Join me at the 2014 Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival DTLA

Come spend your weekend with me enjoying great food, wine, spirits and entertainment DTLA!  Check out my schedule from tasting to champagne my weekend is going to be exciting with world class chefs titillating my taste buds!  But don’t despair LA Food & Wine Fest has events going on simultaneously in Hollywood, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills with a selection of events over four days.   If only I could be in four places at once since I’d love to check out these events as well!

So come on and buy a ticket for the events and make sure to say ‘HI’ while we are wined, dined and get to enjoy great music!  Leave a note below to say what events you’ll be attending!

SOMM Epiphany Wine & Food Pairing hosted by Anthony Giglio

Richard Blais Cooking Demonstration
EVENT DETAILS Perhaps most recognizable as the winner of Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars, Richard Blais is a successful chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and television personality. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Blais went on to train at French Laundry, Daniel, Chez Panisse, and el Bulli. This is a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with this young star and let him share some of the talent which has made him a successful restauranteur, chef and TV personality. 8/23/14, 10:30a – 11:45a DOWNTOWN: LA Center Studios Price: $50.00 $45.00
Tribute to Nancy Silverton
EVENT DETAILS A rare opportunity to recognize a woman who is acknowledged by her peers as a culinary icon. The recent recipient of the James Beard Outstanding Chef award, Nancy Silverton has delighted diners through many years of her ingredient inspired life. Very few seats are available to join us for an extravagant champagne reception followed by a five-course meal paired with exceptional wines. The chefs for the evening are Joachim Splichal of Patina in LA, Hiro Sone & Lissa Doumani of Ame in San Francisoco, Michael Chiarello of Bottega in Napa, Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto in New York and Michael Tusk from Quince and Cotogna in San Francisco. 8/22/14, 6:30p – 10:30p DOWNTOWN: Dining Room – Vibiana Price: $350.00 $315.00
One Pico Lunch with Sven Mede & Elizabeth Falkner Presented by Chase Sapphire Preferred
   EVENT DETAILS This year for the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival, we’re planning an afternoon for a select group of diners to experience an unparalleled lunch with Chef Sven Mede & a Celebrity Guest Chef Presented by Chase Sapphire Preferred. Lunch at One Pico will feature a reception with passed hors d’oeuvres and bubbly, followed by a four-course meal with hand-selected, artisanal wines. 8/22/14, 12:00p – 2:30p SANTA MONICA: Dining Room – One Pico Price: $125.00 $112.50





Los Angeles Food & Wine, August 21-24, 2014

Ultimate Bites of L.A. Presented by Chase Sapphire Preferred Hosted by Graham Elliot
EVENT DETAILS Thursday night brings together chefs from Downtown, Westside, Hollywood and MidCity/Beverly Hills – to participate in the “Ultimate Bites of LA” walk-around tasting event presented by Chase Sapphire Preferred. Event guests will have the opportunity to sample dishes from several of the city’s most exciting culinary neighborhoods. VIP Access – Gets you early access a full 30 minutes before the General Admission and access to a VIP only cooking demonstration with Celebrity Chef Graham Elliot. Very Limited quantities are available. 8/21/14, 7:00p – 10:00p DOWNTOWN: Grand Avenue Price: $195.00 $175.50 VIP: $250.00 $225.00


Friday, August 22th

Asian Night Market Hosted by Iron Chef Morimoto
EVENT DETAILS The Asian Night Market will feature an abundance of unique tastings using Asian-inspired ingredients from some of the nation’s most influential chefs hosted by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. Join us as we re-invent the classic Night Market into a multi-sensory street food experience that brings the flavor of Asian night markets from Taipei to Kuala Lumpur to Grand Avenue! Serving up traditional as well as interpretive Asian street grub from both established restaurants and mom-and-pop joints, the Night Market recreates the celebratory chaos and delicious energy of the quintessential Asian Night Market experience with a distinct West Coast flavor. Along with tastings of street food from over 25 participating restaurants and eateries, admission includes custom cocktails, sake, shochu, beer and free-flowing wine. VIP Access – Gets you early access a full 30 minutes before the General Admission and access to a VIP only cooking demonstration with event host Iron Chef Morimoto. Very Limited quantities are available. 8/22/14, 7:00p – 10:00p DOWNTOWN: Grand Avenue Price: $125.00 $112.50 VIP: $175.00 $157.50


