Chef Mork Mengly’s version of teuk kroeung

Truth Love and Clean Cutlery Giveaway – Win the New Guide to Good Restaurants

Our Truth Love and Clean Cutlery Giveaway will see two winners receive copies of this gorgeous new guidebook to the world’s truly exemplary, organic, sustainable, and ethical restaurants. To win: tell us how you decide where to eat and whether a restaurant is ‘good’ or not impacts your decision.

I’m so excited about this Truth Love and Clean Cutlery giveaway and if you’re a regular reader you will know why. A couple of months ago I told you about a new book I’d been working on with 57 food editors from around the globe called Truth Love and Clean Cutlery. 

Truth Love and Clean Cutlery is a new series of dining guides for Australia, UK, USA, and the World, showcasing 1,250 restaurants from 45 countries. I worked on the World edition as Asia editor, selecting 59 Southeast Asia restaurants in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The guidebooks are aimed at helping food lovers decide where to eat in the world, based not on whether a restaurant is the best of anything, but based on how good the restaurant is.

What does it mean for a restaurant to be good? Is the restaurant ethical, sustainable and eco-friendly? Have they banned single use plastics from their kitchen? Are they working hard to reduce waste? Are they recycling? Are they using chemical-free / organic produce? Are they supporting small local farmers and growers? Are they only using sustainable seafood? Are they giving back to the local community? Do they treat their staff well and pay them properly? Do they care about their customers as much as they care about prettying up their plates?

So I’m excited to tell you that not only will the World Edition of Truth Love and Clean Cutlery that I worked on be released very soon, in early November, but that I have two copies to give away to two readers, wherever you may be on the planet.

This is what the book looks like:

Truth Love and Clean Cutlery Giveaway

How to Enter to Win this New Guide to Good Restaurants

To enter this Truth Love and Clean Cutlery giveaway to win a copy of this very special book, all you need to do is answer these two questions in the comments at the end of this post:

1. How do you decide which restaurants to eat at? Recommendation from friends or family? Restaurant review in a newspaper, magazine, website, or blog? Guidebook listing? TripAdvisor? Instagram? Or other?

2. Is it important to you that a restaurant is ‘good’?

For example… does it matter if the restaurant is using fresh, local, seasonal, sustainable produce (rather than importing everything), and that their produce is chemical-free or organic?

Is it important to you that the restaurant is eco-friendly, that they have banned single-use plastics, that they are recycling, that they are conserving resources, and that they are reducing kitchen waste?

Do you care whether the restaurant is growing their own produce and supporting small local farmers, growers, foragers, and fishermen, local suppliers, local winemakers, and local ceramicists, designers, artists, and florists?

Does it matter that the restaurant is making an effort to use sustainable seafood and ethically caught seafood, that the boats that caught your fish aren’t manned by crew who have been human trafficked?

Is it important to know that the restaurant is giving back to the local community, that they are training disadvantaged young people, that they’re supporting local charities or environmental movements, participating in clean-up days, or feeding the homeless and hungry?

Does it matter that the restaurant treats their staff well, that they are paid properly, that they are treated fairly and with kindness, and are not subject to harassment?

Do you care about how the restaurant treats its customers, that they are kind, that their needs are catered for, whether they are vegetarian or vegan or whether are dining with their children, and that the chef doesn’t yell at diners who disagree with him?

Do any or all of those things matter when you are deciding where you’re going to eat?

Tell us what you think in the Comments at the end of this post and you could win a copy of Truth Love and Clean Cutlery.

Here’s another look at the book…

How We’ll Choose the 2 Winners of the Truth Love and Clean Cutlery Giveaway

The two people who give us the best answers will win a book each. As simple as that.

Myself and my amazing editor, Katrina, will read all the comments and decide who the winners of our Truth Love and Clean Cutlery giveaway are purely based on your answers, below. If we can’t decide, I’ll pull Terence in to help. No complicated rules here.

Your comments do not need to be long, a couple of sentences or one paragraph is enough, unless you want to tell us more.

We’re just looking for insights that reveal how you decide where to eat and whether the criteria that we think is important in selecting restaurants is important to you. That’s all.

So to summaries: to be eligible to win a copy of the World Edition in this Truth Love and Clean Cutlery Giveaway all you have to do is tell us in the comments below:
1) how you choose the restaurants where you’re going to eat, and
2) is it important to you how ‘good’ restaurants are when you’re making your decision?

Our Truth Love and Clean Cutlery Giveaway closes at 5pm on 24 November, 2018, when we’ll make a decision. We’ll contact the winners directly to get their postal addresses and Katrina will send the books out. Wouldn’t it be nice to get your copy by Christmas? You could even give your prize away as a gift to a restaurant-loving friend.

