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Team California '00

November 11, 1998|CHARLES PERRY

Everybody follows the Olympics. Not so many follow the Culinary Olympics, which have also taken place every four years throughout this century. For the '00 event, to be held in Berlin, the U.S. will field two teams--a national team and a California team, partly because a team from California did so well in the 1996 Culinary Olympics.

"We're considered the Hollywood showoff team," says '00 California team captain Brad Toles, "but we wanted to downplay this [in 1996]. We had probably the simplest display--some countries were bringing in $100,000 lighting fixtures, but we just had a table showing the different regions of California, and we came back as the only U.S. team with a gold medal. We did better than the official U.S. team, which was much better financed."

The Culinary Olympics tryouts are organized a little like the Japanese TV show "Iron Chef"; each team is presented with ingredients and has to create a meal from them in less than three hours. For the real thing, though, teams get to plan their meals ahead.

What we want to know is, what do you eat when you're in training for the Culinary Olympics? "Anything that keeps us alive," says Toles. "It's hard to tell a chef how to eat."

The Case of the Counterfeit Tea

U.S. District Court Judge Dickran Tevrizian ordered Kim-Seng Co., an L.A.-based importer and wholesaler, to pay Eastrise Trading Corp. of Alhambra nearly $700,000 in damages and attorneys' fees in Oct. 22. Eastrise had charged that Kim-Seng was marketing low-grade tea under under Eastrise's Foojoy label. In December, 1997, U.S. Marshals found more than 60 cases of tea falsely labeled Foojoy at the Kim-Seng warehouse.

This is believed to be the first court case regarding counterfeit tea in the U.S.

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