Saturday, August 23th

Pairing Cheese & Champagne with the First Lady of Fromage
EVENT DETAILS In addition to being a James Beard award-winning expert on cheese, Laura Werlin also has to be just about the nicest person in the food business. She’s published six books on cheese and her most recent entitled “Mac & Cheese, Please!” will have you rethinking this classic American staple in no time. A long-time friend of Pebble Beach and Los Angeles Food & Wine, Laura returns for our Fourth Anniversary to help you understand the world of cheese in a way that is informative and fun. Oh yes, there will be champagne, paired with Laura’s hand-picked cheese selections in a seminar that sells out each year. 8/23/14, 10:30a – 11:45a DOWNTOWN: Fifth Floor, Salon A – Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Price: $75.00 $67.50
Lexus Grand Tasting - Saturday
EVENT DETAILS The Lexus Grand Tasting at Los Angeles Food & Wine is the most spectacular opportunity to enjoy over 300 wines from some of the world’s most prestigious wineries. 25 Celebrity Chefs will showcase their culinary skills and provide delicious and decadent tasting samples of their cuisine. During this remarkable strolling event you will have access to book signings and photo sessions with some of the weekend’s biggest chef celebrities. Don’t miss this great opportunity to experience food and wine at its best. VIP Access – Gets you early access before General Admission and access to a VIP only Cooking Demonstration before the Grand Tasting. Very Limited Quantities are available. 8/23/14, 12:00p – 3:00p DOWNTOWN: LA Center Studios Price: $150.00 $135.00 VIP: $195.00 $175.50
Lexus Presents LIVE on Grand hosted by Michael Chiarello Featuring COMMON
EVENT DETAILS Lexus presents an unbelievable strolling reception, capped with an extraordinary musical performance by multi Grammy Award winning artist COMMON! 25 chefs and 200 wineries will serve up delicious tastings for you to enjoy while enjoying the Cityscapes of one of the greatest cities in the world. This is the culmination of a city-wide celebration of all things Food, Wine, Celebrity, Music and Los Angeles. VIP Access – Early access to the event. A private cooking demonstration and reception with Chef Michael Chiarello. Very Limited Quantities are available. 8/23/14, 7:00p – 10:00p DOWNTOWN: Grand Avenue Price: $250.00 $225.00 VIP: $350.00 $315.00


Sunday, August 24th

Lexus Grand Tasting - Sunday
EVENT DETAILS The Lexus Grand Tasting at Los Angeles Food & Wine is the most spectacular opportunity to enjoy over 300 wines from some of the world’s most prestigious wineries. 25 Celebrity Chefs will showcase their culinary skills and provide delicious and decadent tasting samples of their cuisine. During this remarkable strolling event you will have access to book signings and photo sessions with some of the weekend’s biggest chef celebrities. Don’t miss this great opportunity to experience food and wine at its best. VIP Access – Gets you early access before General Admission and access to a VIP only Cooking Demonstration before the Grand Tasting. Very Limited Quantities are available. 8/24/14, 12:00p – 3:00p DOWNTOWN: LA Center Studios Price: $150.00 $135.00 VIP: $195.00 $175.50



Not a fan

Normally the match ads just pass over and are the usual bland not well done schlock you see all the time.  But this ad just rubs me the
wrong way on so many levels.  From the man who says a ‘girl I was interested in’ and the douche host shaking his fists urgh just makes me want to yell at the TV and say first of all I’m HOPING your dating women you look like your in your mid to late 30s so .. grow up and date a damn woman and not a girl!  Just the same as the ‘conversion’  <scream> conversion is just another word for a Peter Pan who doesn’t want to grow up and get in a relationship to justify playing  the field.  I watch this commercial and the entire time all I can think of is that this guy has this woman on hold as he keeps her as a ‘friend’ stringing her along as he decides rather he can ‘do better’.  By the time he realized NO she’s the best he can do she decided to stop wasting her time and looked around for someone who would choose her the way she choose him.  Not as someone who’s a backup or contingency plan or to be settled for .. rather that’s the impression they wanted to give it’s what I got from this commercial.  Or am I looking through LA Peter Pan dating eyeglasses?  Leave your thoughts below!

