In the Future, We'll Be Drinking Remote Controlled Rainwater

Edl09_product_watercatcher_lowres-300x211A finalist in the 2009 Electrolux Design Lab competition, the "Water Catcher" (by Penghao Shan of China's Zhejiang Sci-tech University) sends out flying tennis ball-size robots into your neighborhood to collect rainfall. Once full, the roving balls automatically return to a homing tray for filtration, whereupon they may then be summoned to you to fill your glass with water.

A video, below, demonstrates how the concept might work.

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Obit: Cookbook Author Sheila Lukins

Sheila Lukins, co-author of The Silver Palate Cookbook, died on Sunday at age 66.


Marcia Cross to Promote Potatoes in UK

Actress Marcia Cross of "Desperate Housewives" has signed on with a Scottish company to promote British consumption of Rooster potatoes (a type of red-skinned potato with yellow flesh). Via coldmud.


I Know How to Cook

Iknowhowtocook Mastering the Art of French Cooking is certainly having a great run thanks to the film "Julie & Julia." Will the best-seller bring about a revival of French cooking, or will the books ultimately languish on the bookshelves of home cooks?

Who knows. But, if sales do result in a sole meunière stimulus of sorts, budding French chefs may also want to get their hands on Ginette Mathiot’s I Know How to Cook ("Je Sais Cuisiner"), due out this October for the first time in an English translation. The New York Times' Julia Moskin recently referenced the book as a "bold and authoritative cookbook for French housewives first published in 1932, continuously revised, and often described as the French 'Joy of Cooking.'"

The cookbook even comes with its own bloggish connections: Press materials indicate that "the recipes have been carefully updated to suit modern readers and their kitchens" by none other than French food blogger Clotilde Dusoulier. Pre-order for $29.70 (with free shipping [not bad considering it's 1000+ pages) at


Union Joins Whole Foods Boycott

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union and CtW Investment Group (an arm of several other unions) have joined the boycott of Whole Foods. They want CEO John Mackey fired and are pushing for Bravo to drop Whole Foods as a sponsor of "Top Chef."


Tobey Maguire as Grant Achatz?

Eater is reporting that actor Tobey Maguire is "attached to the proposal" for a biopic about chef Grant Achatz, tentatively titled "Taste."

Berlin and Beyond: Crazy for Currywurst

The Wall Street Journal reports that currywurst and its "cult-like" following are taking the world by storm.


Wine on the Rocks

It may be gauche to some, but the Chicago Tribune finds that some wines benefit from an ice cube plunked into the glass.


Rugelach 101

rugelach On Friday, August 28, the French Culinary Institute’s International Culinary Center (462 Broadway at Grand Street) will present a course on the essentials of Jewish holiday baking. Learn how to master everything from making fruit-filled hamantashen to bow-tie-shaped kichel (not to mention rugelach, mandelbrot, and honey cakes). Your bubby will be so proud. [more details]

For more events this week and beyond, visit the complete Agenda Calendar. Know about an upcoming food and wine event? Submit a listing here free of charge.


Bruni on Bruni

Outgoing New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni interviews outgoing New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni.