Monday, June 15, 2009

Tasting Greatness

I woke up at 8:00 this morning, just like most other mornings when that damn baby next door starts to scream his head off and be continually ignored by its pretty irresponsible parents, and rolled around in bed longing for me sleep that I knew wouldn't come.  Not only do I know I would not go back to sleep today, but it's finals week and I need to work on my journals, write out my note cards, and really get to business.  Instead I wanted to blog.  Responsible, no?  It's hard to think though with this damn baby screaming through my window like it's being tortured.  If anyone from social services reads this, please come take this child away from such unruly parents - it really needs a new home.  Im not kidding, Im listening to the parents have a normal conversation while this baby just screams.  They just don't care about it.  What did I just do?  I got out of bed, through the blinds open, stared the couple down, and slammed my window shut almost to the point of shattering.  I feel much better now.

Anyway, so the past few days have been absolutely amazing.  The restaurant has been slow due to this June Gloom, but the weather says after yesterday we'll be wishing it was back this week.  Saturday morning at work was slow so I got cut early and went to have lunch at Corral Cantina.  I always go and sit at the little two person window bar with a friend but today it was just me.  I love sitting there.  Normally, I chat it up with David or Cecil while they're pouring drinks and I just waste time before going back to work.  Cecil is really cool.  She's a cali baby and started off in the industry when she was 21 and then moved on to radio broadcasting.  After radio broadcasting she decided she got enough out of it and she now does landscape architecture.  Interesting how one day we realize we want to be doing something completely different (or, someone...ha!). 

I finish my lunch at the cantina and I get a call from my other half Brittany and she said, "Be at my house in 5 minutes, we're going for a helicopter ride."  Before I hung up the phone Cecil had given me my check for $10.83 and I was running out the door.  Have you ever flown in a helicopter!?  See, sheriffs in Malibu eat for free at the restaurant and Brittany just charmed them, I suppose, and we met at the helipad and got on our way!  You know how you always see on movies when helicopters land every thing around them blows profusely?  It's true.  Sand was going everywhere, I felt like at one point I was going to lose my shirt, and I didn't care at all.  We climbed in the helicopter and put on the big headphone-like things with the Britney Spears speaker-mouth-attachment and before I knew it we were taking off.  Ha, I loved it!  we flew over the ocean, stopped by the restaurant and waved, went down to the pier and almost to Santa Monica!  The ride home we flew over the canyons and just gaped in awe at the view.  Continuously I just kept grabbing Brittany and telling her I loved her because it was the coolest thing ever, which I seem to be saying a lot lately.

That night after the helicopter ride, I went with Kelly and Brittany to a party in Malibu Colony Estates at a friend's summer beach house (because his own house in Malibu wasn't good enough?) and we danced and sat on the balcony and watched the waves twenty feet below and occasionally enjoyed a cigarette or two.  

Sunday was a great day though.  I am very blessed for the company I work with.  I was invited to help in a charity event called Taste of the Nation, which I believe at some point I have mentioned before.  We got to the restaurant at 9 a.m. after only a few hours of sleep, naturally, and loaded the cars.  The girl I work with who kicks ass on the line, Amanda, and I carpooled to Culver together.  We set up our tent and got ready to work.  There were 46+ other restaurants and the event and a lot of winery's(sp?) where there.  We were really busy most of the day but we did get a nice break to go try some other restaurant's food, but we, of course, had the best.  

We served a Farmer's Market Salad.  It sounds simple but it was far from that.  It was composed of organic heirloom cherry tomatoes (which were peeled, yes 2100 of them were peeled) and cantaloup that had been seasoned and tossed in a basil vinaigrette.  On top of that was burrata cheese (an early stage of mozzarella, much creamier) with a basalmic syrup drizzle and Zoe's prosciutto on top.  Also in the salad was a pipette of tomato water, which you took after you eat the salad - it's crisp, refreshing, and really cleanses your palate.  Tomato water sounds weird but let me explain...Chef took boxes of heirloom tomatoes and pureed them with some sherry vinegar.  Then, he strained the liquid in coffee filters and it comes out almost clear but with the sweetest taste of tomato ever.  We could have made some bomb bloody marys....

