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Posted on Aug 14, 2008 in admin | 13 comments

Bento community news

Bento community news


A few quick updates on bento news around the community.

1. Bento photo contest at Not Exactly Bento

The Not Exactly Bento blog is running a Bento Photo Contest for the best picture of a bento you’ve made. Bentos can be either recent or older, but no character or kyaraben food art bentos. Each person can submit up to two entries. There are two bento sets available as prizes, and readers will vote on the best photos. Deadline is August 22, so pretty soon. (I keep an updated list of current lunch-packing contests and blog events at my Lunch Blog Events page; this has been on there for a little while.)

2. Vegan Lunchbox posting again

Jennifer McCann over at award-winning Vegan Lunchbox is posting regularly to her blog again after a hiatus to home-school her son. She’s the author of the book Vegan Lunch Box: 130 Amazing, Animal-Free Lunches Kids and Grown-Ups Will Love!, which has vegan packed lunch ideas and recipes that would also work for bento-style lunches. Her original book was picked up by a larger publisher, reworked, and re-released last week. Congratulations, Jennifer!

3. La Carmina to write “Cooking Cute” bento book

Speaking of books, author and blogger La Carmina signed a deal with Penguin USA to write a book about kyara-ben tentatively titled “Cooking Cute” (release date TBA). As far as I know, the book has no relation to the well-known Cooking Cute bento blog — I do wonder if this is going to pose a problem or market confusion. Hope Ngoc didn’t plan on writing a book with the same name as her blog…

4. Lunch in a Box in Stars & Stripes

I was surprised when reader Missy let me know that the U.S. military newspaper Stars & Stripes had run an article last week spotlighting Lunch in a Box on page 2 of all of their August 8, 2008 editions worldwide. What a pleasant surprise! So a big welcome to new readers around the world — glad to have you here, and be sure to have a look at the Bento FAQ. Thanks Missy! (See the Press and Awards page for more press and notable web mentions.)

5. Request from Tampa Bay Area journalist

I got an e-mail from a Tampa Bay Area newspaper journalist looking to interview a local mom who makes bento lunches for her children. If you fit the description and would like to be interviewed for a newspaper article, please e-mail me at lunchinabox (AT] gmail (DOT} com and I’ll put you in touch. Cheers!


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  1. Thanks for letting everyone know Biggie. It’s wonderful how you share with the commnity. I appreciate it!

  2. @1 from Jenn: My pleasure, Jenn. Good luck with your contest; I’m sure a couple of people are going to be really jazzed to get those bento sets!

  3. Hi Biggie,
    Thanks for the shout-out! The title to my upcoming book is provisional, and I actually emailed Ngoc to tell her about it… I definitely don’t want to be stepping on her toes!

    Take care and keep up the great work,

  4. @3 from La Carmina: Cool that you e-mailed Ngoc! Did she answer, though? I know she’s been having e-mail issues that have prevented her from actually receiving e-mail. You might want to leave a comment on her blog just to make sure you’re covered — I wouldn’t want you to get too far down the path with that title if you’re going to have to change it later.

  5. Hi Biggie,

    I sent you email but I noticed your FAQ said you checked comments more closely. This gives me the excuse to be that obnoxious person who leaves you a message to tell you they sent you email, and I thank you for that.

  6. Thanks for the updates all around! Finally got to check out the Face Foods book at B&N today - amazing! Inspired me to do a Naruto one for my husband, so I searched online for some ideas.
    Came across these amazing bento - have you seen them?

  7. @5 from kitchenMage: Thanks for the e-mail and comment, kitchenMage! Answered offline.

  8. hi

  9. The only surprise about the Stars & Stripes running an article on bento is that they haven’t run it before ;-)

    Consider the hundreds of thousands of US military personnel (like myself) who have been stationed in Japan over the years!

  10. @9 from Shay: Good point, Shay — I hadn’t thought about that. Are fusion-type bento lunches popular on base, or are they more of a local thing?

  11. I haven’t been in Japan in over a decade so I don’t know, Biggie…I imagine that if they are sold/popular off-base, the same will apply on-base. I ate whatever the Japanese ladies at the various food stands sold me :-) and it was good.

  12. Hi, I don’t see where to contact you directly but I am hoping you read this comment. I’m a newbie and I’m confused as to which things are to be eaten hot or cold. We have 4 that will not have access to heat, 1 who will. I love the idea of the rice balls, and the eggy thin omlette (can’t remember the name). Are they good cold? Could you possibly do a post on what tastes good cold or mention in the recipe posts if it’s to be rewarmed or if it’s ok cold? Thanks so much.

  13. @12 from Danika: Have a look at my post on Hot vs. Cold Packing Considerations: Rice balls aren’t very nice cold after a stay in the refrigerator, so you’ll need to rewarm them before eating (either at the office/school kitchen, or at your kitchen in the morning and then pack at room temperature).