I’m running to Texas for Wendy Davis

I might be heading to Texas this year to work on Wendy Davis campaign for Governor!  I’ve been excited about her since watching her try to hold the line from a conservative legislature hell bent on stopping reproductive health for women!   I don’t know why they always are about how abortion is killing babies but they don’t want to take care of the kids on earth right now AND don’t want anyone using birth control it makes my head explode with this illogical circular logic (so to speak).   I recently read a report that young people in Texas don’t realize that AIDS is an STD that you get from sex!!! In what world is ignorance the way to combat unplanned pregnancy?   I see nothing wrong with abstinence I waited a long time before having sex for the first time (probably should have waited even longer not the best experience) but I knew sex education and how to prevent an unwanted pregnancy!   I’m hoping that Wendy will turn Texas purple and that all the people who’s rights to vote have been suppressed rise up and fight (in the voting booth) and kick the son of a bitches out (excuse my language).   I don’t hold with the theory of only ‘one god’ should be in charge of our legislature.  I think that the whole ‘separation of church and state’ is right since my religious beliefs aren’t yours.  Instead let’s rule our country with decency and respect for every from the smallest child to the oldest senior.  A country where we offer a helping hand to one another.  Where we all work together to get the economy back on track with revitalizing our nation with rebuilding the infrastructure to compete globally.   A country where ALL schools are able to educate the next generation to find a job in the world today.  Where innovation and research is supported.   So that’s why I’m supporting Wendy and all the progressive candidates that want to make our towns, cities, state and country great!  Run Wendy RUN!!!

Dear friend,

You’ve seen the recent poll, you’ve watched our ad, and you know the momentum is with this campaign. Now we need your help in recruiting folks to join our field staff and assist in our statewide effort to elect Wendy Davis Governor of Texas.

This is a terrific opportunity — no matter where you live now — to get some hands-on experience with an exciting political campaign. You’ll be an integral part of our grassroots organization by managing volunteers and supporters from all across Texas who are ready to work hard to bring a different kind of leadership to Austin.

All you need is a strong work ethic – preferably one that lasts for 12 hours a day 7 days a week, the ability to knock on doors and talk with potential voters, and a desire to elect a governor who’ll make sure every Texan’s voice is heard. You don’t need previous campaign experience. We’ll teach you how to talk to voters about Wendy and organize your volunteers towards a win in November.

If you want to be a part of history, apply now: Just click here for all the details.

Please feel free to forward this email to someone you think might be interested. Texas is a big state so we’re counting on Team Wendy to the cast a wide net.

I couldn’t be prouder of my staff and would love to add your name to the list.


Chris Turner
Campaign Manager
Wendy R. Davis for Governor, Inc.


Party with Common at LAFW

WHEN:           Saturday, August 23

  • 7-10 p.m. “Lexus Live on Grand” (Grand Ave. between 1st & 2nd St)
  • Hosted by Michael Chiarello, including live musical performances from Common and the amaWolseley Marimbas

Are you joining me Saturday, August 23rd at the annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival!  I’m going to shake my groove thing to Common’s chocolate velvet dulcet words as I get to taste the food of top chefs from across the nation!  In case you’re thinking this is all high falutin fancy food no .. it’s damn good food with wine and spirits that will dance with your tastebuds.  You can discover new tastes as well as modern interpretations of classics from a BLT to caesar’s salad all between 1st & 2nd street between Grand avenue.  It’s a night that is perfect for couples, singles and groups of friends who want to try anything that a great chef can think of and I’ve found they think of LOTS of ways to make great food!

