Neil Gaiman agrees to read entire Cheesecake Factory menu, with a catch

Neil Gaiman has just agreed to do a dramatic reading of the Cheesecake Factory menu, which is nearly the size of a Bible. But there's a catch – the Coraline author will only do the reading if $500,000 has been raised for a charity of his choice, which happens to be the United Nations Refugee Agency.

It all started with a tweet from comedian and author Sara Benincasa:

"Dear @neilhimself: for $500K to the charity of your choice would you read the Cheesecake Factory menu in its entirety onstage pls advise."

To which Gaiman replied a few hours later:

I have said Yes. If she makes it happen, for charity, I will do this thing.

According to Los Angeles Times:

Benincasa told Eater that her tweet was inspired in part by watching the television adaptation of one of Gaiman's most famous books.

“Last week I watched an episode of the sublime TV adaptation of ‘American Gods,’ went on a goddamn elegant date to Cheesecake, woke up, drank coffee, and went into some kind of inspiration blackout. When I came to, I discovered I'd asked Neil if he'd read the entire Cheesecake Factory menu onstage in exchange for a $500,000 donation to a charity of his choice.”

Benincasa then set up a fundraising campaign on the charity crowdfunding site Crowdrise

"If we hit $500K, Neil has kindly agreed to do a live reading of the greatest restaurant menu of all time. It's about 8000 pages, last time I checked," Benincasa wrote on the site.

Read the rest

Cheesecake Factory has 3,120 calorie dish

The Center for Science in the Public Interest's annual list of "food porn"--items that have more calories in them than one might expect--identifies Cheesecake Factory's Bistro Shrimp Pasta as a particularly bad offender.

"It's like eating three orders of Olive Garden's Lasagna Classico plus an order of tiramisu for dinner," CSPI said. Some in the food and beverage industries have dubbed the Washington-based group the "food police". More than one-third of Americans are obese.

One of my first memorable experiences in the U.S. was visiting a Cheesecake Factory, ordering a salad, and receiving 8lb of shredded lettuce suspended in a curiously solid hillock of oil and ranch dressing.

Cheesecake Factory pasta on annual list of caloric "food porn" [Reuters] Read the rest