Another One Bites The Dust…

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What a wild year it has been, one that was full of making mistakes. That’s right, you heard me, mistakes. If you are making mistakes then you are pushing yourself and trying new things (not a problem for this Stalk-a-Holic).  You are changing and more importantly, growing, putting it out there for the world and touching lives. The following is a sneak peak at this past year filled with zany escapades and opportunity. Words cannot express my thanks to each and every one of you who have been loyal followers. (those who are jaded can just read Travel & Leisure Magazine).

So you think we sit here and watch the travel channel and drink champagne all day? HELL NO! This committed night owl starts frantically jotting down notes the moment ideas pour in. Inspiration boards? I’ve got an inspiration house for crying out loud full of photography, feather boa’s, vintage clothing, books, articles and paintings. Gotta get that fairy dust flowing baby! I’ve been one lucky gal to work with  some of the best in the business and love the entire creative process. You have been so generous with your time and energy keeping up with this trend chasing huntress and I am truly grateful for your contributions. There are many bloggers, chefs, writers, photographers, artist’s, designers and friends who continue to inspire me to do my best. You LIKE my posts, re-tweet my tweets, comment and share. I appreciate each and everyone of you with all my heart!

My wish for you this year? Make mistakes…fantastic, huge, glorious mistakes and lot’s of em! Jump into the New Year doing that crazy Jackson Pollack thing with smirk and swagger – don’t worry about what others may think. Whatever your fears, meet them all head on. Just do it!

Bites and Pieces of 2013 

Pebble Beach Food & Wine – one of the most incredible F&W events I have ever experienced and it could rev up any palate. Meeting the likes of Daniel Boulud, Ann Burrell, Vitalie Taittinger, Tyler Florence, Guy Fieri and the legendary Cecelia Chiang. A drive up the coast through Big Sir was breathtakingly beautiful. (I do believe I left my heart at Post Ranch along with my swimsuit!) LA Food Event at Semler Ranch, The Lodge at Torrey Pines Food Event, Laguna Beach “Uncorked and Unplugged” and the Chinese New Year Parade all offered delicious experiences.

-Fashion/Film:  Behind the scenes for the 85th Annual Academy Awards – Red Carpet, Fashion Council Fabulous – FIDM, COCOLA LA Film Festival event, The Oscar Nominee Luncheon where I met Hugh Jackman, Sally Field and Steven Spielberg.

-BR COHN Winery Music Festival, Sonoma and Chef Mark Stark – This gets “Stalker of The Year” award for chutzpah! After documenting the charity event the evening before, as fate would have it my credentials were no where to be found the next day. After obtaining a regular pass I was in and had to work through the Woodstock mosh pit crowds to gain access back stage. Peace-out people, not a problem! Soon I was swinging from the rafters documenting bands like Bad Company, The Doobie Brothers, Pablo Cruise and interviewing Chef Mark Stark in all his Mark starkness!

Florida, Hawaii, San Francisco and Telluride, Colorado were filled with meeting chefs, seeing family, old friends and of course making new ones. There’s nothing like landing in a new city with a camera in hand, ready to explore, capturing the highlights and uncovered hidden gems (and conquering my fear of heights by zip-lining through the jungle).

-Off The Grid” to a Private Island in Mexico: I could tell you where I went, but I’d have to kill you. It tantalized my taste buds and my quest for observing wildlife in its natural habitat. Magical and mysterious, even the Duchess of Windsor made a trip here. Meryl Streep (think Out of Africa) ain’t got nuttin’ on this girl. I too can go on safari, run with wildebeest, ride bareback, hunt for alligator and look smashing in 4inch heels!

– Closer to home included Laguna Beach, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Palm Desert, Pasadena and Santa Barbara wine country. San Fran, Napa and Sonoma are always calling me and dinner at La Travigna was epic in every sense of the word, as well as seeing dear friends at Charter Oak Winery. I’ve always loved wines and champagne and think I broke a record this year sampling new ones. Can one ever know everything there is to know about food and wine?

-Art: Meeting David Lynch at his art exhibit at The Corcoran Art Museum LA, Orange County Museum of Art, Ace Gallery – LA, Laguna Art Museum “Art of Two Palettes” along with Photography classes and exhibits. Meeting authors Adam Gopnik “The Table Comes First” and  Deborah Landis “A Century of Costume Design” as part of a local library series – most informative.

-Club Culinaire has been a wonderful organization – including Picnic des Chefs (thanks Kora Kroep). So many events and restaurants:  the Ecology Event in San Juan Capistrano, Luxury Marketing Events with Zack Bates at The Beverly Wilshire Hotel, SPQR in San Fran, Michael Mina in San Fran, Wolfgang’s…the list is endless now that I look back.

Giving Back :  FIDM Museum Fashion Council is having their Los Angeles Jewelry, Antique & Design Show Wednesday, January 15, 2014.  SAVE THE DATE and join me! Proceeds from the evening will benefit the FIDM Museum Fashion Council, in support of the acquisition of The Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection. Los Angeles Convention Center/South Hall H 1201 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015

See what catching trains, planes and automobiles to get that next story can do for a girl? Of course we could throw in a few boats, bicycles, camels, gondolas, and jet ski’s to the mix!  Don’t forget to throw in a few smashing chefs from 5 Star restaurants around the world and spontaneous culinary shin-digs. I’ve met so many talented, exciting people this year who have become friends and I promised Husband I wouldn’t even dare look at a suitcase until after January. He is always patiently waiting for me to get that next picture of food…even on our Anniversary! (For the record, I’m well aware that the desire to look especially fly while traveling does not lie deep within the hearts of all wanderers. If you’re the type of blissfully carefree schlep who breezes through the airport with your flip-flops for ease of removal, more power to you. This style spy on the other hand, is not).

Tart and sassy – shaken not stirred, I’ve got my very own spy-girl combo: intriguing, fearless and well-traveled. So sit back and sip away, it puts everything into perspective and hey, remember, there’s nothing a trip to the lipstick counter won’t fix! Hop in and drive baby, it’s gonna be a wild ride. When that bittersweet itch hits, I see some bubbly where I’m headed…

Engage, Inspire, Indulge



1 Comment

  1. penelopeshackelford

    January 8, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Your passion for what you do is truly inspiring. Perhaps you should write a book titled.on Following One’s Passion leads to Bliss….I know it would be an inspiration!

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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