So get a ticket before it sells out and get ready to enjoy multiple Grammy winning artist Common with the African children’s ensemble amaWolseley marimbas on the main stage.  We’ll get to hear hits from Common’s tenth studio album Nobody’s Smiling as well as selected hit songs!   I’m very excited to hear the kids perform marimba from these eight kids who’ve performed in South Africa and throughout the United States.   It’s all part of the four-day epicurean fête produced by Coastal Luxury Management, also the team behind Pebble Beach Food & Wine.  The festival is presented by founding partners FOOD & WINE and Lexus, as well as major partners Chase, Delta Air Lines, JENN-AIR, and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Not only will you be eating and drinking good you’ll be DOING good! Attending the LAFT benefits Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign–-a national effort to end childhood hunger in the United States. Tickets for the gastronomic gathering are available on-line and at the door to each event, pending advance sales. Up-to-the-minute information on participants, event line-up and purchasing tickets is available at

B&N Free Fridays: The Budapest House, Hidden Objects Rainy Days & Wild Kratts

This Week Barnes and Noble is offering a the Budapest House by Marcus Ferrar that tells the story of a Hungarian Jew who’s survived the Third Reich but at the loss of half of of her family in Auschwitz.  They also have two all friendly (kid) game app and video!  So they have something for everyone today.  Make sure to go do the B&N page to download these freebies and buy something!!!!

Free Fridays: The Budapest House + Hidden Objects Rainy Days + Wild Kratts


August 15, 2014: Today’s Free Fridays book selection is THE BUDAPEST HOUSE — a true story of human beings caught up in the maelstrom of 20th century history.


A Hungarian Jewtraumatised by the loss of half her family in Auschwitz returns to Budapest to retrace her roots. She discovers a dramatic personal history that enables her eventually to shed the burden of her past and move forward to a new life.This is a true story of human beings caught up in the maelstrom of 20th century history – the Nazis, genocide, Cold War, dictatorship, and the struggle to make new lives after the fall of Communism.Told with great sympathy and warmth, this well researched book brings history to life by recounting the experiences of ordinary men and women confronted with daunting challenges.


August 15,  2014: Today’s Free Fridays app selection is HIDDEN OBJECTS RAINY DAYS— find hidden objects in the peaceful world of a rainy day any day.

Rainy days conjure up images of snuggling by the fire, drinking tea, and spending some quiet time alone. When the drizzle and the drops give every environment a magical sheen, finding hidden objects can be an even greater challenge. Mini games add more excitement, featuring favorites like Jigsaw, Tic Tac Toe, and Dots.


August 15, 2014: Today’s Free Fridays video selection is the first episode in Volume 7 of WILD KRATTS ”Snow Runners”.

WILD KRATTS joins the adventures of Chris and

Martin Kratt as they encounter incredible wild animals, combining science education with fun and adventure as the duo travels to animal habitats around the globe. Each adventure explores an age-appropriate science concept central to an animal’s life and showcases a never-before-seen wildlife moment, all wrapped up in engaging stories of adventure, mystery, rescue, and the Kratt brothers’ brand of laugh-out-loud-comedy that kids love.

