ART & EATS — These days, museums try to be everything: bookstore, meeting place, gift shop, watering hole, eatery and, oh yeah, a place to look at art. But at least here's some proof that Detroit's MOCAD isn't pursuing food half-heartedly: The MOCAD Café has a new chef, and the food is now organic, locally grown and more locally grown than ever, with coffees brewed from Ann Arbor's Roos Roast beans, baked goods from Ferndale's Strawberry Moon and Pinwheel bakeries, and locally purchased ingredients from Eastern Market. Add free wireless and you have a destination positioned for medical professionals, students — and even museum visitors — to break for lunch. At MOCAD, 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday and Sunday; 313-832-6622; mocadetroit.org.
LOCAL YOKELS — Speaking of local food, if you're out Ypsi way, be sure to check out the Ypsilanti Food Co-op featuring more than 100 local product lines. It's open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily, at 312 N. River St., Ypsilanti; 734-483-1520.
EAT THE PAGE
Every student in culinary school begins by learning the use of high-quality knives, essential tools for every kitchen. A sharp knife cut the ingredients effortlessly, where dull ones slip, tearing the food, often cutting the cook instead of the chow. Chopping, slicing and carving with ease are among the basic skills that simplify food preparation. For a primer on knife selection, maintenance and technique, you can't beat Knives Cooks Love: Selection. Care. Techniques. Recipes. by Sur La Table and Sara Jay (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $25). The recipes are a bonus.
A TASTY BEVERAGE
Vermont's Magic Hat Brewery is back in Detroit with its latest mixed 12-pack special for the Holidays: Feast of Fools. It contains the usual bottles of Circus Boy hefeweizen and the apricot flavored No. 9, along with a hoppy amber seasonal ale and their latest "odd notion" one-off, a chamomile braggot. Braggot is an ancient mix of mead and ale, and this one has a lusty bouquet of honey-oat cereal. It's hazy golden in the glass with low carbonation and drinks soft, sweet and buttery through the middle before finishing with a balance of hops.
When was the last time that all of your stemware survived the holidays? This year might just be a first. The Chef's Choice Crystal Crafter is a 4-inch wand that smooths nicks and jagged edges that result from overzealous clinking of glasses while toasting in the New Year and loudly hoping for health, happiness and prosperity (to say nothing of cheering on Barack Obama's inauguration). Follow the simple instructions to repair crystal, bone china, porcelain, ceramic and more. Available online at chefscatalog.com.