Club Culinaire – Picnic des Chefs 2013

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You’ve heard me claiming when it comes to food, I’d ditch my husband and wade through the ocean in my Louboutins in search of the next Stalker tale.  I’ve rambled on and on about those notable red-soled beauties, the “it” shoe among the fashion crowd, the ones for which I’d be willing to bungee jump off the Golden Gate bridge to earn a lifetime supply.  No need for bungee jumping and I didn’t have to blog for another Husband – yet! After hearing about Club Culinaire’s Picnic des Chef’s with smashing French Chef’s, my camera was charged and I was off faster than you could say Saint Germaine…

Paris! There may be no city more uplifting to the human spirit. It’s a place to explore the dimensions of yourself – to walk, talk, argue about life, sit and contemplate the events of history. Want to attend a blowout shindig with all the sizzle of a sun-drenched afternoon under The Eiffel Tower without checking your Loius Vitton luggage at the airport to be groped by security guys? The 33rd Annual Picnic des Chefs was the next best thing held at Vasa Park in the Malibu Hills, Sunday June 2, 2013. With a new theme, “Taste of the Club Culinaire”, the afternoon was a feast of indulgence for wine and foodie lovers alike. LA’s top chefs created authentic dishes from various regions of France served with French wines with of course, French music which echoed throughout the park. (Kora Kroep wins the dancing contest by a landslide)!

Whether it’s a simple repast – a baguette, a round of goat’s milk cheese, a bunch of grapes and a bottle of wine, with a bouquet of wild flowers for a centerpiece, food unquestionably tastes better in the casual sunlit atmosphere of outdoors. There’s something about a French picnic that cries out to be served upon a brightly colored cloth on the grass. Perhaps it’s the influence of those timeless French paintings depicting picnics along the river Seine. There’s no need to pack a picnic basket or bake a tart for crying out loud! Ladies, you just show up, indulge in fine wine, enjoy a plateful of pleasure and chatter away all afternoon about handbags and marinades.  As for you guys, let’s face it, a vigorous round of frisbee may not be tops on your entertainment list with the kids, but hey, it sure beats the “Honey Do” list at home. A BIG congrats to the lucky winner of a roundtrip trip to Paris for two! This guys screams of joy could be heard all the way to downtown Los Angeles I’m sure.

Secretly I walked in a brisk fashion while on the prowl, hoping I might be hungry again by day’s end so I could circle back around one more time to indulge in the guilty pleasure of delectable foods and wines. Chefs cooked up over 700 lb of meat, poultry and fish, 500 lb of vegetables, 200 lb of cheese and 500 baguettes. Over 50 wineries poured their favorite selections. The event is kid-friendly including a moon bounce paradise, heated swimming pool with a giant water slide, rock climbing wall, drawing competition, and games. Thanks to all the volunteers, chefs, winemakers and Club Culinaire! Mark your calendars for next year, you don’t want to miss it!  Au revoir!

 *Proceeds from the event benefit the Concern Foundation and the HOPE Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris…then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a movable feast.” – Ernest Hemingway

Images by Sandie Ward and contributing photographer Bryn Mohr


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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