Friday, October 5, 2012

Sunday Funday Tapas & Rosenthal Wines

On October 14th, 2012 from 3pm to 7pm Secret Table and Rosenthal Wines will host their second collaboration at the The Tasting Room on PCH in Malibu.  It's an afternoon of tapas and free flowing wines...

I'm so unbelievably psyched for this event because we're not just delivering great food and wine, we're including a musical component that's sure to bring down the house.   Anyone who knows me, knows I'm an amateur musicologist, a KCRW devotee and a true believer that music provides an evocative soundtrack for our lives.  There are always seminal albums (I still can't find a better word to describe a CD, a download, a playlist, etc...) that defined a certain period of time which, when heard again, takes us right back to that place.  It's uncanny.  Just like the aroma of baking pies takes me back to my grammies' kitchen instantly. 

So needless to say, I'm truly delighted to host an event that showcases a lineup of really talented performers with completely divergent musical styles.  

First on the list, and thanks so much to fellow chef, Amy Jurist, is Jimmy Lee.  Jimmy's a classical Spanish guitarist whose rich and beautiful acoustic set will set the stage for the Spanish cuisine and wonderful Rosenthal wine.  We may be in Malibu but Jimmy will help transport guests to the Costa del Sol.   Jimmy will be followed by the darling J. Hunter Ackerman and his new blues rock band, Hunter Ackerman and the Dirty Jacks.  Hunter and his band were recently at The House of Blues so we feel extremely fortunate to have them play at the beach and take us into the second hour of the event with a lively set.  Last on the lineup is a new singer brought to my attention by good friend and fellow event planner, Lisa Gild, she is Danni Rouge.  Combined with her soulful, urban, alternative hipster vibe, Dannie is the ultimate contemporary third act to an afternoon of live music. 

As many of you may have seen, our event was first run as an Urban Daddy Perks ticket (thanks to Caroline Morici and her colleagues) and then a second hit by Pure Wow (thanks to Dana Dickey and her colleagues). The press has been great and continues to grow our mailing list so The Secret Table reaches intrepid foodies across greater Los Angeles. 

As usual,  I wish I were a guest at my own party instead of rushing around in order to make sure everyone is well fed and with a full glass of wine in their hands.  And this time, dancing will be encouraged if the mood hits you.  Tickets are still available so email if you're interested in attending. 

Until Sunday...



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Better Blogger

As of today, I have to be a better blogger.  From hereonout, I'm going to write a weekly post even if the content is nothing more than to share how much I love the Kale Salad mix at Costco which you should all try at least once.  It's packed with seven super foods of which I can only remember six: kale, brussel sprouts, chicory, cabbage, roasted pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and a creamy poppy seed dressing.  Now that I have an every day client -- the extremely wonderful Penny & Bill -- it is a delicious component to my menu planning. 

So my pledge... in addition to being a chef/event planner & screenwriter is to access my inner blogger and continue to bring you stimulating information and updates from the entertaining front lines.   And our calendar is most def heating up...

But first a nod to our unbelievable success weekend before last at Saturday's Secret Table in the Malibu bluffs.  I have never been so tired but I've said that at least a hundred times before.  The dinner was hosted by new friends: Ricky and Lynda, a pair of deeply fun and spiritual people who are serious collectors of magical objet d'arts. The setting was sublime.  The temperature scorching.  The Rosenthal Wines divine.  And a hand painted sunset that left us all in awe of nature's theater.  Some pictures....

So happy to be able to share what a splendid experience this Table was for me and my guests.  We made wonderful new friends and hope to see many people at our next event.  Huge hugs to Amy and Louis from Rosenthal (I think all the ladies had a not-so secret crush on Louis -- the chef included) and my dear friends, Virginia and Jon, for supporting me like good  little soldiers never wincing when I barked orders and kept them working into the wee hours.   So very proud that The Secret Table continues to flourish and when you hear what's next on the agenda, you'll want to attend, too.  But that's a secret for now.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

East Coast/West Coast Birthdays

Over the last few years my birthdays took a backseat to a lot of unvoidable grief in my family's life so I decided this year to celebrate with gusto because I'm so sincerely grateful to be here.  As in here, on this planet.  Alive and well.  If not busy and stressed and trying to count my calories like the rest of the world.  So it is with pleasure I talk about a few foodie elements to both my birthday in New York City and my birthday in Malibu (honestly it doesn't get much better) that are truly worth mentioning.

First and foremost, my dear friend and partner in the business, Shannon surprised me with a bespoke apron as a birthday gift.  I haven't received a handmade stitch of clothing since I was a child so I nearly burst into tears when presented with my bright brown, red, and yellow, two fabric, overlay with a pocket, pleats and thick waistband apron. 

Needless to say, the ever thinking social marketing guru that she's become suggested we have our line of Secret Ingredients' aprons to sell at our next Secret Table.  I concur.  But someone else is going to have to make them as Shannon is will be too busy with all the hats she wears in the business.

Next up, I have to share the ridiculously delicious red wine and chocolate cake my dear friend and new business partner (but sssshhhhh, it's a secret for now), Tricia Davey, baked me for my birthday.  Schlepped it across town and more than likely on and off a subway before presenting it at our working lunch replete with French Candles whilst singing Happy Birthday in French!  We are both Europhiles... email for the complete recipe. 

My friends are positively genius are they not?  What made this cake so indescribably good was the sweet and savory combination.  In fact, I dubbed it the perfect adult alcoholic brownie as you could really taste the red wine embedded in the thick and rich chocolate mold.   Trix, who is always on the lookout for how to "lighten" things up topped with tart Greek yogurt which I love too as this adds a teeny component of nutrition while cutting back on calories and palate numbing sweetness.   I love ths cake and it will be up on our website soon available for all of our clients to sample.  My late father loved chocolate and red wine post a great dinner so this one's for you dad -- I still wish you were here to enjoy all the great food, great wine and beautiful people in my life.

And finally, for my West Coast birthday sur la plage I cooked!  My guests got  to sample an almost entirely vegetarian menu inspired by Mediterranean flavors and the fresh herbs of summer.  Anything I could cook with dill, Italian parsley, basil, and mint went into the menu planning.  And despite the oohs and aahs that all dishes elicited my fresh pea, mint, and goat cheese puree won the day as the official taste of summer.

There's alchemy in this combination and I'm here to tell you the sweetness of the peas combined with the unapologetic brightness of the mint, the droll creaminess of the goat cheese and tart but breezy taste of lemon juice and zest created an otherworldy spread.  I served on toast points but any thin crisp cracker will do.  Email me at for the complete recipe. 

For this party I was not responsible for my cake and dear friends Wendy and Virginia Plumb surprised me with my favorite Red Velvet with Cream Cheese frosting.  That's our official taster and she agreed it was the best cake ever!

So with love and gratitude I sign off from this two week celebration and hope to sharing lots more birthdays with everyone in the future.