Blissfully Blin…

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Ok, so I lied. Well, it was a tiny little white lie, so does it really count? I promised Husband I would pull away from “The Blog” so he would have my undivided attention for our Anniversary. You know the kind, where there are no distractions and husband has more on his mind than just the wine list! Love was in the air and I was blissfully happy to be celebrating, however it’s hard to re-direct my brain once I step foot into a restaurant.

The luscious strawberries and champagne in our luxury suite at Sofitel Hotel, Beverly Hills, set the mood for romance, yet all I could think about was what dishes Executive Chef Marius Blin would whip up at our Hotel’s signature restaurant Simon – now known as Esterel”, a French Mediterranean Cuisine named after the mountains in southeast France that overlook the sea. I know, it’s hopeless. Is this how Gael Greene behaved while out with her man back in the day? Don’t they have a pill for this sort of compulsion? Until they create one, this Stalker girl’s husband will have to go along for the ride, which, between me and you isn’t a bad gig.

Once downstairs we were escorted to a lovely table in the dining room that wrapped us in sweeping ceilings with elements of earth, wind, and water. The decor is kind’ve like eating in a darkened forest designed by Phillipe Starck. The waiter appeared, the 1996 Charter Oak Cabernet was poured, a kiss and a toast and Husband so insanely thrilled I didn’t dare peak at the kitchen. Turns out I didn’t have to (although I purposely left my credentials in the room) as my cover was blown and this time was the one being stalked. Before I knew it, Chef Blin was standing in front of me ready to overwhelm my palette with his impressive culinary skills. How he does it is beyond me, creating one of a kind dishes, featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients and creative mind-blowing flavors while making every plate look like a decadent work of art. His dedication and craft is unbridled.

Chef Blin hails from Normandy and his culinary pedigree includes working with some of France’s most renowned, Michelin-starred chefs, including Guy Savoy, Jacques Le Divellec and Guy Martin.  Blin has a diverse and international background from The Berkeley Palace in Knightsbridge, London and L’Elysee, the home of the French President, to Horseshoe Bay Resort in Texas and The Regent Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills.  He was voted Club Culinaire of Southern California’s Chef of the Year 2010 and currently serves as President of the Club. With a background like that you can only imagine what ended up on our table. Here’s a sampling:

  • “Please Sir, may I have some more” -it’s difficult to resist the warm fresh breads that arrive with multiple spreads, so save room for more food.
  • “Orgasmically Good” – Burrata cheese with heirloom tomato & fresh basil
  • Whet your appetite” – fresh flatbread with sautéed leeks, cheese & nuts
  • “Mr. Tuna and I”– Bluefin Tuna spun with lemongrass oil, mushrooms & chives
  • “Feeling Crabby”- Crab Sushi with sesame
  • Plateful of Pleasure” No mere Tart! Sweet flaky crust tart with raspberry & meringue, Death by Chocolate Cake with chocolate mouse between the layers.

This gastronomical interlude was simply divine. The Hotel was eye candy. The lounge was eye candy. My man was eye candy. Hell, even  the server was eye candy! All directly linked to visual diabetes one might say. Look, let’s get one thing straight, it takes time to develop expert Stalker Skills. Like a lioness in the jungle one must learn to hunt and seize the moment with no fear. Let’s be honest, I’ve never wanted to be Jane. I’ve always wanted to be Tarzan swinging through the trees in a loin cloth with no top, feeling the breeze blowing in my hair. Lucky me, I’ve got a guy that get’s it and continues to love this huntress through thick and thin on my quest to satisfy my never-ending bucket list….

Till Food do us part….Sometimes love can tame the foodie within.

* For reservations, catering and events, please contact Esterel Restaurant at 310.278.5444.  For recipes, menus, photos, interviews contact Valentine Group LA Public Relations, or 323.330.0578.



  1. Mary Frances

    January 29, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    This was a fun read! What a nice celebration, congrats on your anniversary. However, I don’t think love need tame the foodie – they can coexist! That’s what I say, anyway :)

  2. thefoodstalker

    January 29, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Mary, Thanks so much for stopping by and great to see you. But of course “Dah-link”, we do co-exist, quite brilliantly..;)

With an Italian background, she cites her Mother and grandmother ( Mamie ) as the major influence of her love for food.  Yes, homemade pasta hung from the clothesline in the kitchen and rolling 100 meat balls for a holiday dinner was the norm.  Raised in Pennsylvania. she spent time in Atlanta, Georgia and ultimately settled along the stunning coast of Laguna Beach, Ca. Self taught in everything, she learned to appreciate the amazing flavors, scents and uses for exotic herbs and spices and applies her knowledge to cooking today. Despite enjoying other creative endeavors like painting, photography and clothing design, she realized she would never love another career the way she loves all the stories surrounding food.  And it's capturing those stories that has not only become her greatest passion but a culinary drug worth passing around!  After all, food is a shared experience and no one better to share it with than the entire world. And thus the Food Stalker was born, utilizing all that passion and her fearlessness to capture even the most impossible stories. It's one thing to write about food, but far more exciting to actually capture it and all those stories that make every scent come to life.  And once she sets out, there's no stopping her, because no one follows that scent better than her---and no telling where she'll end up next.  

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