Break!

On a mid-day break from shooting today’s Chicago episode for Good Food America

This morning we visited a 91,300 square foot Leed Platinum Certified wholesale distributor of produce for the Chicago area food industry.

This place is no joke! Family owned. 4th generation. Recycled water, their own wind turbine, solar panels and boxes and boxes of fresh produce as far as the eye can see.

With Latte in hand, I just arrived at our restaurant location and let me tell you – the menu looks delicious and the atmosphere is super sleek. Can’t wait to get into the kitchen for some cooking!

Stay tuned for some photos after we wrap up the Chicago leg.

In a couple days we are off to Wisconsin, but for now – Chicago… I’m ALL yours.

From Beach To Lake

After two full days in Florida I am a bit hot, a little pink (but not burnt!) and mainly very happy.

It’s been wonderful to reunite with the Good Food America crew and start up again with the production of the show.

Tomorrow we head to Chicago for more filming, which we are all looking forward to.

That said, thank you to the wonderful people of Florida. I may not have been to Disney World or Epcot Center, but I believe I saw the best of this state.

Latte? Let’s hit the road!

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It’s Raining Greens

First day back shooting my new show, Good Food America, went great.

Florida has been both warm and welcoming.

Today I visited a fantastic restaurant in Saint Augustine and then went to a farm to learn all about hydroponics – produce growing from seed with just water and some nutrients in a recyclable bed.

It’s amazing how much flavor can be packed in such a tiny leaf. Kind of looks like delicious clouds of greens from above.

Now THAT would be something.

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Mad Dash!

Just a handful of hours (let’s say about 13) until the journey begins… again. Another 3 week shoot for Good Food
America.

It’s certainly seems easy to leave most everything important to do until the last minute, until that last minute is upon you – yikes!

So, it’s laundry, packing, meetings, bills, cleaning and so on. All in these last few hours before a flight to sunny (and I hear very warm) Florida.

Good thing I have my very trusty friend to help me out today.

Thank you, Latte. You’re great.

On the Road Again

In 48 hours, we will be back at it – filming the rest of the season one episodes for my new show, Good Food America.

The next leg of travels will look something like this:

Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York.

After the filming is done, Super-sous and I catch an EARLY flight back to L.A., load the car up with cookbooks, and then immediately head to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for their annual “Cooking for Solutions” Event. As a Sustainable Seafood Ambassador, I will be doing 2 cooking/speaking gigs, one radio interview, 2 book signings, and Super-sous and I will be doing a fun Iron Chef event.

After that, I think a long nap will be in order. Yes, I am hoping it will be something like this for a few of the days following: Wake up, Latte, food, gym, nap, Latte, hike, food, nap…

 

Spring is in the Air

Flowers are blooming, peaches will soon be here, herbs are growing like weeds, farmers markets are overflowing with fresh produce and all around town the smell of roses, honeysuckle, and jasmine fills the air. Not to mention the thought of grilling and barbecuing is on everyone’s minds. In fact, Super-sous and I went to a barbecue get-together last night at a friend’s house and will be grilling again tonight as well.

Being on the road for that past 3 weeks,¬† the thing that we have missed the most,¬†undoubtedly, is the Hollywood Farmers Market, which takes place every Sunday from 8am to 1pm. Ever since we got back to L.A. last week we have been dreaming of, talking about and planning our Sunday at the market. Juicy strawberries, bunches of fresh kale, farm fresh eggs, pounds of sweet oranges, crisp asparagus… so much to enjoy in the few days before we take off again (for another 3 weeks of filming for my new show).

Last night, at our friend’s barbecue get-together and over a delicious raw kale salad (with delicious crisp apples and shaved almonds) that the hostess Julie made, we all got into a discussion about organic versus non-organic foods, local versus imported foods and the importance of asking questions to your local farmers when shopping at the farmers market. There are such markets in L.A. called uncertified farmers markets where (amongst local farmers) there are vendors selling produce from other countries (e.g. mangoes from Mexico). Also, not every farmers market sells organic produce. It is usually a mix. Another thing to add to the mix: many farmers follow organic farming practices, however cannot afford the certification process to be labelled organic. So, again, ask your local farmer questions about the produce they are selling, where they farm, etc. If you don’t get a clear answer, move on!

Today, Super-sous and I went to a small farmers market to get our fix with a few fruits and vegetables before our outing to the Hollywood market on Sunday. She wanted to buy organic strawberries, so I asked a farmer selling $5 baskets if their product was organic or not. Their response was, “no pesticides.” Super-sous and I looked at each other curiously. No pesticides? Well, organic or not, pesticides must be used for farming if you want to yield any produce (and therefore make a profit). Next question, “what exactly do you spray with?” His response, “we don’t spray with anything.” No spraying? No pesticides? It just didn’t make sense. Needless to say, we did not buy the strawberries. We would rather wait it out, knowing that non-organic strawberries take on some serious chemicals to be able to make it to the consumer. (Hence the reason it is at the top of Sunday’s list.)

Spring is in the air. The weekend is well underway and farmers markets around the country are popping up, opening for the season, and growing exponentially. So, my Latte loving friends, grab your shopping bags – I think I see an artichoke and some lemons with your name on it. Because when is the last time you had grilled artichokes brushed with extra-virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice squeezed on top? Might I say, if you don’t have one in your hand right now, it’s probably been too long.

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Summer Nights

Nothing says Summer like mid 80 degrees and an evening barbecue. Oh, wait… I mean, nothing says Spring. Ahhh, but it’s great to be back in LA, even if only for 1 week before round two of shooting Good Good America.

1 full day back in LA, 2 naps later and 4 Lattes down and the preparations for hitting the road again have begun. Translation: mailing out cookbooks, doing laundry, and dealing with a failed laptop hard drive.

But tonight, a summer-style break is in order. A get together amongst friends with a good old fashioned barbecue. I’ll take it.

Save a glass or two of wine for me. No offense Latte, I’ve got it covered tonight.