The Highland Park Hero’s Chest Dinner was on Thursday night, and it has possibly moved up to one of the most inspiring evenings… of my life… so far! At precisely 7pm, 10 designers/creatives were invited into the gate of Magnus Walker’s Urban Outlaw Garage in Downtown LA. As we mingled over cocktails, the group quickly found familiar faces, and those they didn’t know personally, they definitely knew of… and more often than not the admiration was mutual. From the men behind Baxter of California and Icon 4x4, to Oakley and BasecampX… from Triple Aught Design (and new secret project, Prometheus Design Werx) to Acquire and KILLSPENCER and Johnnyswim… and more! As giddy as I was to see each of these folks, it was inspiring to see how thrilled they were to see one another! It was beyond an honor to be able to sneak in as one of the few women amongst these inspiring men. Over Highland Park Mint Juleps, the mingling filled with anticipation and you could hear the awe and cameras clicking as soon as the garage door opened to unveil Magnus’ collection of vintage racing Porsche 911s… and then up to dinner… which includes tastes of a Highland Park Whiskey from 1968! Also Show & Tell was mandatory ~ “Please bring an item of yours that says a little about you - something that you can’t live without.” See it all on the next page…
Packaging isn’t everything, but gorgeous, playful, happy graphics, branding, and simple inforgaphics never hurt… and with Skoop it definitely grabbed my attention ~ enough for a post on NOTCOT.org and a few inquisitive tweets. Well one thing lead to another, and next thing i know, a box of Skoop goodies arrived on the doorstep! And as far as supplements go, compared to what you find in a look at GNC or Whole Foods, these will definitely stand out and make you look twice!
Though the graphics were the first things to grab my attention, the proposition of the Skoop A-Game “Super Simple Superfoods” are intriguing in their own right. These powdered supplements you shake up mixed with anything from water and chocolate (almond) milk or oatmeal or yogurt are being positioned as a playful path to SUPER you! It’s less about diets or meal supplements but that extra something to help boost your potential… and nothing says that like comparisons to fueling up with premium… or a cape on a human icon. For those years when it felt like i was living on airplanes and in hotel rooms, i used to always have some Macro Greens on hand to help balance things out. They were the best tasting at the time… though that wasn’t saying much. So i was skeptical and curious about how Skoop would taste! First reaction, definitely sweeter and more palatable than expected, yummy even in the chocolate milk combination. So far we’ve only tried milk, chocolate milk, and almond milk - all not bad with both variations.
Also fun, they included some of our favorite Blender Bottles in the surprise package! The design of the BlenderBall, which is a springy, spherical wire whisk has always made me smile - and they work wonderfully when shaking things up. So this week we will be taking the Skoop 5-Day-Challenge to get SUPER and it couldn’t be better timed with the endless projects and sleepless nights, i can use all the boosts i can get! Take a peek on the next page for all the unboxing and details!
Whiskey Barrel Coffee! So many things i love in one thing i don’t even know where to start. I love beautiful packaging (and a good skull graphic! and a well designed glass bottle!) I love good whiskey… and i’ve been learning to appreciate and love good coffee. I love good dark chocolate. Artfully combine them all, and you have Espresso Smith’s Whiskey Barrel Coffee ~ and chocolate covered coffee beans ~ in wax sealed glass bottles… the idea alone makes me swoon… but the deliciousness and beautiful branding make me need to share the details with you!
Two and a half years in the making, Espresso Smith now ages green coffee beans in authentic bourbon barrels in Colorado prior to roasting to create a coffee “the goal was not to create a whiskey flavored coffee… the goal was to create an experience that starts with coffee and finishes with bourbon.” Mind you, there’s no alcohol (though you can add your own back in) in the final product but the aromas are definitely present and delicious. Take a peek at the unboxing and details on the next page!
Spiralizing is AMAZING. “How did we not do this as kids?” was the first thing Shawn and i wondered the first time we played with it. Inspired by Vangie Ogg’s Instagram, i impulse bought the Benriner Spiral Slicer (more info in japanese at the Benriner site.) The first time, we were having so much fun, i forgot to take pictures! Who knew it was so easy to make Zucchini Pasta?!?! And today, the NOTpuppy, Bucky, even got some yam pasta! And these “noodles” can be as long as 7-8 feet even! Ridiculously fun and delicious. Take a peek on the next page at the Spiral Slicer and some of our creations.