Truth Love and Clean Cutlery Giveaway – More Information

Truth Love and Clean Cutlery is the title of a new series of dining guides for Australia, UK, USA, and the World by New Zealand publishers Geoff Blackwell and Ruth Hobday of Blackwell & Ruth, whose books have sold 30 million copies in 40 countries. Inspired by social issues, equality, environmental conservation, food security, and humanitarians (their authors have included Nobel laureates Desmond Tutu and the late Nelson Mandela), Blackwell and Ruth have contributed over $4 million to non-profits and a percentage of profits from sales of these books will also go to charities.

Where to Buy the Truth Love & Clean Cutlery Books

If you don’t win a book in our Truth Love & Clean Cutlery giveaway, the books will be released in November 2018 and distributed to good bookshops, gift shops and design stores around the world by Abrams Books and Thames & Hudson.

You can also buy the Truth Love & Clean Cutlery books online at Amazon.

Important: when you leave your comments below, please make sure you provide your email address so we can contact you when you complete the comment form.

Pictured above: image by Terence Carter of a dish at Pou Restaurant & Bar, one of a handful of Siem Reap restaurants using almost 100% local produce that also draw on traditional practices such as foraging, preservation and fermentation to elevate Cambodian cuisine. 



There are 6 comments

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  1. Cathie Carpio

    I wish the answer is as straightforward as “I mostly rely on recommendations from trusted friends and blogs, and my instincts,” but deciding a restaurant is a conscious process (especially if I have time planning ahead) that requires a bit of reflection. First, Instagram is helpful in getting a sense of what’s new and what’s trending, but I actually use it to identify restaurants to avoid. For instance, if posts look sponsored or if a restaurant gets a sudden buzz out of nowhere because influencers post about it, it’s a great indication to avoid that restaurant. So, social media can be useful in filtering out which restaurants to avoid. Second, in destinations in which not a lot has been written about where to eat, say Kampot, there is not a lot of planning that can be done. I was there and found how much outdated blog posts and guidebook listings about Kampot. So, in few cases when there’s virtually no reliable information, one’s instincts would be more functional. Third, familiarity of a cuisine also complicates decision making since if one is knowledgeable about a cuisine, the process gets more deliberate because benchmarking very much doable if you pretty much know the front and back of a cuisine. Fourth, your instincts will also tell if a restaurant will be good based on the track record of a chef or sometimes a restaurant group. Most of the time, past performance is indicative of future performance. Ultimately, there are a lot of factors that come into play when deciding where to eat (again, when there’s time), especially these days when F&B is continuously growing.

    I value ethical consumerism, which also applies when dining out. The most exciting restaurants are those who are creative enough to use local and sustainably-sourced ingredients and are more conscious of their environmental footprint. I found that excellent chefs in Manila have close ties with their suppliers, farmers, fishermen, and other external contacts that allow their restaurants to thrive. I would rather pay premium knowing that a chef-owner did not cut corners by abusing its bargaining power over suppliers or treating its staff poorly. This whole journey towards sustainability and eco-friendly approach on food also benefits cuisines (like Filipino cuisine) since the most creative chefs would source out even almost forgotten ingredients or they become eager to make the simplest ingredients shine. However, the tricky thing in assessing the “goodness” of a restaurant is prioritisation of factors since it may do well in sustainability but is absolutely a disgrace when it comes to treating staff. Of course, a good aspiration is to be ethical on all fronts while delivering excellent food and service.

    Even if this wasn’t a giveaway, I would still comment. It’s about time we talk beyond food as I am getting a little tired of hearing, “it’s just business” or “it’s just food; don’t over think it.”

  2. Lara Dunston

    Thank you so much for this thoughtful response, Cathie. Greatly appreciated. I’m going to refrain from commenting as I want to hear what others have to say… I can see people reading this post, but no other comments yet… I’m wondering if people are mulling over this and giving it the kind of consideration you have. Thanks again!

  3. Chris

    The best indicator for me of where to eat is if it is full of locals. That is a sound signal. Then the level of service… do you get served (even without language). Next is the food tasty? The attendance of locals generally indicates the care and freshness of product. And lastly the cost. I’m SE Asia I prefer the cheaper local places where the cutlery is in boiling water. And when I find my favourites I support them. I find they generally end up supporting me.

  4. Sebastien

    To be honest, look at the restaurant that are always full and see if they use organic or make they own product, plastic straw or give anything back to the community.

    They is always a market for everything, some do not care and seeing the trend in Asia, people need to be educated to appreciate the hard work of their host.

    That is in an ideal world.

    But for those who want, they is those who provide happily 🙂


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