Menu For Hope V and Artisan Steak Tasting pack of 8 rib eye steaks!

beef steaks

Dear Friends,

We’re sure you’ve all heard of this fabulous, annual fund raising campaign that supports the UN World Food Programme.  Started by Chez Pim five years ago to support worthy causes world wide, this yearly event is hosted by food bloggers from around the world.

It just doesn’t end there. As Pim explains, it goes beyond all borders for everyone to participate, “Each December, food bloggers from all over the world join the campaign by offering a delectable array of food-related prizes for the Menu for Hope raffle. Anyone – and that means you too – can buy raffle tickets to bid on these prizes. For every $10 donated, you earn one virtual raffle ticket to bid on a prize of their choice. At the end of the two-week campaign, the raffle tickets are drawn and the results announced on Chez Pim.” For more details on this fundraiser, please visit Chez Pim for the details.

So we’re donating a raffle prize for this years Menu for Hope V and it’s something that we have tasted for ourselves and are in love with and know that you will too (sorry,  vegetarians).

We’re donating a Artisan Steak Tasting 8 pack of large, Rib Eye steaks from The Oliver Ranch Company!(a $239 value) (Prize only available to ship in U.S.)

If you love beef, GREAT beef, SUSTAINABLE beef, ARTISINAL beef from ethical & conscientious ranchers, this is the prize for you. All of the beef from The Oliver Ranch Company meet these quality standards: “Traceable from farm to fork, no added growth hormones, no preventative antibiotics, 100% vegetable based diet, gentle handling techniques”.

Your Artisan Steak Tasting kid will include eight large Rib-Eye steaks, two each from four artisan ranches, each specializing in a different breed, region, diet, and aging technique:

  • Dry-Aged Charolais-Cross, Front Range Region, CO, Elliott & Ferris Family Ranches
  • Dry-Aged 100% Black Angus, Russell Country, MT, N-Bar Ranch, Dave Workman
  • Wet-Aged Holstein-Friesian, Imperial Valley, CA, 3 Brand Cattle Company, Bob Beechinor
  • Wet-Aged Wagyu-Angus Cross, Select Kobe Beef America Ranches, directed by R.L. Freeborn

beef steaks

The kit also comes with a fabulous steak tasting guide from The Artisan Beef Institute, the education arm of The Oliver Ranch Company (, a how-to guide for your tasting and a phone call from the founder of the company to help make your tasting an unforgettable experience.

All the ranchers are hand selected by Carrie Oliver, the CEO, for their commitment to quality and ethics of their beef, the “quality beef styles crafted by some of the world’s very best natural or organic producers. Each represents a different breed, region, diet, and aging technique and has been purposely selected to appeal to different individual palates or priorities.”

We were fortunate enough to have Carrie Oliver over to guide us through our Artisan Steak Tasting party last week! Carrie’s amazing knowledge, passion and commitment to spreading information and education about organic/sustainable beef was inspiring.

beef steaksHow could four Rib Eye steaks taste so different from each other?   Through her, we learned that beef is much like wine, where the end product varies greatly  from region, to the breed of cattle(varietal for wine), to how it was finished (the final “fattening” period), to the care the rancher puts into his herd, to the the cattle’s stress in life all the way to the very end, and how the butcher cares for and handles the meat. There are a multitude of factors that go into a great steak, much more beyond the common belief that it is all about the marbling.  Rather than considering government labels such as USDA Prime or marketing claims such as “natural” or “grass-fed,” you’ll discover that wine is just like beef, provenance — and talent — matters.

This is Carrie’s passionate movement to break the commodity trap once and for all and to help support humane handling, sustainability, and fair trade, too.  What really drove it home for us in particular, is how important gentle-handling is to creating great flavor and texture.

The inspiration from The Oliver Ranch company was superbly written up by our fellow blogger friends extraordinaire: Jaden and Brooke. Read more about Artisinal beef tasting from Jaden, Steamy Kitchen and Brooke, FoodWoolf.

Be one of the first people in the world to host an Artisan Steak Tasting at your home with friends and family.  Think of it like a fine wine tasting but with steaks!

beef steaks

Donation Prize Code : UW32

Donation Instructions:
1. Choose a prize or prizes of your choice from our Menu for Hope at
2. Go to the donation site at and make a donation.
3. Each $10 you donate will give you one raffle ticket toward a prize of your choice. Please specify which prize you’d like in the ‘Personal Message’ section in the donation form when confirming your donation. You must write-in how many tickets per prize, and please use the prize code.
For example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for EU01 and 3 tickets for EU02. Please write 2xEU01, 3xEU02
4. If your company matches your charity donation, please check the box and fill in the information so we could claim the corporate match.
5. Please allow us to see your email address so that we could contact you in case you win.  Your email address will not be shared with anyone.