On fun surprises, Simplethings has fun messages inside their pie boxes! The new Simplethings in Westwood just soft opened on saturday, and we popped by to check it out for lunch and brought some mini “cutie pies” home! Inside the tiny cutie pies box is “life is short. enjoy the simplethings.” and inside the simple pies box is “you make good decisions.” ~ ahhhh validation by pie box. Take a peek at the fun on the next page!
Here’s the latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw when she went to check out the 2013 Experimental Food Society Spectacular in London! A meadow of sugarpaste flowers billowing in the wind created by Rosalind Miller Cakes.
While Shawn was in NY earlier this week, he came home taunting me (and my juice addiction) with pictures of Summers Juice & Coffee that was just opened by one of his closest friends, Alex Kleinberg. So, here’s a peek at the fun design details and deliciousness. Congrats, Alex!!!
On happy places, you can’t help but smile when you arrive at the freshly opened Summers Juice & Coffee in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We’ve enjoyed following their Instagram all summer as Alex Kleinberg and Christopher Taha (and their friend, Steffan Elzinga, of Wood Mgmt.) got their hands dirty and converted the 50 year old bodega space into their adorably refreshing neighborhood juice/coffee/pastry/sandwich spot. They found surprises like exposed brick and a large window under the drywall, which combined with some reclaimed wooden fence planks (which turn into herringbone ceiling and counter facade) and the addition of concrete flooring and counters, projection surf flicks, a stunning red surfboard on the wall, and a fun surf mural on the roll gate… it’s easy to forget there was a bodega there!
As for the food and drinks, Summers isn’t just fun decor, Shawn swears by the egg sandwich. (Here’s a peek at the making-of THE Egg Sandwich!) Part of the secret is definitely the parker roll from Clinton St. Baking Co. and the spiral of sriracha… also the bacon + avocado… oh, and the cheese folded in the fried egg. But i digress, with Alex’s history at his family’s award winning Clinton St. Baking Co., it’s no surprise the food and juice is delicious. (For Clinton St. fans, they also carry their pastries!) And as for coffee, they brew Brooklyn Roasting Company goodness. But, back to the visuals - take a peek inside Summers Juice & Coffee on the next page!
On delicious surprises, today’s LA to San Diego road trip lead us to the discovery of the new Lobster West in Encinitas. As their site says, “Lobster West is bringing New England’s love affair with lobster to the West Coast! As a family business, we are proud to offer fresh, sustainable and delicious Maine lobster rolls (along with crab rolls, shrimp rolls, seafood chowders, locally-grown organic salads and more).” As for where their lobster comes from, “We source all of our lobster directly from our friends who fish the icy cold waters of Maine and then we ship them overnight to Southern California, ensuring freshness in every bite! Our sweet and delicious Maine lobster is 100% certified and sustainable, and is served up in our favorite form - the lobster roll!” And you can taste the fresh deliciousness while you watch footage on their TV hanging over the door of their fishermen (lobstermen?) in action! We had to try their shrimp and lobster rolls… and couldn’t resist trying their monstrous whoopie pie… Looks like this one may make the list of our usual socal roadtrip pit stops between our usual taco/burrito joints! OH! It’s also worth noting that you can ask for Gluten-Free rolls! They use Udi’s. Take a peek at all the details and their menu on the next page!
p.s. Spontaneous trip = spontaneous pics, so all the pics are from the HTC One (vs giant dslr!)
Here’s the latest from NOTCOT’s London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw.
Our adventures with Baileys began a few weeks ago, at the enigmatic Dennis Severs House, where we joined Bompas & Parr for a secret event which promised Culinary Alchemy, marbled foods, chocolate and rhapsodomancy. We didn’t know much, but marbling was suggested and a touch of alchemy… Once inside, we learned about the years or development behind Baileys’ Chocolat Luxe, which officially launches today at Harvey Nichols and will be available more widely from October. The new liqueur combines Belgian chocolate, Irish whiskey, and cream (alongside Madgascan vanilla and other delicious ingredients).
Baileys Chocolat Luxe was revealed among a sumptuous brunch of treats from Lily Vanilli with a marbled theme. The swirling marbling, mixing of chocolate, whiskey and cream is key to the new Chocolat Luxe as is its decadence, captured beautifully by the venue of the launch, which even included a dining room train! More photos of the teaser launch and Chocolat Luxe on the next page!