After loading everything back up we went to the after party at Ford's Filling Station and drank Fat Tire and ate cheese and meat and just had a good relaxing time.  Ha, and after Ford's we stopped into Rush to catch the end of the Laker's game and have another drink.  After a few hours Amanda and I took the Jeep back down the PCH and unloaded everything back at the restaurant.  It was a great weekend in LA...and we raised a lot of money at Taste of the Nation to fight childhood hunger.  

Happiness is where I'm at.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Rock n' Roll

The past week has been filled with the most absolute insanity I could have ever imagined.  It was also the most fun.

Monday was Memorial Day (clearly) and I have never spent one quite like this.  First off, Sunday Funday was the night before - which involves numerous beers and countless amounts of Jameson - so we went to bed quite late.  Scotty and Maraine came up from San Diego to hang out, which is always a good time.  Monday we woke up and planned to meet with the crew from Sunset at 11:00 at Little Dume.  Naturally, due to Brittany Walters (my other half) and our favor of procrastination and constant lateness, we show up at noon, pushing noon thirty.  We get beer, coolers, and food and load the surfboards in my jeep and went down to the private beach.

The rest of the day consisted of swimming in the ocean, shades of red accumulating simultaneously on everyones back, and everyone trying on wetsuits.  I've been dying to surf for months so I finally got up and decided to try it out!  The first day was pretty much an acclamation of the surf board - balancing on it, swimming on it, sitting up on it, and trying to stand up without a wave to show how balance was key.  The first few waves were spent getting used to the pull of the wave on the surfboard and my body.  I tried to stand up once and guess what happened?  I drank some tasty Pacific Ocean.  Needless to say, Scotty was coaching me through everything and we spent the next thirty minutes trying out the small waves to get me started off.  It felt great!  It felt great walking into the ocean in a wetsuit with a surfboard, looking like a natural but being a complete novice.  

After the beach we stopped by the Pavillions for some food to have a barbecue at Villa Malibu.  Of course, I got to cook everyone's hotdogs and hamburgers and even a huge steak loin!  We weren't the only ones with the idea to cookout and before we knew it there were thirty people at the pool, everyone was cooking out, playing beer pong, smoking the huka(sp?), and having a great time.  It was a great memorial day.

One of my friends at the cookout, who lives on Point Dume is Kelly Voyles.  I'm pretty sure I've mentioned Kelly before - she's from Atlanta but graduated from Pepperdine.  She is an exceptional artist.  She does sculptures from mixed media and they are seriously amazing.  Well, she's been training for the Rock n' Roll marathon and her family couldn't make it out here to see her race.  Sooooo, my other half (Brittany) and I took Sunday morning off, made the drive to San Diego and waited at the finish line for her!  The night before we decided to surprise her, thinking she would visit her car before taking off the race, and we bought some window chalk and graffitied her truck to all extents.  

Kelly finished the race in a little over four hours, which I think is badass for her first marathon with hills like that!  She's a rockstar.  She is amazing and I'm so glad we're friends.  Congrats to Kelly - her motivation is such an influence.

Something else that is pretty cool is what I will be experiencing in a few weeks.  There's an event that is held all of the country called "Taste of the Nation."  It's a charity event that helps prevent child hunger.  They raise so much money every event they have to help feed hungry children in America.  Well, this year, I get to be a part of it.  Some of the best chefs in LA will be there and my chef is one of them, because he is one of the best.  It's going to be a great learning opportunity and I couldn't be more excited.

Well, it's 3:30 in the morning here and I've been going strong for the past week.  Time to get some rest before class tomorrow.  To my friends and family back home, I can't wait to see you again, and I am so thankful you all have been such a contribution to my life and who I am becoming.  

Love you, Ninja ;)