Another effort for Haiti Haitian cuisine will be on the table and Haitian music in the air March 8 as the Grand Cafe hosts Le Grand Pikliz to benefit the American Refugee Committee's Haiti relief efforts. Chefs Jon Radle and Ben Pichler will add their style to pulled pork, Haitian chicken, pikliz (pickled hot peppers), rice and beans, and dessert. Mariameu, a world music trio dedicated to the rhythms of the Americas, are donating their talents to the evening. Daniel Wordsworth, president of the ARC, recently returned from Haiti and will be at the cafe, 3804 Grand Av. S., Minneapolis. Cost is $35. Reservations are required by calling 612-822-8260.

Grilling a la mode We rolled our eyes when Weber Grills sent a press release heralding the humanitarian role of outdoor grills as the "snowmageddon" knocked out power along the East Coast. To wit: "Lisa Baron of Stafford, Va., was homebound with her family for more than two days because of impassable roads. 'We had no power, and if we had not owned a grill, we wouldn't have been able to feed our kids warm meals. It was a life-saver.' " No doubt -- not that paralyzing blizzards are a marketing opportunity, of course. Still, the release also included some worthy winter grilling tips:

• Brush snow from your grill before preheating, and allow twice the time for preheating.

• Don't grill under an overhang or in a garage in order to avoid blowing snow. Grilling in an enclosed space can trap deadly carbon monoxide.

• Increase the recipe's recommended grilling temperature by about 20 percent to generate enough heat to properly cook food. A meat thermometer is crucial for winter grilling.

• Pray for spring (oops, that's our tip).

Caveat emptor Tales from another press release. This one was touting the GreenPan, "recently" launched by Chef Todd English and Home Shopping Network entrepreneur Joy Mangano. "It is the first cookware product to utilize Thermolon non-stick coating, which is PTFE/PFOA-free, and will perform at high temperatures without deterioration or releasing harmful fumes."

A bit of fact-checking turned up a rather sordid side of online reviews, in this case, the number of positive reviews by fake posters whose identities were tracked to the manufacturer and distributors.

Props to site moderators who go the extra mile to track suspect posters, as in this thread from 2007,, when these pans first hit the market (so not so "recently" launched?). A current HSN forum shows little improvement: Sigh.