Monday, September 21, 2009

STOKED: Believe it or not I'm walking on air!

It's been SO long since I've blogged I don't even know if I remember how to do it anymore. There's so much I need to catch up on & so much I am still processing. My life has changed massively in the past couple of weeks & yesterday may have been one of the best days EVER!

While I was in Atlanta I got a call from ICM to audition for a show called "Search For the Greatest American Recipe" I swear I've had at least 10 people email, call & text me about submitting myself as a contestant for the show, so when ICM called I almost fell out. The Producers wanted me to come in thee NEXT day, I wasn't getting back to LA til 8 days later I asked if they could see me then. They weren't sure so I chalked it up as a no biggie, it wasn't meant to be. What's meant for me is coming.

I enjoyed hanging with my Mother & my family, she threw me a birthday party, my first with her in almost 20 years... damn I LOATHE I'm at the age when I can say "20 years ago..." anywho... my Mother is SUPER low key & jolly. She's been through A LOT in her life. I don't really go to her for advice when I have problems because she's not really the type to give sage advice anymore, going deep isn't really her steed & I respect that, she's just cruising for the rest of her life. She has worked too damn hard & deserves the break & I have INCREDIBLE friends for that.

She told me "you are leaving your Jesus Year, 33 is the hardest year of your life & you have survived & overcome SO much! You made it past these difficult times & didn't let that year break you. I promise your life is now for the better. I am so proud of you"... OK seriously I don't think I've cried SO much or could EVER cry so much in my entire life, not even after a "Color Purple", "Sophie's Choice", "Imitation of Life", "Terms of Endearment" back to back marathon. I knew right then & there what my mother said would now be my new truth.

I came back to LA on the 7th, my birthday was on the 9th (09/09/09) & my roomie & his new wifey took me & my brand new Lobou's I bought for my brother's wedding to Gordon Ramsay at The London for dinner & I got to have everything my little heart wanted on the menu & didn't have to decide *swoooooooooooooon*.

Christian Louboutin Carnival

The HAPPY couple on their BIG day Chips & dip
Lobster Risotto
Kumamoto Oysters that MELT in your mouth, Hamachi with Yuzu, ginger & Caviar & Prawn with watermelon & cardamom sauce

kumamoto oysters... PERFECTION

Wagyu Beef Cheek
Pork Belly with crispy Pig's Head (FAVORITE dish of the night!!! )

HAPPY birthday to me

I didn't think my life could get any better. I woke up the next morning on the 10th freshly minted as outta my crazy ass "Jesus Year" then within minutes of my new year my favorite cupcake EDB wanted to stop by & drop off my birthday present a MASSIVE Hello Kitty goodie bag loaded with Hello Kitty stuff & THIS...

I mean SERIOUSLY?!?!?! 2 of my FAVORITE things into 1... INGENIOUS! If this isn't a sign I don't know what is?

I rip open the package set it up in my kitchen & just stare at it for the longest realizing I CAN do this... I SWEAR within minutes after I realize this I receive a call from ICM "are you free on the 20th?" I answer yes & they're like GOOD you're working as a Recipe Expert Judge on Lifetime's "Greatest American Recipe" hosted by Chef Tyler Florence.....

GET THE HE-YELL OUTTA HERE!!!!! Shut up?!?!? As if it wasn't cool enough ICM got me a job or my Mom's advice came true or I get to work with people from Lifetime or that I am being deemed as a "recipe expert" yes ALL of that IS spectacular but the ULTIMATE.... COOLEST stand out moment was getting to work with & meet Tyler Florence!!!! He is part of my Trinity: Gordon Ramsay, Anthony Bourdain & Ty-LER friggin' Florence!!!! I still can't stop getting all teary eyed when I think of it. Ok damn... ICM hooking me up is the Ultimate too, but bear with me on this one, there's something Mystic & life affirming at hand for me here.

I've worked with, met & even dated heaps of "famous people" OK I've only dated a couple not heaps... settle down Beavis, but this was different, this was life affirming. I'm only a year & a half into pursuing my culinary TV dreams. I've been writing & acting in LA for almost 12 years & this is my second pilot in 10 YEARS!!! "Tyler's Ultimate" is one of the shows that changed my life & it's not just because he's this great Chef, hell I can't taste his food well... unless I make it myself to the T of his recipe but how he lives his life to the ULTIMATE!

No fear, no doubts, no apprehension... FULL of passion & a joie de vivre in EVERYTHING he does. From the way he cooks, to his love of food, his passion for his wife, the adoration of his kids (have you seen the video he posted on Facebook taking a bath with his baby?!?!? To die FOR!) his impeccable taste in music, the sheer coolness of his Mill Valley store, his respect for his parents... the Man is seriously one of the most inspiring people EVER! He ultimately lives thee BEST life that he created & is lov-ING every moment of it, it's so empowering & he's so proud of his life & he's open to share his favorite moments online & on TV making you feel like you too can have the life you always dreamed of & even better!

Over 2,000 people showed up... it was mind blowing! All with a recipe, a personal story & the dream that their recipe would be named thee "Greatest American Recipe". I am a Cook so judging fellow cooks that want the opportunity to showcase their dish on TV so they can change their life is VERY much a sentiment I understand. I didn't want to be too tough on them like on Chopped or Top Chef, those people are professionals & attended some of the best schools in the world & or apprenticed under the greatest Chefs to hone their craft. Critiques from their peers is part of their process to become better Culinary Artists.

SO many contestants were SO nervous, some even impossible to hear I just wanted to set them at ease to tell their stories & share their recipes. I tried to make them laugh & convey to them that I wanted the best for them I'm not just "judging" them & I wanted them to understand that I was grateful that the recipes they share with the dearest people in their lives they are willing to share with all of America.

I mean they showed up with pics of their families or their entire family & are risking putting their family's biggest recipe secrets without the guarantee of winning or even getting picked. Some even found ways to modify a great grandmother's recipe so it wouldn't get lost forever because so many people in the family had severe food allergies & couldn't enjoy it... couldn't you die? I met a handsome devil yesterday who did just that so his great grandmother's recipe could live on in his family so many, many more generations can enjoy it, how freaking considerate & damn sexy is that? I could just kiss him... I SWEAR!

The hardest part for me judging was when the littlest ones didn't make it to the next level but man I can't tell you how refreshing it was to see SO many kids put down the controllers & their Nintendo DS & instead are so passionate about expressing themselves & creating fantastic dishes in the kitchen. The future for foodies like us is safe in the hands of these tater tots.

Well here's hoping the show gets picked up, I mean how could it not? It's like American Idol for cooks & I hope that I can continue to be a part of it. If not, the experience will last me a lifetime (no pun intended) & I know I am on the right path in getting closer & closer to ALL of my dreams coming true. I learned so much yesterday & feel blessed beyond my wildest dreams. Thanks for indulging me. Goodnight

Between My Headphones: Sweet Stevie & Syreeta

It's BEYOND worth repeating I've had this which feels like I may have kept it on repeat for the entire day is this super under-appreciated song from my favorite Artist of ALL time. I'm going to let my guard down & enjoy life more.