**This prize will only ship to the  United States.

Please go to The FirstGiving Donation center to bid on this prize!

Each of your $10 donations will give substantial support to The World Food Programme. Last year, the success of Menu for Hope and efforts of world wide food bloggers  brought 388,000 meals in Lesotho schools, which fed over 19,000 poor hungry children with school meals for a whole month.

That’s powerful, profound and convincing enough to show how much of an impact we can all make by working together.

Thank you for your support,

Hugs to everyone,

Diane and Todd


For more information about the fabulous prizes, please visit your local hosts for this year:

Europe *and* the UK
Sara of Ms.Adventures in Italy

US: East Coast
Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen

Meena Agarwal of Hooked on Heat (

Asia Pacific, Australia, New Zealand
Ed Charles of Tomato

Our special Wine Blog Host
Alder of Vinography

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Sylvia

    Thanks for the response – that makes a lot more sense now!

  2. Melissa

    Aw dammit. Your prize is gonna force me to buy another ticket. *sigh*

    At least if I win yours, you won’t have to ship it.


  3. Brooke

    Todd and Diane,
    thank you for your generosity of spirit and support of Menu of Hope! After having the delicious steaks of Oliver Ranch I can, without hesitation, recommend that all of your readers donate to Menu for Hope and designate their dollars to the steak tasting!

    And, thank you so much for mentioning my story about Oliver Ranch!

  4. Mollie

    What a fantastic prize! Seeing steaks in a cast iron pan makes me drool just a little… 🙂

  5. Carrie Oliver

    Todd & Diane, thanks for offering one of our artisan steak tasting packs for Menu for Hope! My family needs a Xmas gift idea for me, what were those pans you used at our tasting? My only cast iron has a flat bottom but the ones you used cooked the steaks much better.

    Silvia, that’s a fair question re: beef sustainability. Truth is that cattle raised right can not only revive poorly managed land or keep soil healthy but also sequester carbon. There are a lot of things that need to be done to transition North American beef to a grass-only system and the road will be bumpy but I think we can do it.

    One key barrier is that we’ve oversimplified beef for the sake of expediency and low prices. Ranchers raise all kinds of different breeds of cattle but they’re not rewarded for anything other than the % fat marbling and relative yield of meat from each cattle. To use wine as an analogy, it’s as if all the red wine grapes picked this week went the same processor and came out the other side as “red wine.” This batch might be delicious but good luck trying to repeat it. Plus think of the waste, so many different fine wines or purposeful blends could have been produced with a bit of will.

    So step one is help folks discover that marbling – achieved most easily via a grain diet — is not the only driver of taste and texture but that gentle handling, breed, specific diet, and aging technique also make a big (if not bigger) contribution. This category is full of diverse tastes and textures. Our home artisan steak tasting packs are great for showcasing this.

    The other key barriers are that we have the wrong genetics here, the herds have been optimized to be finished on grains not grasses, and grass-finishing is a different skill set and far more seasonal. I try to directly or indirectly support those ranchers who have made the switch but in the meantime also support others who might be persuaded to make that transition.

    Sorry for the mini-novella :-}

  6. Hélène

    You are so generous. Merry Xmas!

  7. Simply...Gluten-free

    Happy Holidays to you guys. You have big hearts and I hope you have a great season and a kick ass 2009!

  8. Sylvia

    Um, it’s a great gift but I’m a bit bemused by the phrasing “sustainable beef” – do you mean as opposed to Cod or that most cattle ranchers don’t bother to breed?

    (Actually, the sustainable refers more to the land. The way some beef in this country is raised can be very devastating to the land. These ranchers are not only grass feeding their cattle for most, if not all of their lives, they are doing so in a manner that allows the land to regenerate itself. By rotating pastures, crops and such, the farmland and the cattle are raised symbiotically.
    -Todd of WORC)

  9. Manggy

    FanTAStic prize for a very worthy cause you guys! Them Americanos must have such a hard time deciding between all the great prizes 🙂 It’s been so long since I’ve had beef (my grandma hates the stuff, so we never have it 🙁 ) so I only know of two tastes: bad and good. 😛 But I can just imagine these tender steaks, with huge cracked peppercorns… Heaven!
    Hmm… Is Todd wincing from the heat of the steam?! 😉

Leave a Reply