Guardians of the Galaxy Review

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) PosterWell I saw Guardians of the Galaxy and I think it’s an OK movie.  Nothing special or as good as past Marvel movies (Iron Man, Thor, Avengers) but it’s OK a bit bland and feels longer than its two hour running time.   I lay that at the feet of James Gunn.  I think that his plodding, boring script that didn’t allow anyone to really shine is the major issue I have with the latest Marvel tent pole movie.  They had so many stars that all wanted to have their big moment that they weren’t able to flesh out the main characters enough to make me care or event maintain my attention.  I found it so dull that my mind wandered a few times since the fight scenes were too dark and muddled (for some reason he didn’t come in close enough to see everything) to see the short blasts of action.  I’m not sure why Chris Pratt got the nod to be the latest hero but in this film he’s just not cocky enough to play a rebel with a heart of gold.  He’s just a bit ‘ehh’ you know he’s attractive but not TOO attractive, just a tiny bit of a bad boy and no real sex appeal so the running joke of his being an alien ladies’ man fell flat for me.  I’m not saying he’s not attractive it’s just that when you’re carrying a big movie like this you have to be distinct and he just blends into the background.   Even more frustrating is the villain … urghh Ronan what a dull bad guy.  The opening sequence was the best scene he had and so I thought maybe he’d do OK.  You know super over the top evil but instead yak yak yak!!! I mean literally talking everyone to death before putting them out of their misery.  I don’t know about you but think the strong evil silent type should be used more often.  WHY must you explain your nefarious plans in such detail?   Just destroy everyone and be done with it .. you want to destroy a planet!  Get to smashing boy!    Nebula … ahhh nebula your daddy issues bored me and Karen Gillian was not scary in this part.  It might have been improved if she could do angry smoldering fury but she can’t.  Just looking constipated doesn’t make a good villain sidekick! Now if you want to see a villain done right in the movie look no further than Yondu Udunta!  Now that’s a prime example of someone who can fill a screen!  Michael Rooker stole every shot he was in since he knows how to play a bad guy!! Even his knife weapon thing was major badass and his constant reminder that ‘he didn’t eat him’ is the perfect blend of humor with a threatening scary undercurrent that I love in a anti hero.  Despite the limited screen time and lines as the film progressed I ‘got him’.  He’s evil but has a softspot .. got it!  I was surprised that Vin Diesel’s Groot was really good.  The overall look and the fact that he was able to put more emotion in the same three words just showed how weak the rest of the cast is in the movie.  I’m sorry but despite all of their talents and overall look of the movie (video game looking) they weren’t able to rise above the plodding screen play and they just seemed to be chilling as they collect a huge paycheck!   So if you’re in the mood to see a comic book superhero movie than here you go it’s the only game in town!  But if you want to see something good … ehh wait to see this your tv at home with blueray/dvd/streaming and if you must see it in the theater don’t waste your time on 3D it didn’t add texture or enrich the movie at all!

Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Benicio Del Toro, Karen Gillan, Glenn Close, John C. Reilly, Ophelia Lovibond, Michael Rooker, Gregg Henry

From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team-the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits-Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand-with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.

Am missing Robin Williams

My heart is breaking that Robin Williams has died today from an alleged suicide.  I’m so sad that the man who brought so much laughter to so many for so long experienced the same inner turmoil that so many have faced and lost to over the years.  I don’t know if the darkness that dragged him down made him feel so sad that he wasn’t able to articulate how bad it had gotten.   I know that I can sympathize with the feelings he likely had that when your filled with such sadness and depression at times it feels as if the only solution is to kill yourself.  I don’t know what problems he was facing or why he felt so alone but I know in my heart I will miss him.  I grew up watching and laughing with him from Mork & Mindy to Aladdin to Patch (well that was a bit sad but still at times funny) to my all time favorite Jumanji.   Every time i’d see his smile I knew that he’d cheer me out of my doldrums because he was just such a funny man with the heart of a kid.   His loss to his fans and more importantly his family will leave us with one less star in the celestial heavens.  But I hope this will make people start to talk about depression and that it’s nothing to be ashamed of when you feel adrift.   We shouldn’t keep making mental issues something to be ashamed of and hidden.  Our society needs to embrace the needs of emotional and mental support so that people don’t feel so alone that they commit suicide or to step away from life since they can’t deal with the pain.   Life is hard and sometimes it’s not what you expected or want but we all need to reach out to our friends and family that are struggling.  I’m not saying that if someone chooses to commit suicide that you can stop them since you can’t but if we can somehow let them know that death is final and that as bad as it might be at this time eventually it gets better.  Maybe not tomorrow or next week or even a year from now since none of us know what the future will bring but if you give in to your dark thoughts it can never improve since for you if your dead.  So if you know someone who’s struggling with depression or sadness or have made a major personality change please just check in with them to let them know you care that you can be a shoulder to lean on or an ear to hear them.  I know we all have our own demons and problems and some people are ALWAYS having issues that can be draining but please just take a moment to check in either with a call or email.  Send them a hug or a smile you never know that might be enough of a lifeline for them to be able to go on another day.



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