[All of the pictures in this post by the brilliant Elizabeth Leitzell]
It’s rare that life offers you a reason to pinch yourself. That reason came on Friday when my cookbook publicists Allison and Molly presented me with the full breakdown of my SECRETS OF THE BEST CHEFS book tour. There’s a dinner at Eataly hosted by Lidia Bastianich (which is almost totally sold out already, that’s why you should follow me on Twitter!), a conversation about recipes (what are they? who owns them?) with Amanda Hesser and Jonathan Waxman at the Greenlight book store in Brooklyn, a dinner at Nancy Silverton’s Mozza in L.A., an afterhours dinner at Tartine in San Francisco prepared by the extraordinary chef Samin Nosrat, a dinner at Hugh Acheson’s Empire State South in Atlanta and a dinner at Renee Erickson’s widely praised Walrus and the Carpenter in Seattle. Do you see why I’m pinching myself? What follows is the full tour breakdown with dates and links and phone numbers so you can make your reservations. To be honest, I’m most excited to meet all of you nice people out there who read what I write every day… so please come out and say hi!
Imagine a giant hour glass filled not with sand but with calories. That’s pretty much a perfect visual for this first year of living in and exploring L.A., eating my way from ocean to desert, hopping from cuisine to cuisine. As I said in my post yesterday, for my budget and interest-level, L.A. has more to offer than New York. You can eat extraordinarily well without breaking the bank. So here, then, are my 10 favorite places to eat here… the ones I’ll miss the most when I’m gone for 3 1/2 months. Are they objectively the best? Not by any means; they’re just the ones I’ll be running back to when the plane lands at LAX in January.
Just to bring some closure to the whole New Orleans experience, an experience that we loved, I thought I’d do a tie-it-up-with-a-bow wrap-up post for you to bookmark for your next trip there. To review: you must visit Cafe du Monde and Commander’s Palace (as all the guidebooks will tell you). Off the beaten path, you must go listen to music on Frenchmen St. (skip Bourbon Street. Really.) and, during the day, if you’re schvitzing, cool off with a Pimm’s Cup at Napoleon House or a Sno-Bliz at Hansen’s. Meal-wise, you’re not allowed to miss Cochon. Make sure to drink a Sazerac at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop and Bar. And, if you have some extra meals to figure out, do visit Mandina’s, The Green Goddess and/or The Camellia Grill (depending on what you’re craving). And if you don’t have a trip planned yet, go next year for JazzFest. We’re planning to go then too.