ready meal and sold in-store at M&S will all proceeds going to charity.

Amateur chefs from around the UK will compete in regional heats and successful competitors will advance to filmed semi-finals and then a grand final.

The judges and show host have yet to be confirmed but according to the Metro, Cowell would love to Dawn French to front the show. Cowell said of her: “I would love Dawn to do it. I know she has lost a lot of weight, but I am hoping to persuade her to put a tiny bit back on with me.” However, as Ms French has signed-up to do Lord Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar on BBC1 this year it’s suggested that Dermot O’Leary is the front-runner.

So, if you fancy entering you can read more about the show, the entry rules and apply right here.